- The percentage of RAISE Grant funds awarded for public transportation-related projects in FY 2021 and FY 2022 remains markedly less than the historical average.
- Although DOT has partially reoriented the RAISE Grant Program to multimodal priorities in the last two years, APTA strongly urges the Secretary of Transportation to direct a significantly greater percentage of RAISE grant funds to vital public transit and passenger rail projects.
- Every $1 invested in public transportation generates $5 in economic returns, and every $1 billion invested in public transportation creates and supports approximately 50,000 jobs.
Washington, D.C. (February 28, 2023) – The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is calling on the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to support projects that will improve our nation’s public transit, passenger rail, and multimodal infrastructure in its selection of Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant recipients.
In a letter to Transportation Secretary Peter Buttigieg, APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas wrote, “The RAISE Grant program is an extremely valuable resource for communities to carry out critical public transportation programs, and we strongly urge the Department to direct a significantly greater percentage of RAISE grant funds to these vital, community-enhancing projects.”
In August 2022, DOT announced more than $2.2 billion in RAISE capital grant awards to 166 projects in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Of these funds, APTA estimates that DOT provided $418 million to 31 public transportation-related capital projects, equal to 18.6 percent of available funding. This is significantly less than the historical average, which was approximately 33 percent.
“We applaud the Department’s decision to prioritize improving racial equity, reducing the impacts of climate change, and creating good-paying jobs when evaluating RAISE project selections. Public transportation projects directly address each of these key priorities,” Skoutelas wrote. “Given the synergy of the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities and public transportation, we are confident that projects that support critical public transportation initiatives will rate very highly under RAISE grant criteria.”
For more information, see the APTA Policy Brief, RAISE Grants are Critical for Public Transportation Projects, February 2023.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public- and private-sector organizations which represent a $80 billion industry that directly employs 450,000 people and supports millions of private sector jobs. APTA members are engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products.