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Topline Funding: $89.9 billion ($39.2 billion in new funding)
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) authorizes $89.9 billion (B) for public transit through a combination of competitive and formula funds from both the mass transit account of the highway trust fund and general fund appropriations. This represents more than a 40% increase over current levels. $39.15B is new funding.
Programmatic breakdown of funding for FY22-26 includes $33.5B for Urbanized Area Formula Grants, $23.1B for the State of Good Repair Grants Program to upgrade rail and bus systems in urbanized areas, $8B for Capital Investment Grants to support new and expanded high-capacity rail and bus service, $4.6B for public transportation in rural area, $3.2B for bus and facility formula grants, $2.3B for low or zero-emission bus grants, and $2.2B for improving transit services for seniors and individuals with disabilities. The states receiving the most transit money include New York ($9.8B), California ($9.4B), New Jersey ($4.1B), Illinois ($3.9B) and Texas ($3.2B).
PROGRAMS & FUNDING STREAMS
URBANIZED AREA FORMULA GRANTS
The IIJA authorizes $33.5B for the Urbanized Area Formula Funding program. The program makes federal resources available to urbanized areas and to governors for transit capital and operating assistance in urbanized areas and for transportation-related planning. An urbanized area is an incorporated area with a population of 50,000 or more that is designated as such by the Census Bureau.
Agency of Jurisdiction: DOT – FTA –Urbanized Area Formula Grants
Eligible Grantees: Funding is made available to designated recipients that are public bodies with the legal authority to receive and dispense federal funds. Governors, responsible local officials and publicly owned operators of transit services shall designate a recipient to apply for, receive, and dispense funds for urbanized areas. The governor or governor’s designee acts as the designated recipient for urbanized areas between 50,000 and 200,000. For urbanized areas with 200,000 in population and over, funds are apportioned and flow directly to a designated recipient selected locally to apply for and receive Federal funds. For urbanized areas under 200,000 in population, the funds are apportioned to the governor of each state for distribution.
Federal Cost-share: The federal government cost share cannot exceed 80%.
STATE OF GOOD REPAIR GRANTS
The IIJA authorizes a total of $23.1B for State of Good Repair Grants, which includes an additional $4.75B to establish a new competitive program to replace rail rolling stock that has exceeded its usefulness. State of Good Repair Grants support maintenance, replacement, and rehabilitation projects of high-intensity fixed guideway and bus systems to help transit agencies maintain assets in a state of good repair. Additionally, State of Good Repair Grants are eligible for developing and implementing Transit Asset Management plans. For the competitive grants, DOT is limited to awarding three eligible projects.
Agency of Jurisdiction: DOT – FTA – State of Good Repair Grants
Eligible Grantees: State and local government authorities in UZAs with fixed guideway and high intensity motorbus systems in revenue service for at least seven years.
Timing: Immediately. An eligible project may be granted funds through a multi-year grant agreement, which cannot exceed an agreed upon maximum amount of Federal financial assistance.
Federal Cost-share: The federal government cost share cannot exceed 80%.
FIXED GUIDEWAY CAPITAL INVESTMENT GRANTS
Authorizes $8B for the Capital Investments Grants (CIG) Program. This FTA discretionary grant program provides funding for fixed guideway investments such as new and expanded rapid rail, commuter rail, light rail, streetcars, bus rapid transit, and ferries, as well as corridor-based bus rapid transit investments that emulate the features of rail.
Agency of Jurisdiction: DOT – FTA – Capital Investment Grants Program
Eligibility: State and local government agencies, including transit agencies, for projects that demonstrate the availability of local resources to recapitalize, maintain, and operate the overall existing and proposed public transportation systems.
Federal Cost-share: FAST specifies that New Starts projects are limited to a maximum Section 5309 CIG program share of 60%. The maximum Federal contribution from all Federal sources to a New Starts project is 80%.
TRANSIT ACCESSIBILITY FOR SENIORS AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Authorizes an additional $2.2B in formula funding to provide resources to eliminate barriers to access for seniors and persons with disabilities. Funds are apportioned based on each state’s share of the population for these two groups. Formula funds are apportioned to direct recipients; for rural and small urban areas, this is the state Department of Transportation, while in large urban areas, a designated recipient is chosen by the governor.
Agency of Jurisdiction: DOT – FTA – Enhanced Mobility of Seniors & Individuals with Disabilities
Eligible Grantees: States and designated recipients are direct recipients; eligible subrecipients include private nonprofit organizations, states or local government authorities, or operators of public transportation.
Federal Cost-share: The federal share of eligible capital costs cannot exceed 80%, and 50% for operating assistance. The 10% that is eligible to fund program administrative costs including administration, planning, and technical assistance may be funded at 100% federal share.
Authorizes $5.25B to provide funding to state and local governments for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses, including acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities. The Low-No Program will also support workforce training. The section also includes updated requirements for the Secretary’s annual report on research activities.
Agency of Jurisdiction: DOT – FTA – Low or No Emission Vehicle Program
Eligible Grantees: Eligible applicants include direct or designated recipients of FTA grants; States; local governmental authorities; and Indian Tribes. Except for projects proposed by Indian Tribes, proposals for funding eligible projects in rural (non-urbanized) areas must be submitted as part of a consolidated state proposal. States and other eligible applicants also may submit consolidated proposals for projects in urbanized areas.
Federal Cost-share: The Federal share of the cost of leasing or purchasing a transit bus is not to exceed 85% of the total transit bus cost. The federal share in the cost of leasing or acquiring low- or no-emission bus-related equipment and facilities is 90% of the net project cost.
METROPOLITAN TRANSPORT AND STATEWIDE PLANNING PROGRAMS
Authorizes $966M for metropolitan planning organizations to elect to expand considerations of housing planning processes into the metropolitan transportation planning process. Also, authorizes the use of technology to encourage public participation in the planning process. The section allows for the use of technology to encourage public participation in the planning process. Provides additional eligibility requirements for a greater Federal share for transportation planning activities in lower-density and lower-income portions of metropolitan areas and adjoining rural areas.
Agency of Jurisdiction: DOT – Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) – FTA
Eligible Grantees: Federal, state, or local government entities.
Timing: Immediately. A State or metropolitan planning organization that carries out an activity must report to the Secretary of Transportation, in a form as determined by the Secretary, the impact of the increased government share for transportation.
Federal Cost-share: The federal government share of the cost of an activity funded using amounts made available under this section cannot exceed 80% of the cost of the activity unless the Secretary determines that it is in the interests of the federal government.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AND SAFETY PROGRAM
Includes provisions to enhance state safety oversight programs by strengthening rail inspection practices. Also, includes provisions to enhance practices related to the development of transit agency safety plans, improve safety training, reduce assaults on vehicle operators, and institute measures to reduce vehicular and pedestrian accidents involving buses.
Agency of Jurisdiction: DOT – FTA
Eligibility: Projects that are reasonably likely to assist the recipient in meeting the performance targets, including modifications to rolling stock and de-escalation training.
Timing: No later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation must issue each special directive.
GRANTS FOR BUSES AND BUS FACILITIES
Increases the minimum allotment for States and territories from $1.75M to $5M and encourages utilization of innovative procurement practices. Also, raises the rural set-aside for the “Buses and Bus Facilities” competitive grant program to 15%, up from the current 10% requirement. The funds are to ensure that lower-emission buses and vehicles, including natural gas-powered buses and vehicles, are eligible for no less than 25% of funds made available under the program.
Agency of Jurisdiction: DOT – FTA – Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program
Eligible Grantees: Eligible projects are to relate to the acquisition or leasing of low or no emission buses or bus facilities that make greater reductions in energy consumption and harmful emissions, including direct carbon emissions, than comparable standard buses or other low- or no- emission buses. Applicants are required to submit a zero-emission fleet transition plan, including a workforce transition plan, and provides funding for such activities.
Timing: No later than 30 days after the date on which amounts are made available, and no earlier than 75 days after the date on which the solicitation expires; or the end of the fiscal year in which the Secretary solicited the grant applications.
Notes: No less than 15% of the amounts made available are to be distributed to projects in rural areas.
METRO SAFETY ACCOUNTABILITY AND INVESTMENT
Authorizes $750M federal funding for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) through fiscal year 2030 at current annual levels, matched by funding from Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Additionally, the section requires improvements in oversight, governance, and support of WMATA’s Inspector General.
Agency of Jurisdiction: DOT – FTA
Eligible Grantees: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Timing: FY 2022 to 2030. The Transit Authority cannot expend any amounts received until the General Manager of the Transit Authority certifies to the Secretary of Transportation that the Transit Authority has implemented: a process that aligns projects to the strategic goals of the Transit Authority; and a process to develop total project costs and alternatives for all major capital projects.