The wheels on the bus go ka-ching. Virginia is getting more than $171 million for transit projects from the federal government — specifically ones designed to get its buses “green” and more environmentally friendly. Much of that money will be allocated to NoVA.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration announced the funding last Monday. The commonwealth’s piece of the pie is part of a broader set of $1.7 billion for 130 awards stemming from President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill.
The allocated federal funds will be used to invest in bus infrastructure and support the production of buses made in America using domestic components and workforce.
“We are thrilled to see the bipartisan infrastructure law continue to deliver for communities,” Democratic Virginia Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine said in a joint news release.
“This funding will help deliver state-of-the-art buses and bus facilities that are better for our environment and make Virginia’s transit systems more reliable and comfortable for riders. We’re proud to know that this funding will support American jobs while making our communities more accessible.”
Here’s a breakdown of where that money is going in Northern Virginia.
The City of Alexandria will get $24 million to buy 13 battery-electric DASH buses, install infrastructure to charge those buses in its bus facility, upgrade its DASH facility, and train workers. The goal of the buses is to boost DASH’s transition to a completely zero-emission fleet.
Separately, Alexandria is getting $14 million from the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission’s I-395 Commuter Choice Program for 2024 and 2025 to maintain service levels on DASH Lines 35 and 36A/B. The funding will also pay for two new 60-foot articulated electric buses.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is getting $104 million to transform its bus garage in Lorton into an electric facility and purchase approximately 100 battery-electric buses. The funding is also supposed to help create a comprehensive training program for workers — drivers, mechanics, and first responders.
Beyond money for WMATA’s Cinder Bed Road facility, Fairfax County’s Richmond Highway Bus Rapid Transit project will receive $10 million from the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission. The Fairfax Connector is getting $1.75 million.
Loudoun County will get almost $13.9 million to buy 37 buses running on compressed natural gas, construct a fueling station, and enhance its maintenance facility as a move toward its 10-year net-zero energy plan. These buses are expected to anchor Loudoun County’s transportation fleet, serving environmentally vulnerable communities and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
Other areas of Virginia are also getting a share of federal funding. The Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads was awarded $25 million to replace the 39-year-old Parks Avenue Maintenance Facility to accommodate future zero-emission buses.
And the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation was awarded just shy of $4.7 million to replace the oldest buses operated by 11 rural transit providers.
Prince William County
As part of $48 million in funding from the Commonwealth Transportation Board, several OmniRide bus routes will get funding that is part of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission’s I-395/95 Commuter Choice program. Here’s how that funding that’s a continuation of projects breaks down.
- Route D-200 Service Enhancement: Dale City to Ballston — $304,626
- Prince William Metro Express Service Enhancement: Dale City to Franconia-Springfield Station — $671,678
- Route 1 Local Service Enhancement: Quantico to Woodbridge Station — $755,020
- Route 543: Staffordboro to Downtown Washington, DC — $1,025,441
- Route 942: Staffordboro to the Pentagon — $1,638,926
Arlington will get $5 million for service enhancements on the Metrobus 16M line for service to Crystal City.
And Virginia Railway Express will get almost $10.8 million for a station expansion to Crystal City and more than $1.4 million for the VRE Fredericksburg line.
Featured photo courtesy Twitter/Fairfax Connector
For more stories like this, subscribe to Northern Virginia Magazine’s News newsletter.