U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has announced the Federal Transit Administration will award approximately $8.2 million in transit infrastructure funding to improve the safety and reliability of Massachusetts bus systems and enhance mobility for transit riders.

This Administration is committed to rebuilding our nation’s transportation infrastructure even through the current COVID-19 crisis, and this $464 million in federal grants will help improve the safety and reliability of transit bus service nationwide as the economy returns. ~ U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao

 

The funding will supports projects to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment, as well as projects to purchase, rehabilitate, and construct bus-related facilities at five regional transit authorities across the state including among them, Berkshire Regional Transit Authority. The BRTA, although I am listing it first, is fifth in the order of the amount of money being received:

In all the five projects in Massachusetts will receive a total of $8.2 million from FTA’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program. Here is the list and what each project is receiving:

Berkshire Regional Transit Authority will receive approximately $337,000 to replace mini buses that have exceeded their useful life and undertake repairs at its Intermodal Transportation Center and maintenance facility in Pittsfield. The project will improve state of good repair for the BRTA system, which serves 24 towns and the cities of Pittsfield and North Adams.

Lowell Regional Transit Authority will receive approximately $4.6 million to replace buses and related equipment that have exceeded their useful life. Replacing the aging equipment will improve safety and efficiency for LRTA riders in Lowell and 13 other northeast Massachusetts communities.

Pioneer Valley Transit Authority will receive approximately $1.5 million to replace bus wash systems in its in Northampton and UMass Amherst maintenance facilities that have exceeded their useful life and cannot accommodate paratransit vans. The new systems will increase safety and efficiency by adding capability to wash all vehicles in the fleet, conserve energy and water, and eliminate icy, dangerous conditions for bus drivers and pedestrians resulting from hand washing of vehicles.

The Montachusett Regional Transit Authority in Fitchburg will receive approximately $1 million to replace its fare collection system with a modernized version that will accept multiple payment methods and online farecard management. MART will implement the fare collection system in all transit and paratransit vehicles for greater continuity in the fleet.

Worcester Regional Transit Authority will receive approximately $722,600 for a new mobile fare payment system for its bus system to include rider-managed online accounts, fare capping to ensure lowest fares for any given trip and payment using a variety of media. The system also will enable WRTA to more accurately track riders by location and fare type.

Demand for FTA’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program far exceeded available funds, as FTA received 282 applications totaling approximately $1.8 billion in funding requests, from 51 states and territories. Project proposals were evaluated based on criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity.

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