Good news! Last Monday, the Federal Transit Administration announced that Capital Metro’s was one of 152 applications selected to receive funds under their State of Good Repair competitive grant program. While you still have to submit a strong project to win any competitive funds, it helps to have the support of our Austin-area congressional delegation.
For the award, we’ll be receiving $2 million, which should allow us to purchase five buses. Over the next few years, Capital Metro will have to replace about half of the 400-plus buses in our bus fleet. Clearly this will cost a ton of money so every little bit helps.
With that philosophy in mind, Capital Metro tries to pursue as many possible grant opportunities as we can. Right now, we actually have a number of other federal grant applications in the hopper. These include applications for
- The DOT’s TIGER II program, where we’ve proposed a package of passenger and freight rail projects that include double-tracking and rail replacement.
- A DOT-HUD program, where we’ve jointly applied with other local entities such as CAMPO, the City of Austin and Envision Central Texas to, for example, develop tools and demonstration projects that will help achieve region-wide sustainability outcomes.
- The FTA’s TIGGER (II) program, which is also a joint endeavor with the City of Austin to upgrade lower-efficiency lighting at various Capital Metro locations and install a solar PV system at two locations, including one at which PV panels would be used to shade parked buses reducing the idling time needed to cool the buses.
- The FTA’s Alternatives Analysis program, where we’ve proposed a study to evaluate transit alternatives in the MoPac-IH-35 corridor from Georgetown to downtown Austin and upgrade CAMPO’s transportation model.
- The FRA’s Rail Line Relocation Program, which we’re currently developing a proposal for since the application is due at the end of this month.
We expect the feds to announce awards for a lot of these programs over the next few weeks so keep your fingers crossed! And we’ll keep you posted.