FTA announces key priorities, public transit funding under infrastructure law

Law expected to boost transit funding for communities all over the country by an average of 30%

November 16, 2021 / 1 minute read
public transit funding

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced key priorities and funding for public transportation as a result of President Biden signing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law.

The law authorizes up to $108 billion, including $91 billion in guaranteed funding for public transportationwhich FTA says is the most significant federal investment in transit in the nation’s history.

The agency also says the law will boost transit funding for communities all over the country by an average of 30%—helping communities address maintenance backlogs, modernize, and expand. The new funding provided under the bill will help transit agencies reduce the current maintenance backlog by 15% and replace more than 500 aging subway, light rail, and commuter rail cars. It will further modernize the nation’s transit fleet by replacing more than 10,000 fossil-fuel powered transit vehicles with cleaner electric or low-emission transit vehicles. 

"As the transit industry renews ridership, this historic support will help us transform the way we plan and use public transportation in the United States," FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez said in a statement. "Long-overdue investments in transit infrastructure will deliver new and expanded public transit services, especially in communities that have suffered from historical funding inequities."

Key priorities for public transportation under the infrastructure law include: 

  • Safety: Enhancing state safety oversight programs by strengthening rail inspection practices, protecting transit workers and riders from injuries, and ensuring safe access to transit.
  • Modernization: Reducing the maintenance backlog by repairing and upgrading aging transit infrastructure and modernizing bus and rail fleets.
  • Climate: Funding will support replacement of thousands of transit vehicles, including buses and ferries, with cleaner, greener vehicles. 
  • Equity: Investments will improve transit service for communities that have historically had more limited access to transit and provide for substantial upgrades to accessibility.

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SOURCE: Federal Transit Administration

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