MADISON – Today, Governor Tony Evers, Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary-designee Craig Thompson and Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan announced $18 million in public transit grants for Wisconsin communities. Eau Claire is one of the 8 recipients securing a total of $680,200 for one new bus and additional support for the city’s local transit system.
These public transit grants are funded by the State of Wisconsin Transit Capital Assistance Grants, a program made possible by the Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund. The Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund was established from the settlement after Volkswagen violated the federal Clean Air Act from 2009 to 2016. According to the Department of Administration, Volkswagen is required to pay more than $2.9 billion into the Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund; the State of Wisconsin will receive $67.1 million over the next 10 years as part of this settlement.
This is the second round of public transit grants funded by the State of Wisconsin Transit Capital Assistance Grants. In 2018, Eau Claire received $1.1 million and bought three new hybrid buses.
In response to today’s announcement, Senator Jeff Smith (D – Brunswick) released the following statement:
“Eau Claire’s public bus system is critical for residents to perform essential tasks like getting to work, going to school and helping families get around town for shopping and other errands. Continued support for local transit systems wouldn’t be possible without Governor Evers’ leadership. Public transportation investments, including the grants announced today, improve our community’s sustainability efforts and provide the support families need in these uncertain times.”