Contact: Angela Gates
BALTIMORE – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced $45 million in federal funding for Maryland to replace aging buses and transit facilities that will improve service for thousands of people who take public transit every day. The five 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 Maryland, 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.”
Secretary LaHood was in Baltimore today to announce one of the projects, a $40 million grant to replace Baltimore’s 65-year-old Kirk Bus Facility. The new, environmentally sustainable facilities will be better equipped to repair and maintain a growing fleet of clean-fuel buses which will help reduce operating costs. The Secretary was joined at the event by Maryland Senator Ben Cardin and Congressman Elijah Cummings and other state and local officials.
“This project will create good local construction jobs in Northeast Baltimore and help more than 350 local transit employees do an even better job maintaining a growing fleet of new, energy-efficient buses that are currently serviced elsewhere,” said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff.
FTA also announced funding for four additional projects in Maryland:
- Maryland Transit Administration: $1.65 million for safety and accessibility improvements, including an expanded waiting area at Baltimore’s Cherry Hill transit hub which connects city bus and light rail service.
- Allegheny County Transit: $528,222 to Allegheny County in western Maryland to replace aging buses with new vehicles equipped with wheelchair lifts to serve seniors, people with disabilities, and other transit-dependent riders.
- Town of Ocean City: $2 million to help replace aging buses with new fuel-efficient vehicles that will reduce emissions, save on fuel, and meet the needs of eight million summer tourists.
- Maryland Department of Transportation: An $800,000 transit asset management grant to help the state develop and implement new and improved ways to manage and maintain the condition of transit facilities and equipment statewide.
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.
The funds are provided through FTA’s FY2012 State of Good Repair and Bus Livability programs. The selection process was highly competitive, with FTA receiving 836 project applications representing $4 billion in funding requests from transit providers. 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.