Grants follow recent $1 million investment to improve transit options for NC veterans and service members
Contact: David Longo
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced $14 million in federal funding for North Carolina to replace aging buses and transit facilities that will improve service for thousands of residents who take public transit every day. The four projects are among 255 projects in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico selected to receive a share of $787 million in funding.
“President Obama’s support for an America built to last is putting people back to work across the country, including here in North Carolina, modernizing our nation’s roads, rails, bridges and public transit systems,” said Secretary LaHood. “By investing in the transit infrastructure people depend on to get where they need to go each day, we will keep our economy moving forward well into the future.”
Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff was in Fayetteville today to announce an $8 million grant to the City of Fayetteville to help replace an outdated, temporary bus transfer center with a new, sustainable station. The new facility will contribute to downtown Fayetteville’s economic revitalization by leasing space to local businesses, restaurants, and shops near City Hall while also providing convenient access to many local bus routes.
“This station will provide a vital link for thousands of Fayetteville’s seniors, veterans, and working families who depend on local buses every day to get to the VA Hospital, Walmart, Cross Creek Mall, local universities, and other key destinations,” said Rogoff. “This is a great win for a city where bus ridership has grown dramatically in recent years, and where transit truly connects people with the opportunities and services they need.”
In addition to the Fayetteville grant, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced funding for three additional projects in North Carolina:
- City of Charlotte: $4 million to replace aging diesel buses with new hybrid buses that will reduce emissions, save on fuel, reduce maintenance costs and provide a more reliable ride.
- City of Concord: $2 million to replace aging buses with new hybrid-electric diesel buses that will improve air quality by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and provide a more comfortable, reliable ride.
- City of Rocky Mount: $80,000 to help Tar River Transit replace aging buses that have needed frequent repairs with new vehicles to lower maintenance costs and provide more reliable service to rural riders who depend on transit. The fuel savings provided by the new buses will make a significant impact on city budgets. Generally, a transit authority with a fleet of about 20 buses that upgrades from standard diesel to hybrid-electric power can expect to save roughly $200,000 in fuel costs over a year.
Reflecting the need for infrastructure investment, demand for the Federal Transit Administration’s FY2012 State of Good Repair and Bus Livability funds was overwhelming. FTA received 836 project applications requesting $4 billion. In FY2010 and FY2011, FTA awarded a total of more than $1.8 billion in grants for hundreds of state of good repair projects, primarily involving buses and bus facilities.
Today’s funding announcement follows a $46,680 grant awarded to the City of Fayetteville earlier this month through FTA’s Veterans Transportation Initiative to help Fort Bragg, the VA Medical Center, and surrounding counties create a website and call center providing information about transportation options and resources to more than 150,000 veterans, active duty military, and families in the area. In all, FTA has awarded more than $64 million in the past two fiscal years to better inform and coordinate transit options for our veterans, military personnel and their families. Learn more about FTA’s Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative here.