Bus and Bus Facilities (5309, 5318)
The transit capital investment program (49 U.S.C. 5309) provides capital assistance for three primary activities:
New and replacement buses and facilities (Bus and Bus Related Equipment and Facilities program).
Modernization of existing rail systems (Fixed Guideway Modernization program).
New fixed guideway systems (New Starts program and Small Starts).
The Bus and Bus Related Equipment and Facilities and Bus Testing Facility
The Bus and Bus Related Equipment and Facilities program (Bus program) provides capital assistance for new and replacement buses, related equipment, and facilities. It is a discretionary program to supplement formula funding in both urbanized and rural areas.
Section 5318 is the Bus Testing Facility program. Under this program, one facility is used for testing a new bus model for maintainability, reliability, safety, performance (including braking performance), structural integrity, fuel economy, emissions, and noise. The program is administered under the Section 5309 Bus and Bus Related Equipment and Facilities program.
Eligible recipients under the Bus program are States and local governments, as well as subrecipients, such as public agencies, private companies engaged in public transportation and private non-profit organizations.
Private companies engaged in public transportation are eligible sub recipients of FTA grants. Private operators may now receive FTA funds as a pass through without competition if they are included in a program of projects submitted by the designated public authority acting as the direct recipient of a grant.
Eligible capital projects include the purchasing of buses for fleet and service expansion, bus maintenance and administrative facilities, transfer facilities, bus malls, transportation centers, intermodal terminals, park-and-ride stations, acquisition of replacement vehicles, bus rebuilds, bus preventive maintenance, passenger amenities such as passenger shelters and bus stop signs, accessory and miscellaneous equipment such as mobile radio units, supervisory vehicles, fare boxes, computers and shop and garage equipment.
49 U.S.C 5309(b)(3)
Funds remain available for obligation for three fiscal years. This includes the fiscal year in which the amount is made available or appropriated plus two additional years.
Allocation of Funding
Historically, the program has been fully earmarked. However, if the program is not fully earmarked, unallocated or discretionary funds may be available. Such funds may be allocated at the discretion of the Secretary of Transportation.
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.