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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, as enacted in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, authorizes up to $108 billion for public transportation – the largest federal investment in public transportation in the nation’s history. The legislation will advance public transportation in America’s communities through four key priorities: 

  • Safety: Enhancing state safety oversight programs by strengthening rail inspection practices to protect transit workers and riders from injuries and ensure safe access to transit.
  • Modernization: Reducing the state of good repair investment backlog by repairing and upgrading aging transit infrastructure and modernizing bus and rail fleets.
  • Climate: Replacing thousands of transit vehicles, including buses and ferries, with cleaner, greener vehicles. 
  • Equity: Improving transit service for communities that have historically had more limited access to transit and provide for substantial upgrades to station accessibility.

All of FTA's discretionary grant programs will focus on promoting equity throughout our transportation systems and supporting the transit industry's important role in combatting climate change.

Learn More

See FTA’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Program fact sheets
Attend FTA's Webinar
sign up to receive updates Sign up to receive updates via email

Overview

Congress establishes the funding for FTA programs through authorizing legislation that amends Chapter 53 of Title 49 of the U.S. Code. On November 5, Congress sent President Biden the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for signature. The legislation reauthorizes surface transportation programs for FY 2022-2026 and provides advance appropriations for certain programs. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law authorizes up to $108 billion to support federal public transportation programs, including $91 billion in guaranteed funding.

The highlights below reflect funding for the five-year authorization period.

Highlights

Safety

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will enhance state safety oversight programs by strengthening rail inspection practices, protecting transit workers and riders from injuries, and ensuring safe access to transit. FTA’s Public Transportation Safety Program is updated to reinforce State Safety Oversight (SSO) programs, including strengthening rail inspection practices. Additional SSO updates will improve safety training, work to reduce assaults on vehicle operators, encourage development of transit agency safety plans, and institute measures to reduce vehicular and pedestrian accidents involving buses. 

FTA will also add content to the national public transportation safety plan – in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services – to include safety measures for riders and transit workers during a public health emergency. Recipients of Urbanized Area Formula grants will certify that agency safety plans are consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health authority guidelines to minimize exposure to infectious disease.

Modernization

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law's significant investment in transit will help repair and upgrade aging transit infrastructure and modernize bus and rail fleets.

  • Urbanized Area Formula Grants: Increased to more than $33.5 billion to provide funding for transit capital and operating assistance in urbanized areas, and for transportation-related planning.
     
  • Rural Programs:
    • Rural Area Formula Grants: Increased to more than $4.58 billion to support 1,300 rural transit systems by enabling them to purchase transit vehicles and infrastructure, plan transit more effectively, and fund operations.
    • A new program provides $1 billion on a competitive basis for essential ferry service in rural areas, with another $1 billion authorized for Congress to make available in the future.
       
  • Capital Investment Grants (CIG): Funded up to $23 billion, with $8 billion guaranteed to invest in new high-capacity transit projects that communities choose to build.
     
  • State of Good Repair Grants: America's transit systems have a combined repair backlog of more than $105 billion. The legislation provides $23.1 billion over five years for grants to fund the repair and maintenance of transit systems.
    • A new competitive grant program under the State of Good Repair Grants program provides an annual $300 million for competitive rail vehicle replacement, specifically to replace rail rolling stock that is past its useful life.
       
  • Public Transportation Innovation Program: FTA will continue to lead an integrated and robust program to advance innovative public transportation research and development, using $193 million for transit research activities.
     
  • Technical Assistance and Workforce Development: Using $62 million, FTA will continue to provide technical assistance that enables more effective and efficient delivery of public transportation services, develops standards and best practices, and addresses public transportation workforce needs.

Climate

Funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will support replacement of thousands of transit vehicles, including buses and ferries, with low- and no-emission vehicles.

  • $5.6 billion in Low- or No- Emission Bus Grants to transition to low- or zero-emission buses and purchase fueling and maintenance infrastructure.
  • A pilot program to support the transition of passenger ferries to low- or zero-emission technologies, providing at least $250 million to electric, low-emission ferries.

Equity

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides additional funding to advance equitable public transportation planning and operations.

  • All Station Accessibility Program: This new program provides $1.75 billion in competitive grants to state or local governments to upgrade the accessibility of legacy rail fixed guideway systems for people with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs.
     
  • Transportation planning: The legislation includes more support for planning activities
    • Provides a greater federal share for transportation planning activities for lower-density and lower-income portions of metropolitan areas and adjoining rural areas.
    • Requires the inclusion of geographic service area coverage as a reporting requirement in the National Transit Database.
    • To advance equity in public transportation planning, encourages metropolitan planning organizations to expand consideration of housing and planning for affordable housing in the transit planning process.
       
  • Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities: Increases funding to $2.2 billion to help states, transit agencies, and nonprofit organizations meet the transportation needs of older adults and people with disabilities.

Additional Resources

  • To support the implementation of these historic investments and new programs for public transportation under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, see FTA’s fact sheets (coming soon) for transit agencies, recipients of federal funding, and other transit stakeholders.
  • FTA will schedule webinars to provide more information about the legislation and its programs in the coming weeks and months.
  • Sign up to receive updates via email. Sign up to receive updates via email

Last updated: Monday, December 6, 2021