Funding: Total: $1,100,000,000 for Low-No and $372,000,000 for Buses and Bus Facilities. Maximum awards: 80-90% of net project cost.
Dates: Application Submission Deadline: May 31, 2022
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the opportunity to apply for approximately $1.1 billion in competitive grants under the fiscal year (FY) 2022 Low or No Emission Grant Program (Low-No Program) and approximately $372 million in FY 2022 funds under the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program. As required by Federal public transportation law, Low or No Emission Grant Program funds will be awarded competitively for the purchase or lease of low or no emission vehicles that use advanced technologies for transit revenue operations, including related equipment or facilities. As required by Federal public transportation law, Buses and Bus Facilities Program funds will be awarded competitively to assist in the financing of capital projects to replace, rehabilitate, purchase or lease buses and related equipment, and to rehabilitate, purchase, construct, or lease bus-related facilities. As these two programs have overlapping eligibilities and must be implemented on the same timeline as required by changes made by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (enacted as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act), FTA is publishing this joint NOFO. Per Federal public transportation law, FTA will award grants for these programs within 75 days after the date this solicitation expires from funds available for award at that time.
Project Topic Areas:
Under the Low-No Program, eligible projects include projects or programs of projects in an eligible area for: (1) Purchasing or leasing low or no emission buses; (2) acquiring low or no emission buses with a leased power source; (3) constructing or leasing facilities and related equipment for low or no emission buses; (4) constructing new public transportation facilities to accommodate low or no emission buses; or (5) rehabilitating or improving existing public transportation facilities to accommodate low or no emission buses. As required by Federal public transportation law, FTA will consider only eligible projects relating to the acquisition or leasing of low or no emission buses or bus facilities that make greater reductions in energy consumption and harmful emissions than comparable standard buses or other low or no emission buses.
Zero-emission projects will include costs for workforce development, unless the applicant certifies funds are not needed. In general, projects may include costs incidental to the acquisition of buses or to the construction of facilities, such as the costs of related workforce development and training activities, and project administration expenses. The Low-No Program provides funding to State (including territories and Washington DC), local governmental authorities, and tribal governments for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses, including acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities such as recharging, refueling, and maintenance facilities.
The 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) (enacted as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) appropriated an additional $1,029,000,000 for FY 2022 grants, for a total of $1,100,561,189 for grants under the Low-No program, subject to the availability of FY 2022 appropriated funding. A minimum of 25 percent of the amount awarded under the Low-No Program will be awarded to low emission projects other than zero emission vehicles and related facilities. FTA is announcing the availability of $372,341,813 for the Buses and Bus Facilities Program through this notice, subject to availability of FY 2022 appropriated funding. A minimum of 15 percent of the amount awarded under the Buses and Bus Facilities Program will be awarded to projects located in rural areas. No single grant recipient will be awarded more than 10 percent of the amount made available. An applicant may submit a low or no emissions project to both the Buses and Bus Facilities Program and the Low-No Program, or submit the project only to the Low-No Program or only to the Buses and Bus Facilities Program. The maximum Federal share for projects that involve leasing or acquiring transit buses (including clean fuel or alternative fuel vehicles) for purposes of complying with or maintaining compliance with the Clean Air Act (CAA) or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is 85 percent of the net project cost. The maximum Federal share for the cost of acquiring, installing, or constructing vehicle-related equipment or facilities (including clean fuel or alternative fuel vehicle-related equipment or facilities) for purposes of complying with or maintaining compliance with the CAA or ADA is 90 percent of the net project cost of such equipment or facilities that are attributable to compliance with the CAA or ADA. The award recipient must itemize the cost of specific, discrete, vehicle-related equipment associated with compliance with the CAA to be eligible for the maximum 90 percent Federal share for these costs. The Federal share of the cost of other projects shall not exceed 80 percent.
A low or no emission bus is defined as a passenger vehicle used to provide public transportation that sufficiently reduces energy consumption or harmful emissions, including direct carbon emissions, when compared to a standard vehicle. The statutory definition includes zero emission transit buses, which are defined as buses that produce no direct carbon emissions and no particulate matter emissions under any and all possible operational modes and conditions. Examples of zero emission bus technologies include, but are not limited to, hydrogen fuel-cell buses, battery-electric buses, and rubber tire trolley buses powered by overhead catenaries. Eligible projects for the Buses and Bus Facilities Program include capital projects to replace, rehabilitate, purchase, or lease buses, vans, or related equipment; or to rehabilitate, purchase, construct, or lease bus-related facilities regardless of propulsion type or emissions.
All new transit bus models must successfully complete FTA bus testing for production transit buses pursuant to FTA’s Bus Testing regulation in order to be procured with funds awarded under the Low-No Program. All transit vehicles must be procured from certified transit vehicle manufacturers in accordance with the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) regulations. The development or deployment of prototype vehicles is not eligible for funding under the Low-No Program. A single application may include both vehicle and facility components, along with associated equipment and workforce development activities. Recipients are permitted to use up to 0.5 percent of their requested grant award for workforce development activities eligible under Federal public transportation law, including on-the-job training, labor management partnership training, and registered apprenticeships, and an additional 0.5 percent for costs associated with training at the National Transit Institute. For applicants proposing projects related to zero emission vehicles for either program, 5 percent of the requested Federal award must be used for workforce development to retrain the existing workforce and develop the workforce of the future.
Eligible applicants for the Low or No Emission Program include designated recipients, States (including territories and Washington DC), local governmental authorities, and Indian tribes. Proposals for funding projects in rural (non-urbanized) areas, defined as an area encompassing a population of less than 50,000 people that has not been designated in the most recent decennial census as an ‘‘urbanized area’’. Eligible applicants for the Buses and Bus Facilities Program include designated recipients that allocate funds to fixed route bus operators, States (including territories and Washington DC) or local governmental entities that operate fixed route bus service, and Indian tribes. Eligible subrecipients include all otherwise eligible applicants and also private nonprofit organizations engaged in public transportation. Except for projects proposed by Indian tribes, all proposals for projects in rural (non-urbanized) areas must be submitted by a State, either individually or as a part of a statewide application. States and other eligible applicants also may submit consolidated proposals for projects in urbanized areas. The submission of a statewide or consolidated urbanized area application does not preclude any other eligible recipients in an urbanized area or in a State from also submitting a separate application.