Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today signed into law a record-setting Transportation bill (H.736, An act relating to the Transportation Program and miscellaneous changes to laws related to transportation) with the largest-ever state transportation budget, totaling more than $868 million.
The funding is supported by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), a five-year federal transportation funding bill that provides record federal funding to states for key areas such as highway construction and paving, bridge maintenance and repairs, public transit, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure, as well as programs to reduce transportation emissions.
“With this unprecedented funding opportunity, we will make many needed improvements to the statewide transportation system and expand infrastructure and services,” said Governor Scott. “Expanding and improving our transportation system is critical to our work to increase economic equity and opportunity from region to region, support safe and healthy communities and grow our economy. I want to thank the transportation committees and the Agency for their work on this important bill.”
The Transportation bill is funded with state funds, federal IIJA funds, and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and is $200 million more than the budget allocated last fiscal year.
- $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.
“The signing of this historic Transportation Bill into law will enable VTrans and the DMV to complete many critical projects sooner than anticipated, with an end result of better services and more transportation options for Vermonters,” said Agency of Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn. “From more EV public chargers to a more streamlined DMV customer experience, and from hundreds of newly paved miles of roadway to the thrilling new Amtrak service into Burlington, this transportation budget represents exciting opportunities for all who live in and visit Vermont.”
Full details on the bill can be found here.