Funding: Total: $180,000,000. Maximum awards: 80-90% of net project cost.
Dates: Application Submission Deadline: April 12, 2021
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the opportunity to apply for $180 million in competitive grants under the fiscal year (FY) 2021 Low or No Emission Grant Program (Low-No Program). As required by Federal public transportation law, 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. 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 and local governmental authorities 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.
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; 5) or rehabilitating or improving existing public transportation facilities to accommodate low or no emission buses. As required by Federal public transportation law, FTA will only consider 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 and are part of the recipient’s long-term integrated fleet management plan.
Federal public transportation law authorizes $55,000,000 in FY 2021 for the Low-No Program. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, appropriated an additional $125,000,000 for the Low-No Program, for a total of $180,000,000 for grants under this 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 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 Clean Air Act is 90 percent of the net project cost of such equipment or facilities that are attributable to compliance with the Clean Air Act. The award recipient must itemize the cost of specific, discrete, vehicle-related equipment associated with compliance with the Clean Air Act 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.
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.
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 and an additional 0.5 percent for costs associated with training at the National Transit Institute. Applicants must identify the proposed use of funds for these activities in the project proposal and identify them separately in the project budget.
If a single project proposal involves multiple public transportation providers, such as when an agency acquires vehicles that will be operated by another agency, the proposal must include a detailed statement regarding the role of each public transportation provider in the implementation of the project.
Eligible applicants include designated recipients, States, local governmental authorities, and Indian Tribes. Proposals for funding projects in rural (non-urbanized) areas may be submitted as part of a consolidated State proposal. To be considered eligible, applicants must be able to demonstrate the requisite legal, financial, and technical capabilities to receive and administer Federal funds under this program. States and other eligible applicants may submit consolidated proposals for projects in urbanized areas. Proposals may contain projects to be implemented by the recipient or its eligible subrecipients. Eligible subrecipients are entities that are otherwise eligible recipients under this program.