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BCD Council of Governments, CARTA to Receive $6.1 Million in Federal Funds for Commuter Buses

Funding is part of a competitive $211 million national program …

The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments will receive $6.1 million to purchase commuter-style buses and related equipment in the Charleston region, the the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Transit Administration announced today.

The funds will be put to use by the Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority, the grant sub-recipient, for the acquisition of 16 40-foot, low-floor buses and related items such as electronic fare boxes, security camera systems, locators, bike racks and more.

“This is a huge win for our region and is another important step toward CARTA’s strategic goal of updating its vehicle fleet,” said CARTA board chairman Mike Seekings. All of the new purchases will replace current CARTA Express commuter buses.

The BCDCOG, the governmental planning agency that oversees CARTA, received the funding through the FTA’s Bus and Bus Facilities Grant Program. Sixty-one projects in 41 states, the Virgin Islands, and Indian Country will share nearly $211 million to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase transit buses and related equipment, and construct bus-related facilities, according to a USDOT release.

The Bus and Bus Facilities Grant, which will help provide more modern, reliable bus service nationally, is part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, signed by President Obama in December 2015. FTA received 284 applications that totaled $1.64 billion from 236 applicants in 47 states.  The competitive bus grant program is authorized through 2020.

A list of the selected projects is available here.

“The Obama Administration is committed to improving transportation options that connect people in rural and urban areas across the country to opportunities,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “These grants will improve mobility for thousands of transit riders who depend on bus service every day, expanding access to employment, education, healthcare, and other important services in their communities.”

Selected projects include those that replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment as well as projects to purchase, rehabilitate and construct bus-related facilities, such as buildings for bus storage and maintenance, according to the USDOT.

CARTA Express commuter routes include:

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