The U.S. Dept. of Transportation continues to release more Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funding, with the latest action being the allocation by DOT’s Federal Transit Administration of $20.2 billion in funds distributed to the states by formula.

The new apportionment, which DOT announced on April 6, reflects the full amount of formula transit aid that the IIJA authorized for fiscal year 2022, the act’s first year. 

The IIJA became law last Nov. 15, but the lack of a full-year 2022 appropriations measure barred the FTA from tapping all of the transit funds that the infrastructure act provided.

In February, FTA did apportion $4.7 billion from the IIJA but that was far short of the legislation’s total for 2022. 

In a media briefing, Mitch Landrieu, the White House’s infrastructure coordinator, called the apportionments “a historic sum of annual funding for transit systems that will have an extraordinary impact on our daily lives.”

Landrieu, a former New Orleans mayor, said, “This investment is going to enable transit agencies to modernize and expand services from residents in communities large and small.”

DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg said that the $20 billion is a 58% increase over the 2021 level and “also represents the largest transit funding allocation in American history.”

The enactment on March 15 of a $1.5-trillion omnibus spending package cleared the way for the release of the full IIJA amount for transit.

New York ranks first among the states in the new transit funding allotment, with about $2.2 billion. 

California is second, with about $2 billion, followed by Illinois, with $854 million, New Jersey, with $835 million and Texas, with $647 million.

Pennsylvania ranks sixth, with $618 million; Massachusetts is next, with $537 million, followed by Florida, at $531 million, Washington, with $370 million and Maryland, No. 10, with $348 million.

Ward McCarragher, American Public Transportation Association vice president of government affairs and advocacy, said in an interview that the FTA's apportioning of the $20.2 billion in formula funds "is really the first tranche now of the commitments of the bipartisan infrastructure law."

He adds, "This is going to change the face of public transportation in our communities for the future."

McCarragher says, "It is truly a sea change in the level of funding for public transportation. It allows these communities and transit systems to immediately begin to put these funds to work, and help reshape their communities in the wake of the pandemic, and address equity issues, tackle climate change and create opportunities in ways that they've only envisioned in the past."

 Story updated on 4/8/2022 with comments from American Public Transportation Association.