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New FTA Funds Now Available; Seeking Sustainability, Livability Proposals

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced June 29 the availability of $101.4 million in competitive federal funding for transit providers to propose innovative projects that create “green” jobs, promote the use of clean fuels, and cut the nation’s dependence on oil.

“This money supports President Obama’s plan to improve the environment and secure America’s energy future,” said LaHood. “These investments will improve public transportation access for millions of Americans—all while reducing our dependence on oil, curbing air pollution, and easing pain at the gas pump.”

The money is being provided competitively through the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) Fiscal Year 2011 Sustainability Initiative, which includes funding from two programs: $51.5 million from the Clean Fuels Grant Program and $49.9 million from the Transit Investment in Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) III Program.

“With high gasoline prices hitting families hard, investments in transit are more important than ever,” said FTA Administrator Peter M. Rogoff. “By giving Americans more transportation choices, we’re providing a win for their pocketbooks and for the environment.”

Clean Fuels grant recipients will be chosen through a competitive selection process based on their ability to help communities achieve or maintain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone and carbon monoxide, while supporting emerging clean fuel and advanced propulsion technologies for transit buses. TIGGER III grants, which will also use a competitive selection process, will be awarded based on a project’s ability to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and provide a return on the investment.

For a list of all FTA FY 2011 Discretionary Funding Programs, click here.

FTA also released notices of availability of Fiscal Year 2011 discretionary funds under its Livability Funding Opportunity Program and the $750 million State of Good Repair Initiative, and a solicitation of project proposals. Complete proposals must be submitted no later than July 29, 2011.

The FTA notice covers two programs in support of DOT’s Livability Initiative: Bus and Bus Facilities grants, also known as the Bus Livability Program, and the Alternatives Analysis Program.

Funding for the Bus Livability Program will use at least $150 million in available FY 2011 Discretionary Bus and Bus Facilities Program funds, while the Alternatives Analysis program will be funded using up to $25 million in FY 2010 and FY 2011 discretionary funds. These discretionary program funds will be distributed in accordance with the mission of each program and in support of DOT’s Livability Initiative and the Partnership for Sustainable Communities comprising DOT, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The announcement is available online. All proposals must be submitted electronically; a synopsis of each funding opportunity will be posted in the FIND module of that site. FTA will announce final selections for each program on its web site and in the Federal Register.

For general information on the Bus Livability Program, contact Bryce McNitt. Regarding the Alternatives Analysis Program, contact Kenneth Cervenka.
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