Funding Alert! Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities

Department of Transportation – Federal Transit Administration

Does your state or local government operate a bus service? The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is now accepting proposals for its 2021 Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program. The goal of CCAMPIS is to support the financing of buses and bus facilities projects. Eligible expenses include purchasing or leasing buses and purchasing, rehabilitating, constructing, or leasing bus-related facilities. Proposals for this program are due November 19, 2021.

Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants include state or local governments and Indian tribes that operate fixed route bus services. Award recipients may choose to allocate funding to public agencies or private nonprofit organizations that are engaged in public transportation.

What are the program details?

Applicants to the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program may propose to use funding for the capital expenses described above. Proposed project activities can include both vehicle- and facility-related components. In addition, applicants may dedicate up to 0.5% of the requested grant amount for workforce development activities and another 0.5% for employee training at the National Transit Institute. Applicants must demonstrate that their proposed projects align with local and regional priorities and long-range planning documents.

FTA will evaluate applications based on the proposed project’s potential to accomplish one or more of the following activities:

  • Improve the condition of, or otherwise modernize, the transit system;
  • Improve the reliability of transit service for its riders;
  • Enhance access and mobility within the service area and for the transit-riding public;
  • Repair or replace assets that are in poor condition/have surpassed their minimum intended useful life benchmarks; and
  • Reduce the frequency of breakdowns/other service interruptions.

This program requires a 20% non-federal share of the net project costs. Some exceptions do apply, however; for example, for applicants seeking to comply or maintain compliance with the Clean Air Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act, the federal share for purchasing new vehicles is capped at 85%. The federal share for acquiring, installing, or constructing equipment or facilities is a maximum of 90%.

The funder expects to award 125 total grants with a maximum three-year project period. Individual grant awards cannot exceed 10% of the total funding available, which is $409.59 million for fiscal year 2021.

What makes a project a good fit?

The Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program offers priority consideration to projects with several types of characteristics. First, FTA will give priority consideration to projects that support the government-wide Justice40 initiative, with the goal of deliver 40% of the overall benefits of relevant federal investments to disadvantaged communities.

FTA will also prioritize projects that have the potential to create significant community benefits relating to the environment. This includes projects that incorporate low- or no-emission technology or that address greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts.

Finally, FTA will prioritize applications that support racial equity in related planning and policies, and/or project investments that either proactively address or redress prior racial inequities and barriers to opportunity.

What if I am ready to apply? To move your project forward, take the following action steps as soon as possible:

What if I need help with this application?

Contact Assel Grant Services (AGS) today! Our team can help with all aspects of preparing the application and managing the grant if you are awarded. If you would like to discuss this possibility, please contact AGS as soon as possible. Rosie Brennan, Community Engagement Specialist, will be happy to talk with you about this opportunity and provide you a quote for grant services.

What if I am not ready to apply this year?

Start preparing for next year! The Federal Transit Administration also has a variety of other programs and funding opportunities available that might be a good fit for entities engaged in local public transit systems. The office’s Grant Programs page has ample resources, webinars, and descriptions of available or upcoming opportunities.

How do I learn more about federal grant proposal writing, so my application is more likely to be successful?

AGS is excited to offer a new Federal Grants Training Series throughout 2021! The series is designed to support nonprofit leaders before and during the application process. AGS also offers several on demand webinars on a variety of topics to support the full grant cycle. Check out our website to learn more and sign up for our training newsletter.

AGS blogs, funding alerts, and trainings are aligned with the Grant Professional Certification Institute’s Competencies and Skills

Competency #1: Knowledge of how to research, identify, and match funding resources to meet specific needs

Skill 1.2: Identify major trends in public funding and public policy

Skill 1.6: Identify fundable programs and projects for specific organization

Skill 1.7: Determine best matches between funders and specific programs