The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) recently announced a $13.9 million grant award from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Buses and Bus Facilities Program to purchase 21 replacement buses, 21 replacement paratransit vehicles, and maintenance equipment which will help preserve the life of the existing fleet. The federal funding positions the RTA to improve the rider experience and improve the reliability of transit service. The new vehicles are expected to be enter service next fiscal year.
“Since joining the RTA, we have aggressively pursued federal funding to proactively address the RTA’s aging and deteriorating fleets and facilities which never fully recovered from Hurricane Katrina,” said Alex Wiggins, CEO, New Orleans Regional Transit Authority. This grant award will bring us one huge step forward in improving the rider experience, the safety of operators and passengers, and the reliability of our transit service.”
“This grant award is particularly important as we approach the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina which resulted in the complete devastation of the RTA bus fleet and critical transit vehicles—a loss the RTA has never fully recovered,” Flozell Daniels Jr., Chair, RTA Board of Commissioners. “By leveraging our limited local financial resources to obtain federal funding, this grant award helps the RTA Board of Commissioners make good on our pledge to rebuild our transit fleet and provide high-quality transit service to New Orleans residents and workforce.”
The $13.9 million grant award is in addition to the $43.8 million in CARES ACT funding, the $5.3 million in FTA funding to rehabilitate the car landing at the Lower Algiers Ferry Terminal and the $300,000 FTA award to fund the MOVE East NOLA pilot program awarded to the RTA in 2020.
The Federal Transit Administration’s Buses and Bus Facilities Program provided grants to 96 projects in 49 states around the country to help improve the safety and reliability of transit bus service nationwide.