Klobuchar, Smith Secure Significant Federal Funding to Strengthen Rural Public Transit

MINNEAPOLIS – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded over $3.4 million in federal funding to strengthen public transit in rural Minnesota communities. Specifically, the resources will enable the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to boost transit efficiency and upgrade its bus fleet and bus facility infrastructure on lines servicing Greater Minnesota.     

“Investments in public transit help reduce traffic and make it easier for Minnesotans to get to school, work, and other destinations,” said Klobuchar. “This federal funding will make a real difference in rural communities across our state, modernizing buses and bolstering transit efficiency so Minnesotans can reliably get around. I’ll keep pushing for resources to ensure public transit is safe and accessible for all Minnesotans.”

“Each day, transit systems connect Minnesotans to their jobs, schools, grocery stores and countless other opportunities – all while reducing traffic congestion and pollution,” said Smith, Chair of the Senate Transit Subcommittee. “This funding will help modernize public buses and public transit facilities in Greater Minnesota while improving air quality and helping combat climate change. I am proud of our work to help secure these grants and will continue working to support public transportation across Minnesota.”

The FTA’s Buses and Bus Facilities grant program provides resources to help communities modernize bus fleets and bus facilities and support the purchase of more energy-efficient public transit vehicles. 

 In April, Klobuchar and Smith secured $166.5 million in federal funding through the  bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to help communities across Minnesota expand transit services, modernize their fleets, and conduct necessary repairs. The law was enacted in November and makes the largest investment in public transit in U.S. history. The legislation delivers significant investments to improve the state’s roads, bridges, public transportation, and water infrastructure. 

Earlier this year, Smith chaired a Housing, Transportation, and Community Development Subcommittee hearing on the bipartisan infrastructure law’s effect on smaller cities and rural areas. The hearing, which featured testimony from national and Minnesota experts, was particularly focused on how the federal government could most effectively implement the law in small and rural communities.