WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced the availability of $5 million in competitive grant funds to enhance public transit service for American Indians, Alaska natives and other residents on rural tribal lands. Funding is provided through FTA’s Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Tribal Transit Program. A Notice of Funding Availability appears in today’s Federal Register.
“The Obama Administration is proud to partner with tribal governments throughout the United States to better connect tribal residents with jobs, education and other important ladders of opportunity,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “For many tribal members who live in remote areas and rely heavily on public transportation, this funding will help ensure continued access to vital services they need.”
Through FTA’s Tribal Transit Program, competitively awarded FY2014 funds will allow tribes to continue operating or enhance existing transit service, launch new public transportation services, invest in new or replacement equipment, or plan for future transit needs. In FY2013, FTA funded 48 projects in 19 states totaling $5.04 million in discretionary grant funds to support public transportation services for tribal communities.
“We fully recognize that residents on tribal lands and in surrounding communities often face significant transportation challenges, as many cannot afford to own a vehicle, or fill the tank, and yet must travel long distances to reach basic services,” said FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan. “We want to ensure that everyone who needs a ride to earn a paycheck, attend school, see the doctor, or buy groceries has that opportunity.”
Under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act, FTA’s Tribal Transit Program roughly doubled the amount of available funding from amounts awarded in prior years, but changed from an entirely discretionary program to a mostly formula-based one. FTA has provided approximately $50 million in FY2013 and FY2014 formula funds to 110 tribal transit programs in 26 states to help tribes continue to provide and enhance the transit services that many rural residents depend on every day.