City of Gainesville awarded $10.6M in federal transit grant funding

Press release from City of Gainesville

The City of Gainesville Department of Transportation has been awarded $10.6 million in grant funds from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). This week, the FTA announced the award of $409 million for 70 transportation projects in 39 states. Only two Florida municipalities were among the list of recipients – Gainesville and Pinellas County. 

Of the total award, $6.6 million will be used to purchase 12 replacement buses for the Regional Transit System fleet. The remaining $4 million will be dedicated to build an eastside transfer station to serve as a major connector between East and West Gainesville. 

“Each and every day, our neighbors rely on RTS for safe, efficient, and reliable public transportation to get to school or work or run errands,” said Gainesville Interim City Manager Cynthia Curry. “This award builds on that commitment and on our strategic efforts toward revitalizing East Gainesville,” she said. 

The new buses will include upgrades such as better fuel efficiency, seats made out of material that is easier to clean, and non-slip floors. The RTS team will switch out buses based on mileage and age. 

“This is wonderful for the community that we are getting updated vehicles,” said Community Service Specialist Tom Idoyaga. The current RTS fleet includes 132 buses, and once the new buses arrive in about 15 months, Idoyaga said, “This will be the newest fleet we’ve ever had.” 

The federal grants stem from a Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that boosts bus transit funding by $10 billion during the next five years in order to modernize America’s transit bus fleet. FTA reported that it received more than $2.5 billion in funding requests, more than five times the amount of funding available under the previous law. 

“Transit agencies are replacing aging buses and facilities with newer, cleaner infrastructure that is more efficient to operate and maintain,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “Modern buses, especially those powered with electric batteries or fuel cells, improve air quality and help us address the climate crisis.”

In the past, the City has received five grants from the FTA, including one in 2012 for $38 million to build its main administration, operations, and maintenance facility.

  • The federal government is going to trust the fiscally incompetent City of Gainesville with a federal transportation grant? 🤣🤔🤣🤔🤣

    The feds better ask for receipts – there’s no telling what certain commissioners will do if if they get the chance.

    • Why do they have to take federal grant money when
      They are making a bundle with all the lawyer advertising
      On those buses? The buses are moving billboards. What are they doing with that money? Subsidizing
      The true cost of the bus fare? Does RTS get enough
      From bus fares to pay for itself?

      • They need it to update the lawyer ads with Woke and Equity compliance ads.

        • Great idea! “10,20, life…use a gun in a crime and you’re done” …”drugs and guns hurt the black community…don’t do it! Black Lives Matter”, “don’t bring a child into this world without a daddy, use a rubber”.

  • So there are 132 busses in the fleet? And we need more?
    I’ve never seen mor than 2 people on any bud in the past dozen years. Efficiency takes a backseat when there’s an open checkbook.

    • I think they hand out free bus passes at Grace Mkt…
      In NY, they’re clamping down on the homeless
      Sleeping & riding the buses 24/7.

  • Are the buses riding around empty? A guy was killed
    By a bus near 13th & university where they put all
    That no right turn on red, etc…was that a panhandler or
    A jaywalker that got killed by the bus? I think the article
    Said “the pedestrian collided with the bus”?

  • ‘ “Each and every day, our neighbors rely on RTS for safe, efficient, and reliable public transportation to get to school or work or run errands,” said Gainesville Interim City Manager Cynthia Curry. ‘

    I want to know who wants to run errands using the bus. It would take four times as long. Does anyone actually do this? This is such a waste of our federal tax dollars!

    • Are they still making bus riders wear the mask?
      I asked a guy yesterday, “why are you wearing that
      Mask? “He said he just got off the city bus. I said,
      Desantis said, “no vaccine passport”…they can’t
      Make you wear the mask, etc. there’s so much disinformation…do you still have to wear a mask to ride
      The city bus?

  • They should get rid of those big buses and go to some
    Passenger vans…we can get rid of RTS altogether because the private sector does it better with Uber & Lyft.

    • Whatever happened to walking & bike riding?
      We got all them bike lanes everywhere…bikes should
      Have to pay for the bike lanes… Bikes should have to
      Be registered and tagged so they pay their fair share.
      I guess they will tax you per mile when green new deal
      Gets rid of fossil fuels and you have to ride your electric car. Your GRU bill will be astronomical when you
      Have to charge your battery to get around…will
      Burn trees for biomass to make electric to charge
      Battery… CO2 regulations will make it cost $100/mile.

  • What about them damn electric scooters littering
    The city…those things should be outlawed. The
    People ride and leave them everywhere. I think they
    Just banned them from Depot Park..

  • Now that we have buses, how about fixing the roads we all travel on. 23rd is in serious decline.

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