Foursquare ITP recently worked on a federal grant application with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). In June, IDOT was awarded a $12.6 million Bus and Bus Facilities grant from the Federal Transit Administration. The grant will allow IDOT to replace more than 130 on-demand and paratransit vehicles at 33 downstate and rural subrecipient agencies. To prepare the application, Foursquare ITP developed a new methodology to sort through IDOT’s vehicle replacement backlog and select the most urgent from among the unfunded needs. This new approach categorized Illinois transit agencies’ needs in the context of expanded eligibilities under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and emphasized transportation needs for Justice40 populations and those who depend on transit.

The vehicles that will be replaced with this funding are expected to lower the average fleet age by as much as 30 percent and reduce the number of vehicles exceeding their useful lives by 18 percent. Critically, replacing these older vehicles with new ones will produce $30 million in environmental benefits in the first year alone: $18 million in reduced climate damages from greenhouse gases and $11 million in reduced health damages from harmful exhaust pollution. This represents 2.3x return on investment to the United States and Illinois communities after just one year.