Greenville’s bid for federal money to create a regional bus system that would connect the county’s distant points to the city core and add electric buses made locally by Proterra to its fleet was denied again.
Greenville County, the city of Greenville and Greenlink had applied for an $11.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grant program.
But Greenville wasn’t one of the 40 communities in 32 states and two U.S. territories across the country that received nearly $500 million. The DOT announced the winners on Friday.
The DOT received 585 applications requesting more than $143 billion.
It was the second year in a row Greenville was rejected. Two-thirds of the winners were repeat applicants.
Horry County won nearly $10 million for a $17.6 million freight railroad rehabilitation project between Conway and Chadbourn, N.C. The project will make freight rail service more dependable and efficient, helping existing businesses in Horry and Marion counties in South Carolina and Columbus County in North Carolina.
The grant would have created a new transfer station at the University Center and add two express bus lines serving the county’s outer reaches. Expanded service hours would better accommodate flexible work schedules and manufacturing shift changes.
The grant application included a five-mile extension of the Swamp Rabbit Trail from East Washington Street to Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research, a trail bridge on S.C. 253 and four connections between the transit system and the trail, creating “ladders of opportunities.”
The greenway would provide a multi-modal “last mile” connection to jobs and educational opportunities along a major county thoroughfare, according to a grant summary.
Greenlink has been trying to find the money to buy electric buses from Proterra for years. This year’s state budget included $300,000 to help Greenlink acquire a Proterra bus.