Biden Pumps $9.8 Billion into Public Transit, Propelling Infrastructure Expansion

By John Lopez

Feb 29, 2024 01:50 PM EST

In a move to revitalize America's infrastructure, President Joe Biden has announced a substantial $9.8 billion injection into public transit agencies. 

This massive funding, drawn from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed in 2021, aims to bolster the nation's public transportation systems and enhance connectivity for commuters nationwide.

As part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law authorizes a federal investment of up to $108 billion in public transportation, the largest in the history of the United States.

President Biden
(Photo : Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 29: U.S. President Joe Biden walks across the South Lawn before boarding the Marine One presidential helicopter and departing the White House on February 29, 2024 in Washington, DC. In the throes of a re-election campaign, Biden is traveling to Brownsville, Texas, near the U.S.-Mexico border on the same day that Republican rival and former President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit the border.

Improving American Public Transit

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg emphasized the importance of public transit, noting that such investments improve daily life for millions of Americans, making travel easier, safer, and more affordable. 

The funds will assist communities in maintaining and operating trains, buses, and ferries, upgrading stations, and planning for new transit corridors. 

Additionally, a portion of the funding will focus on providing access to public transit for older individuals and riders with disabilities, ensuring inclusivity and accessibility in transportation services.

This substantial investment comes at a crucial time as the nation seeks to address both immediate needs and long-term sustainability goals. Part of the funding will support the transition to low and no-emission buses, aligning with efforts to reduce carbon emissions and promote environmental sustainability. 

By replacing aging fossil fuel vehicles with cleaner alternatives, the initiative aims to contribute significantly to the country's environmental objectives while meeting the increasing demand for efficient public transportation options.

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Large-scale Infrastructure Projects

The impact of this funding extends beyond immediate improvements to public transit systems. Large-scale infrastructure projects, such as the replacement of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, stand to benefit immensely from the available funding. 

With over $9.62 billion earmarked for such projects, initiatives like the bridge replacement could receive substantial financial support, enhancing operational capacity and meeting the growing transportation demands of communities.

Furthermore, the funding has significant implications for states like California, which is expected to receive about $10.3 billion over five years under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for public transit improvements. 

This funding aims to expand healthy and sustainable transportation options, particularly benefiting non-white households, who are 1.6 times more likely to commute via public transportation. Moreover, it addresses the issue of aging transit vehicles, with over 18% of transit vehicles in the state currently past their useful life.

California has already been allocated nearly $2 billion to improve public transportation options across the state in fiscal year 2022, demonstrating the immediate impact of federal investments in public transit.

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