On Wednesday, February 7th, the White House and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), in coordination with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), convened a roundtable discussion focused on ensuring adequate U.S. manufacturing capacity to build clean transit buses at the scale and pace needed to meet market demand and achieve national climate and equity goals.
The roundtable included approximately 60 representatives from U.S. transit agencies, bus manufacturers, component suppliers, labor unions, federal agencies, and other stakeholders.
President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is delivering historic funding to advance clean transit, which is crucial in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the largest emitting sector, transportation. This historic funding also helps ensure that all communities are able to access good-paying jobs, schools, and health care. The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests more than $11 billion over five years to support purchasing cleaner, American-made transit buses, training the transit workforce, and upgrading fueling and maintenance infrastructure. To date, the Biden-Harris Administration has funded over 2,900 low- and zero- emission transit buses – enough to more than double the number of zero-emission transit buses on our roadways.
Today, to further build on these goals, FTA released its FY24 Bus Grants Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), which makes available more than $1.5 billion in funding through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. These funds are part of FTA’s “Bus and Bus Facilities” and “Low and No Emission Bus” competitive grant programs., which include substantial support for transit agencies to procure and deploy low- or no-emission, American-made buses. During the roundtable, FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez emphasized changes in the NOFO to support these American manufacturers of clean buses, while driving down costs.
FTA also issued a “Dear Colleague” letter highlighting procurement flexibility FTA grantees can take advantage of, allowing more support for the U.S. clean bus industry, clarifying requirements governing federal funding for transit buses, and announcing new steps FTA is taking to help transit agencies transition to low- and zero-emission buses.
In parallel, APTA’s Bus Manufacturing Task Force released new recommendations to bolster competitiveness and stability in the U.S. bus manufacturing sector to help meet market demand, climate goals, and equity objectives for zero-emission buses.
Following discussion of these recommendations at the roundtable held yesterday, major transit agencies (listed below) committed to use their respective authorities to implement the Task Force’s recommendations as fully as possible, particularly focusing on the discretionary bus grants announced Thursday. These agencies are collectively responsible for almost 50% of bus trips taken in the United States.
Transit agencies and U.S. bus manufacturers further committed to collaborate, through APTA, on fast-tracking standardization recommendations within 90 days. In parallel, the Biden-Harris Administration will continue to work with stakeholders on priority topics including testing, charging, cybersecurity, and support for the clean transportation goals of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics.
- Natalie Quillian, Assistant to the President and White House Deputy Chief of Staff
- Ali Zaidi, Assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor
- Samantha Silverberg, Deputy Assistant to the President for Infrastructure Implementation
- Mary Frances Repko, Deputy National Climate Advisor
- Alex Jacquez, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Development and Industrial Strategy, National Economic Council
- Nuria Fernandez, Administrator, Federal Transit Administration
- Dorval R. Carter, Jr., President, Chicago Transit Authority; Chair, American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Task Force on Bus Procurement
- Rich Davey, President, New York City Transit; Vice Chair, APTA Task Force on Bus Procurement
- Stephanie Wiggins, CEO, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority
- Leslie Richards, General Manager, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority
- Derek Maunus, President and CEO, GILLIG
- Dan Raudebaugh, Executive Director, Center for Transportation and the Environment
- Paul Soubry, CEO, New Flyer Industries
Major Transit Agencies Committing to Implement the APTA Bus Manufacturing Task Force Recommendations
- AC Transit
- Akron Metropolitan Regional Transit Authority (METRO RTA)
- Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)
- Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA)
- Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro)
- Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA)
- King County Metro
- Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)
- Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA)
- New York City Transit (NYC Transit)
- Phoenix Valley Metro
- San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS)
- Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)
- Utah Transit Authority (UTA)
- Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)