On Tuesday, the Federal Transit Administration announced $366 million in grant awards through its 5339(b) Bus & Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program, which funds the replacement, rehabilitation and purchase of new buses and the construction of bus-related facilities. This year’s grant was highly competitive and would not have been possible without support from the federal legislative delegation. A total of 107 projects in 50 states will receive a share of the funding, with project awards ranging from $96,000 to $11 million. Greenville Transit Authority (GTA) will receive $11 million toward the construction of a new maintenance facility. GTA is the only grant recipient from South Carolina.
The Bus & Bus Infrastructure program provides funding, on a competitive basis, to fixed route bus operators, and to states and local governmental authorities that operate fixed route bus service. In August, Greenlink staff submitted the Bus & Bus Infrastructure grant application to fund the construction of a new maintenance facility. GTA currently owns a 35-year-old undersized facility at 154 Augusta Street. The ill-suited facility lacks the capacity for Greenlink to grow its current fleet and a new maintenance facility was identified as a vital capital investment needed for improved service in both the 2017 Comprehensive Operations Analysis and the 2020-2024 Transit Development Plan, which was released in April 2018.
According to Addy Matney, Chair of the GTA Board of Directors, the grant award and the opportunity to replace Greenlink’s maintenance facility tackle a large barrier to advancing Greenlink’s Transit Development Plan. “This grant will allow Greenlink to accomplish a major goal in the Transit Development Plan. A new maintenance facility is a key component to increased frequency and better transit service for our growing workforce,” said Matney. “The GTA Board of Directors would like to thank our local partners who helped compile 47 letters of support, Greenville County for supporting the grant application and the City of Greenville for providing the local match. Also, special recognition is due to our federal legislative delegation, including the offices of Representative Trey Gowdy, Senator Tim Scott and especially Senator Lindsey Graham, for their support and assistance with the grant application process.”
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Greenlink Marketing & Public Affairs Specialist