WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the government funding measure passed last night includes $93 million in new federal funding for Ohio through the Federal Highway Administration, $8.3 million of new funding for Ohio’s public transit agencies, plus additional funding for The Ohio State University and the Transportation Research Center to expand testing of zero-emission buses.
“It’s time to put Americans to work across Ohio and around the country rebuilding our roads and bridges. This funding measure is a good step toward the infrastructure investment our nation needs,” said Brown. “Ohio is positioned to be a leader in zero-emission transportation solutions, and this bill expands work by The Ohio State University to research and test zero-emission buses.”
The spending bill that Congress passed includes funding for important Ohio transportation priorities, including:
- $93 million to fund Ohio road projects through the Federal Highway Administration’s surface transportation block grant. This money supplements the approximately $1.4 billion of federal highway funding Ohio will receive this year under the FAST Act, the current long-term surface transportation authorizing law.
- $900 million for the BUILD grant program (also known as the TIGER program). Brown has worked to secure TIGER grants for Ohio communities like Youngstown’s SMART2 Corridor project, and he has worked to oppose the Trump Administration’s proposal to eliminate the program.
- $8.3 million to fund Ohio’s public transit system, through the Federal Transit Administration’s “State of Good Repair and “Buses and Bus Facilities” formula programs. This money supplements the approximately $190 million of transit funding Ohio will receive this year under the FAST Act.
The bill also expands testing of new low-emission and zero-emission buses, providing $6 million, up from $2 million in the previous year. The Ohio State University (OSU) and the university-affiliated Transportation Research Center (TRC) are one of just two testing centers in the nation that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will utilize to undertake the work. Brown – who serves as the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, which oversees FTA – worked to secure the new funding, and beginning last year, he secured language to allow manufacturers of electric, fuel cell and other low-emission buses to bring their new models to Ohio for testing. Previously, all testing of new bus models had to be conducted at a single facility in Pennsylvania. Allowing OSU and TRC to conduct testing will speed the delivery of low-emission buses to public transportation agencies working to reduce fuel consumption and improve air quality. Brown was previously instrumental in obtaining a grant for The Ohio State University for testing bus components.