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FTA Distributes $1 Billion to Local Transit Agencies

9:12 AM PDT on October 21, 2011

Transit providers in Detroit, Miami, Seattle and Bloomington, Indiana were a few of the many winners in the latest round of Federal Transit Administration capital grants.

On Monday, FTA awarded almost $1 billion to local transit agencies to purchase buses, construct shelters and plan for the future [PDF].

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the grants in Detroit Monday alongside Mayor Dave Bing and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.

Transit agencies throughout the state of Michigan were awarded $46 million, including $2 million for Detroit to study expanding its planned Woodward Avenue light rail line into the suburbs past Eight Mile Road.

The city of Detroit’s Department of Transportation was also awarded $6 million to purchase new buses. Meanwhile, Detroit’s suburban bus system, SMART, received $5 million to update its fleet.

“This is a significant investment in Michigan’s future,” said Snyder. “A modern transportation system is key to a stronger economy and enhanced quality of life in our state.”

Elsewhere around the country, Sound Transit in Seattle will receive $5.4 million to buy hybrid buses, and the South Florida Regional Transit Agency will receive $4.5 million to replace its shuttle buses with vehicles that run on alternative fuel. These vehicles link public transportation centers with the airport, hospitals and universities in the Miami-Dade area, according to Environmental News Service.

In one of the smaller grants, Bloomington, Indiana received almost $30,000 to purchase lockers for cyclists at a new downtown transfer station.

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