MO Transit Sees Significant Wins with Federal RAISE Grant Funding

Today, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg joined Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn and others in South Carolina to announce that the Biden-Harris Administration has awarded more than $2.2 billion from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program to 162 different infrastructure projects across the country. Today’s funding includes more than $27 million in funding to two Missouri Transit properties.

The City of Columbia (GoCOMO) received a $23.1 million RAISE grant for a Transportation Center project. Funds for this project will construct three transit improvements that include remodeling the transit maintenance and parking facility, the addition of an upgraded time point located at the City’s new Opportunity Center, and upgraded bus stops along current routes. Environmental sustainability will be addressed by incorporating battery electric buses into the transit fleet, with the goal of having an all-electric fleet by 2032. The project will improve transit facilities that are beyond their useful life and in need of restoration and modernization, which will reduce maintenance burdens.

The second RAISE grant in Missouri was awarded to the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) for a planning project, Uniting Kansas City Through Transit.   This $4.5 million grant will be used to evaluate an east-west, high-capacity transit connection and complete streets enhancement between the University of Kansas Health System and Rock Island Corridor/Truman Sports Complex (Kauffman Stadium and Arrowhead Stadium).

The plan will analyze safety improvements such as the inclusion of medians and pedestrian refuge islands, road diets, lighting, and backplates. The project will help support a modal shift from personal vehicles to active transportation or transit in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The project involves collaboration amongst the City of Kansas City, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, UK Health System, KC Area Transportation Authority, and RideKC Streetcar.

“Receiving RAISE funding is very competitive and for Missouri to receive two transit RAISE awards is rare. This is particularly noteworthy as besides the competition factor, the number of overall transit awards were down from last year,” said Mark Bechtel, Deputy Regional Administrator, Federal Transit Administration – Region VII.

The RAISE grant program supports communities of all sizes, with half of the FY2023 funding going to rural areas and the other half to urban areas. Seventy percent of the grants are going to projects in regions defined as an Area of Persistent Poverty or a Historically Disadvantaged Community.

Like last year, demand for RAISE funding was higher than available funds. This year, DOT received $15 billion in requests for the $2.26 billion available.