FTA: $9.9B in Federal Formula Funding for Transit Agencies

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
“Once this rule is finalized, it will support safer conditions for workers who perform critical tasks that keep transit operating efficiently and safely,

“Once this rule is finalized, it will support safer conditions for workers who perform critical tasks that keep transit operating efficiently and safely," said FTA Acting Administrator Veronica Vanterpool.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) on Feb. 29 announced that $9.9 billion in federal formula funding, part of the largest investment in public transit U.S. history, is available to support public transportation in communities throughout the county.

“This is the latest round of funding made possible thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to investing in our nation’s transit systems in communities of all sizes, improving transportation for all Americans,” FTA stated in a release.

According to FTA, these investments will help people get to work, school, and wherever else they need to go more quickly and affordably. The funding will help communities maintain and operate trains, buses, and ferries; upgrade stations and tracks; plan and design new transit corridors; and provide access for seniors and riders with disabilities.

The partial-year Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 funding is detailed in apportionment tables that specify funding to states, urbanized areas, and Tribal governments based on statutory formulas.

The tables specify funding available through FTA formula programs and represent a partial year of federal support for transit. The publication of apportionment tables, FTA says, allows transit providers nationwide to move forward with applications for FY 2024 funds to support expanding and modernizing transit systems and operations. The funding reflects formula funding available for five months (Oct.1, 2023 to March 1, 2024) at FY 2023 levels while the federal government operates under a Continuing Resolution.

FTA distributes formula funds to state Departments of Transportation, Tribal nations, and urbanized areas. Formula-based grant programs include funding for transit systems in both urbanized and rural areas, grants for buses and bus facilities —including low- and no-emission buses—transit designed for seniors and people with disabilities, planning funds, and support to improve the condition of transit assets. “The tables allow transit agencies and grant recipients to view the amounts for programs set by statutorily defined formulas so they can better plan and manage over the long term for new projects and address their repair backlogs,” FTA said.

This year, due to changes resulting from the 2020 Census, FTA says some areas will see changes to funding amounts due to new urbanized area boundaries, as well as changes in populations. The apportionments reflect changes occurring in areas that exceed or fall below the 50,000-population threshold for urban areas, as well as other thresholds within the urban programs that determine whether funds are apportioned to the states or directly to urbanized areas.

According to FTA, full-year formula funding will be available once Congress passes an FY 2024 appropriations bill. Once enacted, transit funding will support President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support transit in 500 urban communities across the country and rural transit systems nationwide, “allowing hundreds of transit agencies to buy new buses and railcars, improving reliability and transit service.”

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides significant increases to transit funds across the country, from counties with just one van providing rides to systems operating hundreds of trains, buses, and ferries in the largest cities in America,” said FTA Acting Administrator Veronica Vanterpool. “Communities depend on this funding to start new projects, fix old infrastructure, and bring more fast, safe, convenient service.”

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