The Birmingham public transit system is getting a much needed financial boost this year, a $3.6 million boost at that.
The planned improvements to the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA) endeavor to provide easier access to areas of Birmingham for those who use it daily, and those who visit the city.
U.S. Senator Doug Jones announced the grant on Thursday.
“Safe, reliable public transportation is important for any city, but it’s especially critical for Birmingham as it prepares to host the 2021 World Games. Beyond that event, these grant funds will benefit the citizens of Birmingham who rely on public transit to go about their daily lives,” Jones said in a statement.
The U.S. Department of Transportation says the money will be used by the BJCTA to replace the old buses that have outlived their usefulness. The Transit Authority says that the new vehicles will provide improved reliability and will reduce maintenance and other costs.
One of the reasons the Transportation Department chose to improve the bus service in Birmingham was because of the city’s upcoming role as the host to the 2021 World Games, an Olympic-style event expected to bring thousands of people to the region.
Alabama was one of 139 other beneficiaries, selected from over 50 states and territories to receive the grant funds. The funding will be distributed through the Federal Transit Administration’s Bus and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program. A program that helps communities replace and rehabilitate old buses, and purchase new buses.