WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), a senior member of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that Rhode Island will get $55,927,788 in federal transit funding for fiscal year 2022 thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (P.L. 117-58).  This funding level provides 58 percent more federal aid for the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) to modernize and expand mass transit services across the state.  Senator Reed estimates the state will receive $291.6 million in federal mass-transit funding over the next five years, an $88.3 million boost over the life of the law.

Senator Reed played an important role in crafting mass-transit investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to benefit Rhode Island and make critical investments in America’s public transportation infrastructure. 

“Mass transit is ultimately about human connections, enhancing mobility, expanding opportunity, and strengthening our economy.  I worked to deliver historic investments in our mass-transit funding to improve and expand Rhode Island’s bus and rail service and create better public transportation options for residents.  Without this significant federal investment, local traffic and pollution would only get worse.  By removing cars from our roads and building a coordinated, forward looking public transportation network will help reduce traffic, lower emissions, and boost economic development and opportunity,” said Senator Reed.  “I am proud to work directly with FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez to direct more federal mass-transit funding opportunities to Rhode Island.  This federal funding will create jobs and help open doors of opportunity for every Rhode Islander.”

Full-year funding is available now following Congressional passage of the fiscal year 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act (also known as the Omnibus spending bill).  On March 15, Senator Reed joined President Biden as he signed the omnibus into law.

The $55,927,788 for Rhode Island released today reflects funding increases authorized by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and will allow RIPTA to purchase new state-of-the-art buses, address repair backlogs, modernize their fleet, and transition to new technologies to address the climate crisis.

Senator Reed also noted that Rhode Island will have an opportunity to compete for additional federal mass-transit funds in the form of competitive grants.

Overall, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides up to $108 billion for public transit and $102 billion for commuter rail, Amtrak, and freight rail over the next five years.

Reed noted the money comes at a time when RIPTA is starting to rebuild ridership after the pandemic caused a significant downturn.  The additional federal funds will help ensure that Rhode Island can meet the ambitious goals defined in the Transit Forward RI 2040.

“RIPTA adapted during the pandemic and continued to deliver for people when we needed them.  This additional funding should help them continue with recovery and it will help deliver reliable service so people can spend less and increase mobility options,” said Reed.  “Whether you ride RIPTA or not, there are health, economic, and environmental benefits for everyone when we reduce the number of cars on the road sitting in traffic.  We’ve got to continue to invest and look forward and build toward the future.  Delivering these funds is a major step in the right direction.”