The cities of Detroit and Flint will receive $12.8 million in federal grants to modernize busing services.
The funding announced Monday is part of $423 million in grants to 94 projects in 42 states and Washington, D.C., from the U.S. Transportation Department’s Federal Transit Administration to purchase buses and related equipment nationwide in efforts to update infrastructure and improve services.
The Michigan projects stood out from 318 eligible grant requests because they aim to increase safety and reliability and improve existing infrastructure, K. Jane Williams, acting FTA administrator, said during a press conference near Detroit Metro Airport.
Detroit’s transportation department will receive $8.5 million to purchase new fareboxes for its entire 300-bus fleet.
Officials say the equipment will reduce the frequency and cost of repairs, ease the process for software updates, improve boarding times and expand payment options, including a new regional fare card that also can be used on Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation buses. As a result, riders will have more touch-and-go payment options, reducing the need for cash.
Lt. Gov. Charles Gilchrist said Monday he used Detroit’s buses for two years prior to his candidacy.
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