September 30, 2010
The final grant for public transit under the the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), a.k.a. “the stimulus,” was awarded on Sept. 29 when U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a $2.2 million grant for Indiana’s Greater Lafayette Public Transportation Corporation, or “CityBus.”
Stimlus transit projects have created nearly 10,000 jobs across the county, according to the U.S. DOT.
CityBus will use the $2.2 million to install three wind turbine units that will cut energy costs for three transit buildings in Lafayette, Indiana. The turbines are expected to generate 72,000 kilowatt hours per year, enough to power the entire facility.
“The Recovery Act is making a difference in Lafayette and in cities and communities across America,” LaHood said in a preparted statement from the U.S. DOT. “It has let us strengthen our transportation infrastructure and create thousands of jobs when we urgently need them.”
The final grant was awarded competitively under the Transit Investment in Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) program, which made $100 million in Recovery Act dollars available for grants to transit agencies for capital projects that reduce energy consumption of the transit agency or reduce greenhouse gas emissions of the transit agency, or both.
Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff notes, “All across America, workers are on the job, assembling buses and vans, rehabilitating rail systems and expanding transit opportunities that will improve our quality of life, lower our dependence on oil, and save taxpayers money in the long run.”
Under the Recovery Act, the Federal Transit Administration awarded 1,072 grants for a total of $8.78 billion. In addition to money from the TIGGER program, $6.0 billion in Recovery Act grants were awarded for transit capital assistance for urban areas, $743 million for new construction, $743 for fixed guideway infrastructure improvement, $746 million for transit capital assistance in non-urbanized areas, and $17 million for the Tribal Transit program. Additionally, $443 million in Federal Highway Administration Surface Transportation Program dollars were transferred to transit projects at the request of local officials.
Recovery Act money has been used to pay for more than 12,000 buses, vans and rail vehicles; more than $4.5 billion in transit infrastructure construction or renovation; and more than $730 million in preventive maintenance. These improvements have helped to save transit service and jobs, while enhancing safety and service reliability.