Top 10 Takeaways for the FTA Low or No Emissions and Grant for Buses and Bus Facilities Competitive Program

On February 9, 2024, the Federal Transit Authority released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the FTA Low or No Emissions and Grant for Buses and Bus Facilities Competitive Program. This grant awards funding to support the transition of the nation’s transit fleets to the lowest polluting and most energy-efficient transit vehicles. The cumulative funding surpasses last year’s record-breaking pot of funding, with more than $1.5 billion to be awarded. 

Top 10 Takeaways

  1. Goal: To reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, incorporate evidence-based climate resilience measures, and increase equitable access to clean transportation. 
  2. Eligible Applicants: Direct or designated FTA grant recipients, states (including territories and Washington, DC), local governmental authorities, and Indian Tribes. 
  3. Deadline: Applications are due by April 25, 2024, at 11:59 pm EST through 
  4. Available Funding: $1.5 billion is expected to be awarded this year, with $1.1 billion  through the Low-No Program and $390 million through the Buses and Bus Facilities Program. 
  5. Cost Share: The federal cost share for leasing or acquiring transit buses is a maximum of 85% (complying with the Clean Air Act [CAA] and the Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA]), 90% for related facilities and equipment (CAA and ADA compliant), 80% for all other projects. The project is stackable with other non-DOT funds. 
  6. Maximum Award: Applicants may apply to one or both programs through separate applications on The maximum award size for the Buses and Bus Facilities Program and for a project submitted to both programs is 10% of the total Bus Program funding amount ($39 million).  
  7. Eligible projects: Low-No Program: the purchase or lease of zero- and low-emission transit buses; the acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, and lease of supporting facilities. The Buses and Bus Facility Program: capital projects to “replace, rehabilitate, purchase, or lease buses” and related equipment/facilities. All capital procurements must comply with FTA’s Buy America requirements. Given prioritization of reduced emissions, use FTA Bus and Low-No Emission Reduction Calculator.
  8. Selection Priorities: Prioritizing applicants that identify intent to: 
    • use a joint procurement with at least three total transit agencies, or commit to using a standard vehicle model, 
    • use contract terms that provide funding to vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) earlier in the production process, and 
    • create significant community benefits relating to the environment, and address greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts. 
  9. Workforce Development: Applicants proposing any project related to zero-emission vehicles and related facilities must spend 5% of their award on workforce development and training, and submit a Zero-Emission Fleet Transition Plan, unless the applicant certifies their financial need is less. 
  10. Previous Rounds: In FY2023, Low-No received 210 applicants requesting $4.2 billion and awarded 83 applicants at $1.2 billion. In FY2023, the Bus Program received 265 applicants requesting $4.5 billion and awarded 47 at $472 million. 

Next Steps: Reach out to the EC for technical assistance! 

Amy Malaki

Amy Malaki is the Director of Partnerships and Policy at SkyNRG and SkyNRG Americas, pioneering global leaders in sustainable aviation fuel production and supply. Prior to SkyNRG, Amy was the Associate Director for the transportation portfolio at the ClimateWorks Foundation where she developed philanthropic investment strategies to advance a sustainable, equitable and low-carbon mobility system. She also pioneered the organization’s international aviation decarbonization strategy. Prior to that she focused on Asia business development at Better Place, a Silicon Valley electric vehicle network startup. She has a B.A. in Chinese and China studies from the University of Washington and an M.A. in international policy studies (energy and environment) from Stanford University.