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American Public Transportation Association

 $775 Million for Bus and Bus Facilities and Other Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Funding Opportunities


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On Sunday, May 2, at the APTA Bus and Paratransit Conference in Cleveland, OH, FTA Administrator Peter M. Rogoff announced a new $775 million competitive grant program for its Bus and Bus Facilities “State of Good Repair” initiative.  These grants will be funded with unallocated Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 discretionary Bus and Bus Facilities Program funds.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has released several “Notices of Funding Availability (NOFA),” in recent weeks, outlining new discretionary grant opportunities for transit systems.  The NOFAs describe grant opportunities for funds that were previously appropriated or recaptured from expiring grants or Congressional earmarks.  A brief summary of the opportunities is highlighted below:

1. FY 2010 Discretionary Sustainability Funding Opportunity:  Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) Program, $75 million
Deadline: August 11, 2010

Project eligibility for this program is similar to the original TIGGER program.   Eligible projects under the program include (1) capital investments that will assist in reducing the energy consumption of a transit system; or (2) for capital investments that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions of a public transportation system.  The program establishes a project threshold minimum of $1 million and a maximum of $25 million.

Given the availability of other funds through other FTA FY 2010 discretionary programs such as the Bus and Bus Facilities and Clean Fuels programs, FTA will rate more favorably projects of national significance that incorporate innovative technologies such as electric drive that would not ordinarily be funded out of other FTA programs.

To view this NOFA, click here.

2. FY 2010 Discretionary Sustainability Funding Opportunity: Clean Fuels/Bus and Bus Facilities Program, $81.2 million
Deadline: June 16, 2010

This opportunity is to aid non-attainment and maintenance areas in achieving or maintaining the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone and Carbon monoxide (CO) and to support emerging clean fuel and advanced propulsion technologies and markets for transit buses.  Applicants must be in areas that are maintenance or non-attainment for ozone or CO.  For the Bus and Bus Facilities opportunity, the funds may be used in attainment areas.

To view this NOFA, click here.

3. FY 2010 Discretionary Bus and Bus Facilities Funding Opportunity: State of Good Repair (SGR) Bus and Bus Facilities Initiative, $775 million
Deadline: June 18, 2010

The SGR Bus initiative will make funds available to public transit providers to finance capital projects in order to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct/rehabilitate bus-related facilities, including programs of bus and bus related projects which may include assistance to subrecipients that are public agencies, private companies engaged in public transportation, or private non-profit organizations.

To view this NOFA, click here.

4. Interim Notice of Funding Availability, National Infrastructure Investment Grants, $600 million
Important Dates and Deadlines
• Request for Comments: May 7, 2010
• Final Notice of Funding Availability: May 28, 2010
• Pre-application Deadline:  July 16, 2010
• Final Application Deadline: August 23, 2010

This appropriation is similar to the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program authorized and implemented through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  As with the TIGER program, funds for the TIGER II Discretionary Grant program are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area, or a region.

DOT is seeking comments on its proposed multi-agency evaluation and award process with the Department of Housing and Urban Development for TIGER II programs.  This approach is consistent with DOT’s participation in the Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities with the Environment Protection Agency.

• TIGER II Discretionary Grants: Capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure with a $140 million minimum for projects in rural areas.  
• TIGER II TIFIA Payments, $150 million
• TIGER II Planning Grants, $35 million

To view this NOFA, click here.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy at DOT is hosting a seminar entitled “How to Compete for a DOT Discretionary Grant” on Tuesday, May 18 at 1 p.m. EDT in the DOT West Building Atrium, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC. The purpose of the seminar is to identify the key elements of competitive applications, provide information on developing benefit/cost analyses and present information on the program’s processes.  The seminar will also discuss information outlining the next round of discretionary grant awards for the $600 million TIGER II program.  To sign up, click here:

There will be a webcast available through the DOT website at

Senators to Release Climate Bill with Transportation Fees on Wednesday, May 12

Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) have continued to work on a climate bill and jointly issued a statement on Friday, May 7, that the product of their collaboration with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) will be released on Wednesday, May 12.  The announcement will be made without Senator Graham’s formal endorsement of the bill.  Graham has pulled back his support, at least temporarily, based on his opposition to consideration of an immigration reform bill this year.

Although the bill’s details have not yet been released, Senators Kerry, Graham and Lieberman continue to indicate that their bill will levy a pollution fee on motor fuels, in addition to establishing a cap on greenhouse gas emissions.  The Senators have also stated that using some portion of the revenue from those fees for transportation investment is under consideration.  The bill’s pollution fee for motor fuels will not be called a “linked fee,” the term the Senators originally proposed, but the legislation will still generate tens of billions of dollars annually from the fee on motor fuels.    

Last month, APTA organized a coalition letter with 26 national transportation groups calling for any new fees on motor fuels to be dedicated to investment in transit and surface transportation.  The enactment of new fees on motor fuels without ensuring that those fees are used for transportation investment would likely make it impossible to raise revenues needed to finance a multi-year authorization bill.  To view the letter, click here.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will also affect negotiations on climate legislation, but the political implications of the spill are not yet certain.  Several Democratic Senators have stated that they would oppose offshore drilling initiatives that the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman bill contains, a potentially serious obstacle, but environmental advocacy groups are highlighting the tragic consequences of the oil spill as evidence that our nation needs to pursue new clean energy sources which a climate bill would advance. The ultimate arbiter of these issues could be Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) who will schedule time for the bill on the Senate floor this summer only if he believes he can get the 60 Senate votes needed to overcome a filibuster. 

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