The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recently awarded more than $12 million in competitive grant funds to improve bus transit service in central Illinois.
The grants will enable transit agencies to modernize bus fleets, improve service and enhance safety for riders. Officials from the FTA and Connect Transit celebrated the grant awards at an event in Bloomington and highlighted the benefits of bus transit for central Illinois residents.
Connect Transit in Bloomington was selected for a grant through FTA’s competitive Bus and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment program, which helps transit agencies nationwide replace and rehabilitate buses and bus infrastructure. Connect Transit will receive a grant of $6 million to buy battery electric buses to replace aging diesel buses in its fleet. Connect Transit operates 15 fixed bus routes and a paratransit service in the cities of Bloomington and Normal, Ill., providing 2.3 million rides annually.
In Illinois, two other projects were selected to receive grants under the program. The city of Decatur will receive a grant of $4.6 million to replace buses that have exceeded their useful life. The Illinois Department of Transportation will receive $2.3 million in funding to replace buses and improve bus facilities around the state. A total of 107 projects in 50 states and territories were selected to receive $366.2 million in this latest round of funding under the program. In FY 2018, FTA has awarded more than $15 billion in funding through both formula and competitive grant programs to support public transportation.