Rhode Island transit gets a jolt through $22.3 million RAISE grant

(The Center Square) – City transit in Newport, Rhode Island, is getting a jolt from taxpayers with a RAISE grant.

The $22.3 million project, news of which was shared through congressional news releases on Tuesday, will enable the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority to procure 25 battery-electric buses enabling all Newport-based services to be electric. A release from U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse also said charging infrastructure and facility upgrades are coming.

RAISE was created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as TIGER grants; President Joe Biden’s infrastructure legislation helped make $1.5 billion available this year.

Whitehouse was joined in the announcement by U.S. Sen. Jack Reed and Reps. Jim Langevin and David Cicilline. Reed had a hand in helping create the original RAISE program in 2009, and “successfully earmarked $4 million for the project in the Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations law and previously delivered a $5.15 million Low-No Emissions Bus Grant to help RIPTA begin to convert its Newport bus fleet to lower emission, clean transportation alternatives,” the Whitehouse release said.

Since 2010, Rhode Island – population just over 1 million – has been awarded more than $208 million in this particular grant program. RIPTA through federal grants has been awarded more than $62 million since 2018.

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