Governor Phil Scott yesterday signed into law the largest-ever state transportation budget, totaling more than $868 million – $200 million more than last year.
The funding is supported by a five-year federal transportation funding bill that provides record federal funding to states for highway construction and paving, bridge maintenance and repairs, public transit, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure, as well as programs to reduce transportation emissions.
The Transportation bill is funded with state funds, federal IIJA funds, and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
- $158.8 million to pave state highways and interstates, with 64 construction projects and 590 miles of paving, as well as 91 miles of rehabilitation to widen shoulders in support of bicycle and pedestrian access and mobility. This represents a 32% increase over last year and the highest ever investment in paving for the state.
- $51.3 million for the roadway program to fund 37 projects to construct and reconstruct intersections and roadway segments.
- $225 million in new General Fund Bridge program investments, supporting an increase of funding for the Town Highway Bridge program by $30.3 million, almost doubling funding for this program. The construction of bridges funded in this program, which are off the federal aid system, will be funded at 100% federal, saving towns and the state significant resources. Upgrades will include 36 bridges across 38 communities.
- $44.5 million for public transit, including $1.2 million to provide zero-fare public transit for local transit routes, $1.25 million for microtransit pilot studies for communities across Vermont, and continued work to electrify the transit fleet statewide. There are currently 18 electric transit vehicles in operation or on order, with a plan to apply for federal funding to acquire 10 more.
- $36.25 million to continue implementing programs that reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector by investing million across multiple efforts:
- $6.25 million for electric vehicle (EV) fast charging on the highway network.
- $10 million for EV charging for multi-family dwellings, workplaces and community attractions.
- $14 million for a new EV incentive program and programmatic support from Drive Electric VT.
- $3 million for the Mileage Smart Incentive program for used EVs and Highly Efficient Vehicles (HEVs).
- $3 million for Replace Your Ride Incentive program for efficient transportation.
- An updated goal of installing EV fast charging infrastructure within one mile of each interstate exit and every 25 miles along state highways.
- $25.4 million for the bicycle, pedestrian, and transportation alternatives program to implement 47 construction projects and the design of 42 additional projects across 73 Vermont communities.
- $35.4 million for the rail program to implement projects including the extension of the Amtrak Ethan Allen service from Rutland to Burlington with stops in Middlebury and Vergennes (launching in July) and continued work on a $20 million federal BUILD grant to upgrade rail bridges between Rutland and Hoosick, New York.
- $20.2 million for the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to modernize and integrate its outdated IT systems through the DMV Core System Modernization Phase II project.
Full details on the bill can be found here.