FTA allocates $250 million in American Rescue Plan funds to Small Starts projects

June 14, 2021
The 22 projects to benefits from the funds represent bus rapid transit, streetcar and light-rail modes of transport.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has allocated $250 million included in the American Rescue Plan (ARP) toward 22 transit projects in 13 states.

The American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021, included a total of $30.5 billion in emergency funding for the U.S. transit industry. This total included $1.68 billion for project in FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program where $1.43 billion would be allocated for New Starts and Core Capacity projects and $250 million for Small Starts projects.

The law specified the $250 million could be distributed to Small Starts projects in the CIG program that previously received a CIG funding allocation or that are in the Project Development phase of the program. Additionally, the funding awarded projects does not count toward federal limitations and is meant to assist project sponsors with their local match.

"Public transit opens new opportunities for people, and delivers environmental and economic benefits to communities," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "We are delighted to provide support for these projects, which will help communities recover from the pandemic and bring public transit to more people in the months and years to come."

FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez added, “This funding will help numerous communities across the country continue to protect jobs and advance important transit projects that otherwise might have been canceled or delayed due to the pandemic. These federal funding allocations are so important for transit agencies struggling in the wake of COVID-19.”

The Small Starts projects under construction to receive allocations from the American Rescue Plan include:

  • $17.4 million for Valley Metro’s Tempe Streetcar Project;
  • $21.9 million for San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit Project;
  • $2.4 million for Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s Southwest Bus Rapid Transit Project;
  • $29.5 million for the Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works South Corridor Bus Rapid Transit Project;
  • $3.3 million for Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority’s Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit Project;
  • $11.4 million for Metropolitan Council’s Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit Project;
  • $11.1 million for the Charlotte Area Transit System LYNX Streetcar Phase II Project;
  • $13 million for TriMet’s Division Transit Bus Rapid Transit Project;
  • $3.1 million for the city of El Paso’s Montana Bus Rapid Transit Project;
  • $5.8 million for Spokane Transit Authority’s Central City Bus Rapid Transit Project;
  • $20.7 million for Sound Transit’s Tacoma Link Extension Project; and
  • $2.1 million for the Milwaukee County Transit System’s East-West Bus Rapid Transit Project.

The Small Starts projects in the Project Development phase of the CIG program to receive allocations from the American Rescue Plan include:

  • $26.1 million for the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority West Valley Connector Bus Rapid Transit Project;
  • $12 million for the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation’s Purple Bus Rapid Transit Project;
  • $5.4 million for the Wake Bus Rapid Transit New Bern Avenue Bus Rapid Transit Project;
  • $2.5 million for the Capital District Transit Authority Washington/Western Bus Rapid Transit Project;
  • $15.7 million for TriMet’s MAX Red Line Extension and Reliability Improvements;
  • $19.3 million for the Port Authority of Allegheny County’s Downtown-Uptown-Oakland East End Bus Rapid Transit Project;
  • $6.3 million for the Utah Transit Authority’s Ogden/Weber State University Bus Rapid Transit Project;
  • $6.5 million for Community Transit’s Swift Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit Project;
  • $10.9 million for the City of Seattle Department of Transportation’s Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit Project; and
  • $3.7 million for the Clark County Public Transit Benefit Area’s (C-TRAN) Mill Plain Bus Rapid Transit Project.
About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.