2 Arkansas Public Transit Systems Get $7.2M In Grants

2 Arkansas Public Transit Systems Get $7.2M In Grants

Ozark Regional Transit in Springdale and Rock Region Metro in Little Rock have received grants totaling $7.17 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration.

Ozark Regional Transit will use its $3.6 million to buy buses to replace vehicles destroyed in a January 2017 fire. The agency has been using donated vehicles that have exceeded their useful life. 

Rock Region Metro will use its $3.57 million to replace buses that have exceeded their useful life. The new buses will lower the average age of the organization's vehicle fleet and reduce maintenance costs.

Rock Region METRO said this is the largest FTA competitive grant for bus and bus facilities it has received.

Wanda Crawford, METRO interim executive director, said in a news release, “With careful financial planning from our board and staff and the help of these funds, we continue to make progress on our fleet replacement plan to transition all diesel-fueled METRO buses with compressed natural gas buses by the end of 2025 and maintaining bus size diversity.”

The grant provides an 85 percent funding match for three 40-foot CNG and four 35-foot CNG buses. The agency will order the buses in Fall 2018.

The new buses replace three 17-year-old, 35-foot buses; one 13-year-old, 35-foot-bus; and three 13-year-old, 40-foot buses in 2020.

The METRO and Ozark projects were just two of the 139 projects in 52 states and territories that were awarded a total of $264 million in grants through the FTA's Buses & Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program.

The program received 453 applications for $2 billion in funding from 53 states and territories.