He brought good news with him: DOT has made available $775 million to transit agencies to upgrade their bus systems.
Peter Rogoff, photo courtesy of The Washington Post
Bringing the nation's transit services into the state of good repair Americans deserve is a challenge FTA is facing head-on. And these discretionary bus and bus facility awards are a good start.
Look, the Obama Administration knows that budget shortfalls in state and local governments around the country have filtered down to transit agencies. We also know that in times of economic hardship, transit revenues fall.
But a good portion of the nation's bus systems have aging equipment and outdated facilities. And--particularly for those who cannot afford the luxury of driving a personal vehicle and those who simply are unable to drive-- we cannot afford to skimp on the reliability of transit.
As Administrator Rogoff told the Bus & Paratransit Conference attendees, "Well maintained, clean and reliable buses make a world of difference to the millions of Americans who use transit every day."
So FTA will review applications and prioritize proposals based on how they address a transit system’s state of good repair and recapitalization needs.
I know buses may not seem as exciting as subways, metros, or light rail to those who are fortunate enough to live in cities with rail transit. But millions of Americans rely on buses every day to get to their jobs and to basic services. For those who don't live near a rail stop or those who live in communities without a rail system, transit means buses.
And, as we emerge from these economic hard times, this DOT will keep the buses rolling reliably for those riders.