The Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program (49 U.S.C. 5339) makes federal resources available to states and direct recipients to replace, rehabilitate and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct bus-related facilities including technological changes or innovations to modify low or no emission vehicles or facilities. Funding is provided through formula allocations and competitive grants. A sub-program, the Low- or No-Emission Vehicle Program, provides competitive grants for bus and bus facility projects that support low and zero-emission vehicles.
- U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced during a transit industry call on March 26 that deadlines for current FTA competitive grant programs will be extended for 30 days amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The deadline for the Bus and Bus Facilities Program Notice of Funding Opporunity is now April 29.
- On January 30, 2020, FTA announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity to apply for approximately $454.6 million in Fiscal Year 2020 competitive grant funding for transit bus projects.
- A webinar was held on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, to provide details on the FY 2020 NOFO application process. A recording and transcript of the presentation are now available.
Eligible applicants include designated recipients that allocate funds to fixed route bus operators, states or local governmental entities that operate fixed route bus service, and Indian tribes. Eligible subrecipients include all otherwise eligible applicants and also private nonprofit organizations engaged in public transportation.
Subrecipients include eligible recipients that receive grant funding under the formula or discretionary programs may allocate amounts from the grant to subrecipients that are public agencies or private nonprofit organizations engaged in public transportation.
Capital projects to replace, rehabilitate and purchase buses, vans, and related equipment, and to construct bus-related facilities, including technological changes or innovations to modify low or no emission vehicles or facilities.
49 U.S.C. Section 5339 / FAST Act Section 3017
Funds remain available for obligation for four fiscal years. This includes the fiscal year in which the amount is made available or appropriated plus three additional years.
Allocation of Funding
There are three components to this program. The first is a continuation of the formula bus program established on under MAP-21. The remaining two components include the bus and bus facilities competitive program based on asset age and condition, and a low or no emissions bus deployment program. A pilot provision allows designated recipients in in urbanized areas between 200,000 and 999,999 in population to participate in voluntary state pools to allow transfers of formula funds between designated recipients during the period of the authorized legislation.
The federal share of eligible capital costs is 80 percent of the net capital project cost, unless the grant recipient requests a lower percentage. The Federal share may exceed 80 percent for certain projects related to the ADA, the Clean Air Act (CAA), and certain bicycle projects.
The application period for the FY20 Buses and Bus Facilities Program closes on April 29, 2020.