U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced $36.5 million in federal funding for Massachusetts to replace aging buses and transit facilities that will improve service for thousands of people who take public transit every day. The three projects are among 255 projects in 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico selected to receive a share of $787 million in funding.
"President Obama's support for an America built to last is putting people back to work across the country, including here in Massachusetts, modernizing our nation's roads, rails, bridges, and public transit systems," said Secretary LaHood. "By investing in the transit infrastructure people depend on to get where they need to go each day, we will keep our economy moving forward well into the future."
Secretary LaHood was in Springfield today to announce one of the projects, a $17.6 million grant to help the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority replace the century-old Union Station in downtown Springfield. The new facility will offer a single convenient location to board local and intercity bus and rail service. The Secretary was joined at the event by Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal and other state and local officials.
"These funds will go a long way to make transportation easier, more convenient, and more efficient for travelers in New England, with convenient access to Bradley International Airport and enhanced rail service to Boston," said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff.
A map of this year's projects, along with a searchable table, can be found here: http://www.fta.dot.gov/about/12322_14741.html
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) also announced funding for two additional Massachusetts projects:
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority: $15 million to replace aging buses with new energy-efficient vehicles which will reduce emissions, lower operating costs, and better meet the needs of Boston-area commuters.
Pioneer Valley Transit Authority: $3.96 million to replace a century-old operations and maintenance facility in downtown Springfield with a new, more efficient facility that will be better equipped to repair and maintain a growing fleet of buses.
Generally, a transit authority with a fleet of about 20 buses that upgrades from standard diesel to hybrid-electric power can expect to save roughly $200,000 in fuel costs over a year.
The funds are provided through FTA's FY2012 State of Good Repair and Bus Livability programs. The selection process was highly competitive, with FTA receiving 836 project applications representing $4 billion in funding requests from transit providers. In FY2010 and FY2011, FTA awarded a total of more than $1.8 billion in grants for hundreds of state of good repair projects, primarily involving buses and bus facilities.