AMES, Iowa – March 12, 2013 – The Iowa Transportation Commission today approved more than $6.3 million in funding to support public transit projects included in the fiscal year 2014 transit program. The projects are funded under various federal programs: Bus and Bus Facilities; Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program; New Freedom; and Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC).
Bus and Bus Facilities
The Bus and Bus Facilities federal formula program provides funding to allow Iowa’s public transit systems the ability to replace revenue vehicles that have met their useful life. Federal participation is limited to 85 percent and matching funds must come from non-U.S. Department of Transportation sources. The funds are programmed based on the Public Transit Equipment and Facilities Management System (PTMS) process that selects projects based on their useful life thresholds of miles and age.
This is a state program that commits federal air-quality funds toward the backlog of transit revenue vehicle replacement. This program allows “flexing” of funds to transit. Iowa receives a minimum allocation of these funds because it does not have any areas in violation of federal air-quality standards. Federal participation is limited to 80 percent and match must be from nonfederal sources. The funds are programmed based on the PTMS process that selects projects based on their useful life thresholds of miles and age.
The New Freedom federal formula grant program seeks to reduce barriers to transportation services and expand the transportation mobility options available to people with disabilities, beyond the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Transit agencies in larger communities receive a direct allocation of funding from the Federal Transit Administration. The Commission is responsible for programming projects in smaller communities. The New Freedom program was repealed under the new federal transportation authorization bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21); therefore, this is the final time the Commission will approve projects under this program.
JARC is a federal program to help support transit services designed to assist low-income persons in accessing jobs, training opportunities and daycare services. In accordance with the program’s rules, transit agencies in communities with a population of more than 200,000 receive a direct allocation of funding from the FTA and projects in less populous areas are programmed by the Commission. JARC was repealed under MAP-21; therefore, this is the final time the Commission will approve projects under this program.
A listing of the individual projects and funding amounts is available on the Iowa Department of Transportation’s website.