The Bus Coalition's 2021 Funding Requests

The Bus Coalition (TBC) is an association of over 350 members from 45 states working together to ensure adequate funding for critical bus transit programs. In places large and small, bus transit has proven a vital lifeline and an engine of opportunity for millions of Americans.

In 2021, TBC ‘s members are excited about three opportunities for federal bus investments: 1) FAST ACT Reauthorization, 2) FY22 appropriations plus-ups & 3) Transit as a key part of an infrastructure package.

(Click here for a printable 2-page summary of these TBC requests)

FAST Act Reauthorization: TBC is advocating for robust funding increases for the 5339 Bus and Bus Facility Program in the next reauthorization. The Bus Coalition supports the following key objectives:

  • Restore bus transit investment to the historic 40-40-20 ratio. Buses historically received 20% of the transit capital investment ratio. Today, buses only receive 14%.
  • Significantly increase funding for the bus competitive grant program for both buses and facility improvements to allow for lumpy capital purchases.

The House-passed INVEST Act meets TBC’s objectives and we believe the bill should serve as a model for the next Reauthorization. The major funding provisions of the INVEST Act TBC supports include: 

  • Bus and Bus Facilities Funding increase 150% from $808 million in FY21 to $2.15 billion in FY25
  • 5339a formula increase from $464 million to $1.3 billion by FY25
  • 5339a subformula to replace older buses ( ~ $190 million/year)
  • 5339b Bus Facilities and Expansion competitive grant program (~ $378 million/year)
  • 5339c Zero Emission Bus competitive grant program (~ $356 million/year)

FY22 Appropriations Request: TBC supports a plus-up of $432 million in additional investments for the Bus and Bus Facility competitive grant program (5339b). The request would bring bus transit in line with the historic 40-40-20 capital investment ratio and is needed to address the significant aging and shrinking national bus fleet.

Infrastructure Package: An infrastructure package presents a unique opportunity to develop a world class transit system in the United States. Specifically, robust investments in the Bus and Bus Facility program could revolutionize mobility options, provide long overdue, reliable access to underserved communities and catalyze innovations in safety, technology and clean and efficient buses.

The Bus Coalition supports an infrastructure package investment of the capital Bus and Bus Facility program (5339) at a 100% federal cost share over five years to, at minimum, do the following:

  • Replace the 14,088 buses operating past useful life;
  • Restore the bus transit fleet size to at least 2013 levels. Bus transit experienced a 24% decline in fleet size – 16,787 buses in six short years – in part because of federal cuts to the Bus and Bus Facility program;
  • Replace the 14,604 smaller cutaway and paratransit buses and transit vans operating past useful life; and
  • Repair and replace 1,800 transit facilities nationwide identified in FTA’s Transit Asset Management Plan to meet a state of good repair.

These investments in bus transit would create more than 1.2 million jobs*, procure 45,479 domestically manufactured buses and vans and construct more than 1,800 transit facilities across the country. 

(* based on average bus replacement costs and APTA Transit Calculator of 49,700 jobs per $1 billion investment)

Below are links to our previous issue briefs, legislative summaries and membership calls to action.  Click on each doc to download the files.

(March 2020) TBC 2-pager summarizing current improvements in Federal bus transit funding, and additional needs for support in FAST Act Reauthorization, FY21 proposals, and inclusion in a potential federal infrastructure package.

(July 2019) TBC 2-pager summarizing the need for additional federal funding requests, the Coalition’s current funding level requests and notes on TBC support for a possible federal infrastructure package. 

(September 2018) TBC Letter to House and Senate Chairs and Ranking Members of Transportation Appropriations Subcommittees. Urging committee members to support bus transit via increases in the FY19 appropriations cycle.

(July 2018) Talking points for TBC members on Coalition priorities to restore funding levels to bus systems for Member correspondence and upcoming Capitol Hill Vicits.

(March 15, 2018) For the FY2018 Appropriations process we have prepared this 2-page overview of The Bus Coalition, our membership, shared interests and legislative priorities.

(March 8, 2018) This letter to the Appropriations Committee outlines TBC funding priorities for FY2019 and beyond.

(November 27, 2017) This chart showing effects of MAP-21 on national bus funding. 

(April 5, 2017) This letter to the Appropriations Committee outlines TBC funding priorities for FY2019 and beyond.

(April 4, 2017)  Letter to Support Sec 5339(b) language in the transportation bill, focusing on useful life challenges to our existing bus fleets. 

(March 17, 2017) TBC Letter in support of Congressman De Fazio’s bill.  

(March 17, 2017) Bus manufacturer overview including full-bus and parts manufacturing in the United States.

(February 27, 2017) 2017 Letter to the Trump Administration from The Bus Coalition and CTAA members on the transportation legislation in the 115th Congress. 

(December 2015) Chart showing effects of House and Senate Fast Act changes on Bus Transit Funding.