Davis Announces More Than $10 Million in Federal Bus Grant Funding Awarded to Bloomington-Normal and Decatur
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) announced today that Bloomington-Normal and the City of Decatur were awarded grants from the Federal Transit Administration's Buses and Bus Facilities Competitive Grant program. This funding is provided to state and local governmental authorities to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct bus-related facilities.
“Investing in our smaller, public transit systems means investing in jobs and economic growth," Davis said. "I'm proud to see these communities receive these competitive grants, which allow them to upgrade their fleet, increase reliability, and become more efficient. As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I will continue to be an advocate for our smaller transit systems that are critical to the communities they serve."
"The grant award will allow Connect Transit to convert our aging fleet from diesel to electric battery powered buses as part of our strategic plan to embrace alternative fuel vehicles and reduce emissions," said Isaac Thorne, General Manager of Connect Transit in Bloomington-Normal. "We are very grateful for the support of Congressman Davis on federal grant application. Congressman Davis has been a strong advocate for public transportation and the service that Connect Transit provides. The battery electric buses will be a tremendous benefit to the Bloomington-Normal community."
“I want to thank Congressman Rodney Davis for his support in helping us to secure funding to replace the city’s aging bus fleet," said Decatur Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe. "For so long I and members of the Decatur City Council have been working to maintain the system during difficult financial times and it has not been an easy task. This grant when paired with Illinois Department of Transportation grant funds will allow us to replace 18 buses over the next five years. More importantly, we can continue to provide transportation services that are critical to thousands of our residents who rely on public transportation each and every day.”
Information on the grants:
Connect Transit in Bloomington, IL will receive $6 million to purchase battery electric replacement buses. The new-technology buses will allow Connect Transit to improve on-time performance while decreasing operating expenses. In order to continue their commitment of providing excellent service to a region with increasing ridership and a population of over 130,000, this grant will ensure the region has access to safe, reliable, and efficient transportation.
The City of Decatur will receive $4,662,000 to replace buses that have exceeded their useful life. The new vehicles will increase reliability and safety for passengers. Currently, 20 of the 22 buses are operable and only 8 buses are still within their useful life
expectancy. For the past six years, Decatur has sustained a fleet where 60% of the total bus inventory is beyond its intended useful life.