The state has been awarded around $45 million in federal money to improve public transportation, with more than $6 million of that going to transit systems in northeastern North Carolina and the Wilmington area.
North Carolina Department of Transportation officials announced Thursday the grants, which come from a U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration program, Bus and Low- and No-Emission Grant Awards. This program aims to help public transportation providers improve service and shift to low- and zero-emission transit buses.
NCDOT’s Integrated Mobility Division applied for and will administer the funds.
“These grants will improve public transportation services for several North Carolina communities by modernizing aging transit facilities and converting buses from diesel to electric,” Ryan Brumfield, director of the Integrated Mobility Division, said in a statement.
The northeastern North Carolina public transit system, Inter-County Public Transportation Authority, has been awarded $3.3 million to build an operations and maintenance facility to service and repair fleet vehicles. The grant also will help the system improve services for the authority’s region of Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Pasquotank and Perquimans counties.
Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority, which operates as Wave Transit, has been awarded $2.86 million to buy compressed natural gas buses for the Wilmington region. The low-emission buses will replace older diesel vehicles to help improve air quality.
Other awards for improvements include $30.89 million to Charlotte Area Transit System, $1.2 million to High Point Transit System, $2.16 million to the town of Chapel Hill, $1.67 million to Research Triangle Regional Public Transportation Authority, $2.2 million to Watauga County’s public transportation system, and $280,000 to Columbus County Transportation.
The Federal Transit Administration announced Monday the 130 awards totaling nearly $1.7 billion from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides funding to advance equitable public transportation planning and operations.
“Every day, over 60,000 buses in communities of all sizes take millions of Americans to work, school, and everywhere else they need to go,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Monday in the release for the nationwide awards. “Today’s announcement means more clean buses, less pollution, more jobs in manufacturing and maintenance, and better commutes for families across the country.”