pdf Attached (2.74 MB) is the transit funding section of the recently signed 2014 Transportation MOU which discusses the agreement between the Governor and the Legislature on the distribution of state capital funding for upstate and downstate suburban transit systems contained in the 2014-15 budget. This document describes how projects will be selected for the $5 m. in New York Works capital funding and the $10 m. in unallocated 2005 Transportation Bond Act funding.
The Commissioner of Transportation will have $5 m. available for transit projects that improve mobility, relieve traffic congestion, implement corridor-based solutions and promote intermodal connectivity. The process for accessing these funds is not yet available.
The other $10 m. will be available for capital projects recommended by the State Senate and Assembly and approved by the Commissioner of Transportation. Projects must be recommended within 60 days of enactment of the budget, have a minimum 10 year service life and and be supported by the local transit sponsor. Any transit capital activity allowed under current law is eligible, including but not limited to replacement of existing revenue vehicles or purchase of new vehicles for capacity expansion, rehabilitation or construction of passenger transfer or maintenance facilities, park and ride facilities, and deployment of new technologies that promote energy conservation. If you have a suitable transit project that meets these eligibility requirements, you may want to provide it to your local state legislator in the next week or two for consideration.
The MOU also references the $16.4 m. in unspent Bond Act funding that was originally allocated to individual transit systems. These funds are now available to those recipients with remaining funds for any eligible transit capital purpose. Those systems with unspent Bond Act funding should contact NYSDOT to discuss how to access this funding.
Note that the MOU also references the $5 m. already provided for transit capital projects in the SFY 2013-14 state budget. This is not new money, only a repeat of last year's appropriation.
NYPTA will provide more information on accessing these funds as it becomes available.
U.S. Department of Transportation Announces the Availability of $100 Million for New Ladders of Opportunity Initiative to Connect More Americans with Jobs
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced the availability of approximately $100 million in competitive grant funds through the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) new Ladders of Opportunity Initiative. The funds may be used to modernize and expand transit bus service specifically for the purpose of connecting disadvantaged and low-income individuals, veterans, seniors, youths, and others with local workforce training, employment centers, health care, and other vital services.
"Throughout our history, Americans have always been able to leave their children a brighter future, thanks in part to the opportunities transportation has provided," said Secretary Foxx. "Innovative initiatives like this one can offer people the ladders to success they need to join the middle class, provide for their families, and achieve a better quality of life."
Program funds may be used to purchase, replace, or rehabilitate transit buses and vans as well as to modernize or construct bus facilities (such as maintenance depots and intermodal facilities) in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Competitive proposals must also directly address ladders of opportunity for riders, including:
Enhancing access to work for individuals lacking ready access to transportation, especially in low-income communities;
Supporting economic opportunities by offering transit access to employment centers, educational and training opportunities, and other basic needs;
Supporting partnerships and coordinated planning among state and local governments and social, human service, and transportation providers to improve coordinated planning and delivery of workforce development, training, education, and basic services to veterans, seniors, youths, and other disadvantaged populations.
"Over half of the roughly 10 billion transit trips taken each year in the United States are by bus—and nearly half the buses people depend on are in marginal or poor condition," said FTA Deputy Administrator Therese McMillan. "This new initiative will help ensure that millions of riders can count on safe, efficient, reliable bus service that connects them with opportunities and services so essential to daily life."
Funding for FTA's Ladders of Opportunity Initiative is drawn from leftover/remaining discretionary grant funds originally available prior to the enactment of MAP-21, as part of FTA's Bus and Bus Facilities Program. FTA will cover up to 80 percent of the total project cost; a 20 percent local match is required.
A Notice of Funding Availability for the FTA Bus and Bus Facilities Program Ladders of Opportunity Initiative appears in today's Federal Register (PDF).