From issuing new debt bonds as well as grant awards, states from Maine to California continue efforts to beef up their investments in transportation infrastructure and services.
In Maine, the state legislature sent Gov. Paul LePage a pair of bills asking voters in November to approve the issuance of up to $170 million in new debt bonds for fixing roads and bridges, as well as to expand/renovate classrooms and student labs within the University of Maine and the state's community college network.
According to the Press Herald newspaper, the transportation bond – which passed unanimously in both chambers – would total $106 million out of that $170 million and include $80 million for roads and bridges, $20 million for ports, harbors, rail and airport improvements, as well as $5 million in funds for local cities in towns to fix culverts.
Meanwhile, the Texas Department of Transportation recently made available $82 million in federal and state grants to fund public transportation providers in rural, small urban and large urban areas across the Lone Star state.
Overall, TxDOT said those grants aim to help pay for maintenance of vehicles and facilities; vehicle purchases and transit facility improvements; and regionally coordinated public transportation planning efforts.
Ultimately, those funds pay for resources that give Texans access to transportation so they can get to and from school, job training, health care appointments, businesses and recreational activities, the agency said.
Out in California, Caltrans noted that 152 local transit projects recently received nearly $97 million in funding via the state's Low Carbon Transit Operations Program or "LCTOP" with more than 130 of those projects – worth $87 million – specifically aimed at benefitting "the disadvantaged and low-income communities," the agency said.
Caltrans noted that this latest round of LCTOP disbursements would fund 51 new or expanded transit service projects along with 22 zero-emission vehicle replacement/purchase deals.
Those deals include a $2.6 million grant for the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System to acquire six electric buses, two hydrogen fuel cell buses and infrastructure in their pilot program to introducing zero-emission bus technology, along with a $3.9 million package for the Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority to buy up to nine zero-emission battery electric buses and infrastructure.
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