Biden-Harris Administration to provide $20.5 billion in federal funding to support transit systems, boost communities

Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced that $20.5 billion in federal funding, part of the largest investment in public transit in U.S. history, is available to support public transportation in communities throughout the country thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. This is the latest round of funding made possible thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to investing in our nation’s transit systems in communities of all sizes, improving transportation for all Americans.

The investments will help people get to work, school, healthcare appointments, and other destinations via subways, light rail, buses, and ferry systems. Transit is such an important part of the transportation system because it drives economic growth, improves equity, and is inherently a climate-friendly option. By allowing transit providers to move forward with applications for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 federal support, the funding will help communities:

  • expand, modernize, maintain, and operate public transportation systems;
  • upgrade stations, tracks, and maintenance facilities;
  • plan and design new transit corridors; and
  • provide access for seniors and riders with disabilities.

The full-year FY 2024 funding is detailed in apportionment tables that specify funding to states, urbanized areas, and tribal governments based on statutory formulas and funding levels set by Congress. The apportionment tables allow transit agencies and grant recipients to view the amounts for programs by state and urbanized area so they can better plan and manage new and expanded transit projects that benefit their communities. Each year, more than 65 percent of the funding provided by FTA comes from the formula programs being announced today.

“As part of President Biden’s infrastructure plan, we’re making history’s biggest-ever federal investment in transit – trains, buses, ferries, and more – so people can reliably and affordably get to wherever they need to be,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This $20.5 billion investment in public transportation will support the daily lives of millions of Americans across the country and help communities expand access to economic opportunity.”

This year, based on population changes from the 2020 Census, some areas will see changes to funding amounts due to factors such as new urbanized area boundaries. Specifically, some population fluctuations result in regions exceeding or falling below the 50,000-population threshold for urbanized areas. Other thresholds within the urban programs determine whether funds are apportioned to the states or directly to urbanized areas. In addition, the formulas use transit agencies’ ridership data from 2022, which reflects post-pandemic changes in travel patterns.

“We are pleased to provide billions of dollars in federal support to communities thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said FTA Acting Administrator Veronica Vanterpool. “Transit funds reach communities large and small, which depend on this funding to start new projects, fix old infrastructure, and ensure fast, safe, convenient service.”

Formula-based grant programs include funding for transit systems in both urbanized and rural areas, grants for buses and bus facilities, transit designed for seniors and people with disabilities, planning funds, and support to improve the condition of transit assets. The tables allow transit providers to view the amounts for programs set by statutorily defined formulas to better plan and manage projects and address their repair backlogs.

Earlier this year, FTA released $9.9 billion in partial-year apportionments reflecting formula funding available for five months (October 1, 2023, to March 1, 2024) at FY 2023 levels while the federal government operated under a Continuing Resolution. The partial-year funding, which provided transit agencies an opportunity to draw down formula funding for time-sensitive needs, is a subset of the full-year amounts being announced today.