U.S. Senators Katie Britt, Tina Smith, Kevin Cramer, John Fetterman Introduce Legislation to Strengthen Domestic Bus Manufacturing Market

March 14, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 14, 2024 — U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.) recently joined a bipartisan group of her colleagues, Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.Dak.), and John Fetterman (D-Penn.), in introducing legislation to cut red tape and reform the domestic bus manufacturing industry by providing more flexibility for local transit systems when purchasing buses. 

Current U.S. regulations by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) impose outdated, 40-year-old payment practices on our bus manufacturers and purchasers, which result in unnecessarily high costs. Many domestic bus manufacturers have gone bankrupt or left the market, despite high demand for new vehicles.

The Bus Rolling Stock Modernization Act would allow bus manufacturers to apply for advanced payments up to 20%, enabling them to invest in the labor and machinery needed to meet demand of transit agencies and keep production costs down.

“I’m glad to join my colleagues in introducing this important, bipartisan legislation to support domestic manufacturing and help local transit agencies serve the needs of Alabamians. From our rural communities and our Main Streets to Alabama’s largest cities, I want to ensure that people across our great state have the opportunity to safely get to work, school, the grocery store, and everywhere in between. Cutting senseless red tape while supporting Made in America manufacturers is simply common sense,” said Senator Britt.

“Each day, transit systems connect Minnesotans to their jobs, schools, grocery stores and countless other opportunities – all while reducing traffic congestion and pollution,” Senator Smith said. “This bill makes a straightforward and commonsense update to the current FTA regulations that would cut unnecessary red tape and strengthen the domestic bus manufacturing market. This small change will also support U.S. bus manufacturing jobs, get more buses into service, and help Americans get to their work, school, and health care appointments more easily.”

“This legislation represents a bipartisan effort to revitalize the bus manufacturing industry across America. This simple change will have the dual benefit of much-needed flexibility for local transit agencies and contracting stability for manufacturers like Motor Coach Industries in Pembina North Dakota. This helps pave the way for further investment and job creation at the facility,” stated Senator Cramer.

“My office has heard from countless transit agencies across Pennsylvania—both the largest ones in our cities to smaller ones that serve our rural communities—about how hard it is to acquire new buses,” said Senator Fetterman. “This bill will help change that by giving agencies more flexibility when purchasing buses. Strong transit agencies are critical to making sure our communities are strong. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill that will mean transit agencies across the commonwealth can better serve Pennsylvanians.”

The full text of the bill can be found here.