WASHINGTON D.C. (KVOA) – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced Tuesday that 37 projects nationwide will receive a share of $15.8 million in funding to support strategies that develop, deploy and demonstrate solutions that improve the operational efficiency of transit agencies and enhance rider mobility during the COVID-19 pandemic, the department said.
“These additional resources will provide transit agencies and the states with the additional resources to strengthen public confidence in transit, which remains among the safest modes of travel during the public health emergency,” said FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams. “Our support will help leverage new technologies that will improve safety and efficiency throughout our transit systems.”
The Department said the Public Transportation COVID-19 Research Demonstration Program will help invest in and promote promising, innovative solutions that address the challenges transit agencies are facing during the public health emergency. Selected projects include solutions such as implementing new cleaning and disinfecting protocols, contactless payment systems and modernized data collection and reporting on ridership, vehicle capacity and other factors to improve agency decision-making, transparency and increase rider confidence.
Among the projects selected to receive funding:
- The Nashville Public Transportation Authority will receive $585,000 to create an app that provides historic, real-time and predictive information about bus capacity, enabling the agency and riders to make informed decisions that improve operations, safety and the rider experience.
- The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) will receive $508,200 to expand its fare software to include E-vouchers that will allow contactless payments with UTA mobile fares as well as transportation network companies. The project will add a web portal and mobile app, providing more options for trip planning.
- The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority will receive $167,603 to deploy an on-demand microtransit service to improve transportation options for essential workers in the Cypress Creek area.
FTA said it received 104 eligible proposals totaling approximately $63 million in funding requests from 36 states and territories. Project proposals were evaluated based on criteria outlined in the COVID-19 Research Demonstration Program Notice of Funding Opportunity.