FTA awards $25 million in planning grants made possible through American Rescue Plan

June 3, 2022
The funding is being distributed to 50 transit agencies in 24 states and will be used to improve and restore service.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded $25 million in funding through the Route Planning Restoration Program designed to help transit agencies restore and improve service impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding, provided by the American Rescue Plan that was passed in March 2021, will benefit 50 transit agencies in 24 states.

"Throughout the pandemic, our transit agencies and the essential workers who operate them have kept this country moving – ensuring people could continue to get to work, school, medical appointments and more," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

FTA explained the grants will help transit agencies with planning projects to increase ridership and reduce travel times in response to changes in travel patterns that occurred during the pandemic. The program also supports local efforts to increase the quality or frequency of transit service for low-income riders and those in disadvantaged communities who may need more options to get to jobs, school and health care.

Eligible recipients included any Urbanized Area Formula Grant recipient that had reduced transit service on or after Jan., 20, 2020, due to COVID-19.

"The Route Restoration Program will greatly assist transit agencies nationwide in eliminating barriers and increasing equity in underserved communities," said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. "COVID-19 drastically altered how transit systems operate and these funds will provide an opportunity for them to take a fresh look at their systems and routes to ensure that everyone has access to transportation."

The awards amounts are $1 million and under with the city of Jackson, Miss., and the city of Fairfield, Calif., each awarded grants of $1 million. Fairfield will use the funding to examine restructuring its transit service in the city’s Cordelia area from traditional fixed route to on-demand microtransit while Jackson will use the funds to establish the JTRAN New Bus Network Project to improve public transportation, provide more flexibility, frequency and coverage to areas of the city that are currently under-served.

The Yavapai Apache Nation, a federally recognized Native-American tribe in Arizona, will receive $60,000 in funding to evaluate its existing service, improve its operations and explore routes for expansion of services.

The Research Triangle Regional Public Transportation Authority (GoTriangle) in North Carolina will receive $90,000 in funding to conduct a transit study to identify opportunities to shift from a park-and-ride-based transit service to a community-based service that connects to the regional network those who rely the most on transit such as seniors, individuals with disabilities and low-income riders.

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority in Cincinnati, Ohio, will use its $780,100 grant to plan for and develop new bus rapid transit corridors to improve service, reliability and environmental impact of transit in the region.

“Cincinnati riders rely on SORTA buses to take them to work, school, or a game at Paul Brown and then to take them safely back home again,” said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). “By investing in SORTA’s planning for new bus rapid transit, we can improve service for riders and help the community have better access to safe and reliable transportation.”

A full list of grant awardees can be found on FTA's website

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