Low- or No-Emission Bus Grants

What does this funding get me?

Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funding for transit buses. Eligible projects include:

  • purchasing or leasing low- or no-emission buses
  • acquiring low- or no-emission buses with a leased power source
  • constructing or leasing facilities and related equipment (including intelligent technology and software) for low- or no-emission buses
  • constructing new public transportation facilities to accommodate low- or no-emission buses
  • rehabilitating or improving existing public transportation facilities to accommodate low- or no-emission buses

Recipients may use up to 0.5% of their grant for workforce development and an additional 0.5% for training at the National Transit Institute.

Am I eligible?

Eligible applicants include direct or designated recipients of FTA grants, states; local governmental authorities, and Tribes. 

Except for projects proposed by Tribes, proposals for projects in rural (non-urbanized) areas must be submitted as part of a consolidated state proposal. States and other eligible applicants also may submit consolidated proposals for projects in urbanized areas. 

Beginning in 2024, there are streamlined application requirements for Tribes requesting less than $1 million, making it easier for Tribal governments with relatively small requests to apply. See the summary of streamlined requirements here.

How can I access the money?

On February 8, 2024, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the availability of an additional $1.5 billion in Fiscal Year 2024 funding for two bus-related grants:

  • The Low or No Emission grant provides funding to state and local governmental authorities for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses as well as acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities.
  • The Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program makes funds available to states and direct recipients to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct bus-related facilities, including technological changes or innovations to modify low- or no-emission vehicles or facilities.  

Submissions for the 2024 grants were due in April and selectees were announced on July 9.  See below for 2023 and 2024 NC and SC selectees.

North Carolina 2023:

  • Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority received $2.8m
  • City of Charlotte – Charlotte Area Transit System received $30.8m
  • City of High Point received $1.2m
  • North Carolina Department of Transportation on behalf of AppalCART received $2.2m
  • North Carolina Department of Transportation on behalf of Columbus County Transportation received $280,800
  • North Carolina Department of Transportation on behalf of ICPTA received $3.3m
  • Research Triangle Regional Public Transportation Authority received $1.6m

North Carolina 2024:

  • City of Winston-Salem / Winston-Salem Transit Authority received $4.4m
  • City of Fayetteville received $6.7m
  • City of Greensboro received $22.4m

South Carolina 2023: 

  • Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority received ~$26m
  • Greenville Transit Authority d.b.a. Greenlink received $6.3m
  • South Carolina Department of Transportation on behalf of 25 rural transit providers received $15.4m

South Carolina 2024: 

  • City of Clemson, SC, on behalf of Clemson Area Transit received $4.7m

What is the timeline?

In Fiscal Year 2023, FTA awarded $1.69 billion in project selections supporting 130 projects in 46 states and territories. On July 9, 2024 FTA announced awards for an additional $1.5 billion in Fiscal Year 2024 funding to support 117 projects that will improve public transportation in 47 states.

What other incentives could I use to help me accomplish my goals?

There is a tax credit on electric buses, even for tax-exempt entities (which can get the credit paid out directly as cash). Details here.

Check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) for additional incentives that may be offered by your state, local government, or utility, as well as important federal, state, and local policies. For questions regarding DSIRE, contact Justin Lindemann (NC Clean Energy Technology Center) at jplindem@ncsu.edu.

Where can I get more information?