WASHINGTON – On June 4, 2014, the U.S. DOT announced the availability of approximately $100 million in competitive grant funds through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) new Ladders of Opportunity Initiative, which is designed to invest in projects that improve the mobility of Americans with transportation disadvantages and allow them a better chance of advancing towards economic self-determination.
The funds may be used to modernize and expand transit bus service and bus facilities such as intermodal centers. Amtrak shares intermodal centers across the country with local, regional and intercity bus providers. Upgrades to the common areas of an intermodal center, such as a waiting area, benefit all travelers.
Funding for the Ladders of Opportunity Initiative is drawn from leftover/remaining discretionary grant funds originally made available under the prior federal transportation bill (SAFETEA-LU). The FTA will cover up to 80 percent of the total project cost; a 20 percent local match is required.
Eligible applicants include states and Indian tribes. States and direct recipients such as public agencies, private non-profit organizations and private providers engaged in public transportation, may submit consolidated proposals for projects in urbanized areas.
The FTA will evaluate each project to determine its need for resources. For bus facility projects, the following factors will be taken into account:
- The age of the asset to be rehabilitated or replaced relative to its useful life
- The degree to which the proposed project addresses a demonstrated and verifiable backlog of deferred maintenance
- The degree to which the proposed project will enable the agency to improve the maintenance and condition of transit assets
- For expansion requests, the degree to which the proposed project addresses a current capacity constraint that is limiting the ability of the agency to address the policy priorities of the Ladders of Opportunity program
Complete proposals are due by 11:59 p.m. EST on August 4, 2014; all proposals must be submitted electronically through the Grants.gov website.
Read the complete Notice of Funding Availability in the Federal Register for additional information.