SCHUMER REVEALS: BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE DEAL INCLUDES RECORD $74 MILLION FOR CENTRO – A 34% INCREASE FOR OPERATIONS AND CAPITAL EXPENSES; PACKAGE ALSO PROVIDES MILLIONS IN FUNDING FOR BUS RAPID TRANSIT, NEW BUSES AND MORE
The Schumer-Led Infrastructure Bill Includes A Historic $74 Million Over 5 Years for CENTRO – $18.9M More Than Previous 5-Year Spending Plan
Bipartisan Deal Also Includes $8B In Funding For USDOT’s Capital Investment Grants Program – Which Could Boost Effort To Bring Bus Rapid Transit To Syracuse
Schumer: Federal Funding Boost Will Keep CENTRO – And CNY Riders – Rolling Into The Future
After securing $38.4 million for the Central New York Regional Transportation Authority (CENTRO) in the American Rescue Plan to address the region’s public transportation needs as New York recovers from the worst of the COVID pandemic, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today visited CENTRO headquarters to announce that the Schumer-negotiated Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework passed last week in the Senate includes a record $74 million specifically for CENTRO over the next five years. Schumer explained the significance of the funding, noting that the $74 million represents a 34% increase over previous five years of funding, which totaled $55 million. Schumer added that the package also includes $8 billion in funding for United State Department of Transportation’s Capital Investments Grant (CIG) Program, which could fund local efforts to bring Bus Rapid Transit routes to Syracuse.
“The record-breaking $74 million for CENTRO in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework is long overdue,” said Senator Schumer “CENTRO keeps our community connected, the wheels of the regional economy rolling and serves as a vital lifeline for many Central New York residents. By delivering the largest investment in public transit EVER, the bipartisan infrastructure deal will keep CENTRO moving and pave the way for expanded service.”
Schumer said the $74 million over 5 years for CENTRO will come from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) ‘Urbanized Area Formula Grants’ and ‘Buses and Bus Facilities Formula Program,’ which help fund operations and capital improvements. The 34% increase represents the largest amount of funding CENTRO has ever received from the FTA’s formula grants. Schumer said this funding, coupled with the $38.4 million he secured for CENTRO in the American Rescue Plan, will help secure finances as it recovers from the pandemic and opens up opportunities for new, improved services in the future.
Schumer said CENTRO will also be eligible to apply for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program, for which the bipartisan infrastructure bill would appropriate an additional $8 billion. CIG funds transit capital investments, including Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), specifically through the “Small Starts” program.
The historic funding that Schumer announced today could boost local efforts to bring BRT routes to Syracuse, a move local officials say could help more than 9,300 people get to work every day. The additional BRT lines would cut down on route times, increase the number of active buses, and add service hours to the work week. Additionally, according to a multi-year study from the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council, the BRT lines would be as much as 30% faster than similar traditional CENTRO routes. Officials say this could increase access to jobs in the city and help reduce poverty in Syracuse, a city that has the 9th worst poverty rate in the U.S. and 1 in 4 households do not have a car.
Schumer added “The bipartisan infrastructure bill makes record funding available for transit systems to seek grants for Bus Rapid Transit routes – which help reduce poverty, boost the economy and increase ridership. Local leaders have worked hard to develop Bus Rapid Transit plans for Syracuse and I will continue to work side-by-side with them to make that vision a reality.”