(1) A public transportation assistance program is hereby established to provide state assistance for the capital acquisition and operating costs of public transportation systems.
(2) Any municipality, county, transit authority, regional metropolitan transit authority, or qualified public-purpose organization shall be eligible to receive financial assistance for the eligible capital acquisition and operating costs of a public transportation system, whether the applicant directly operates such system or contracts for its operation. A qualified public-purpose organization shall not be eligible for financial assistance under the Nebraska Public Transportation Act if such organization is currently receiving state funds for a program which includes transportation services and such funding and services would be duplicated by the act. Eligible operating costs include those expenses incurred in the operation of a public transportation system which exceed the amount of operating revenue and which are not otherwise eligible for reimbursement from any available federal programs other than those administered by the United States Department of the Treasury. Eligible capital acquisition costs include investments in the purchase, replacement, and rebuilding of buses and other vehicles used for public transportation.
(3) The state grant to an applicant shall not exceed fifty percent of the eligible capital acquisition or operating costs of the public transportation system as provided for in subsection (2) of this section. The amount of state funds shall be matched by an equal amount of local funds in support of capital acquisition or operating costs.