US DOT announces 5339 grants including MPTA members

The US DOT Announced the Sec. 5339 Bus and Bus Facilities Grants today.

The US Department of Transportation made an announcement today on federal funding grants under Sec. 5339  Bus and Bus Facility grant category.   Two MPTA members, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) and City Utilities of Springfield were awarded more than $11 million for investment in Missouri.  According to FTA, 61 projects were awarded investment in 41 states, amounting to $211 million. A total of 236 applicants in 47 states requested a total of $1.64 billion, demonstrating the severe shortfall in available investment.

The City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri, will receive $ 3,870,960 in grant funding for new buses and workforce development activities. KCATA will receive $ 8,986,350 in grant funding for multiple types of buses to replace vehicles that have met their useful life.

With the new FAST-Act in place since December, there are ongoing discussions about the fact that funding levels don’t match the demand for bus operating and capital needs — especially the need to expand funding to replace dilapidating fleet and facilities by looking at the age and mileage on the assets. This is a significant problem across the board for MPTA transit service providers in both the rural and urban areas of the state.

bus coalition funding image“Considering the state of funding for replacement vehicles falls significantly shorter than demand, we are happy to see MPTA providers like KCATA and City Utilities among those receiving 5339 funding this year for bus replacement. Realistically we know that rarely does the amount available meet the demand. However, the needs in our communities just demonstrated through the Bus Capital Competitive Program is more than 7 times greater than the available funds and this gap continues to widen rather than diminish,” said Kim Cella, MPTA Executive Director.