Massachusetts state government awards $37 million to transit operators

Massachusetts state government awards $37 million to transit operators Image credit: MassDOT

Massachusetts state government has awarded $37 million in grant funding to transit operators through three grant programs. The funding will go to Regional Transit Authorities (RTA), Councils on Aging and other entities for vehicles, to support fleet electrification, to enhance and expand existing transit services, expand service hours, improve rural connectivity and assist with operating and capital expenses. 

Under the Community Transit Grant Program (CTGP), $20 million will be used to purchase vehicles for public transportation needs and more than $2 million to expand mobility for older adults, people with disabilities and low-income individuals. Vehicles to be procured include a range of minivans and cutaway vehicles, varying in size to accommodate a range of fleet needs. All models are wheelchair accessible.

FY 2024 CTGP Vehicle Cycle awards are going to 43 applicants for a total of $19.72 million to fund 168 vehicles. FY 2024 state budget allotted $4 million to expand the CTGP to fund projects expanding mobility for older adults, people with disabilities, and low-income individuals. Just under $2 million of that funding was awarded in November 2023. The remaining $2.14 million was awarded to 11 projects.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Rail and Transit Division is distributing federal 5310 and state Mobility Assistance Program (MAP) funding. Federal 5310 funds can pay for up to 80 percent of the cost of each vehicle. Massachusetts councils on aging, nonprofits, and municipalities must pay a 20 percent match. The state’s 15 RTAs are eligible for fully funded vehicles with state MAP funds providing a 20 percent match. 

Through the Regional Transit Innovation Grant (RTIG) program, $15 million is being awarded to increase operating and capital funding for transit providers, with 48 percent of the funding going to rural areas. The program was funded through the FY 2024 state budget.

Eligible RTIG project types include innovative service delivery models, expanded service hours or weekend service, rural connectivity, connectivity improvements across regional transit authority service areas, electrification, infrastructure, and capital investments. Out of 60 applications, 18 received funding.