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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $5 Million in Grants to Improve Public Transportation on Tribal Lands

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

1/15/2020

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced projects selected to receive approximately $5 million in grants to American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments under FTA’s Tribal Transit Program. The Fiscal Year 2019 grants will support 39 projects in 20 states.

"The $5 million in Tribal Transit grants will help connect tribal residents with jobs, healthcare and other essential services," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The Tribal Transit Program makes funds available to federally recognized Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages, groups, or communities to support capital projects, operating costs, and planning activities for public transportation services on and around tribal lands.

"The Federal Transit Administration is committed to helping tribal residents with their transportation needs," said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. "These grants will provide new and improved transportation services for tribal residents who need additional travel options."

The selected projects will receive Fiscal Year 2019 program funds. Examples of selected projects include the following:

  • The Gulkana Village Council in Alaska, which operates Soaring Eagles Transit, will receive funding to replace transit vehicles that have exceeded their useful life. This project will improve safety, mobility, and service reliability for residents who use the service for local and intercity travel to surrounding communities in the region.
  • The Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians in Maine will receive funding to purchase a loader and plow to maintain its transit facilities and routes to ensure continued services for its tribal members in Aroostook County. The equipment will be used to remove snow and debris from transportation facilities and transit routes through the winter months and for materials movement at facilities in spring, summer, and fall.

FTA received 53 eligible proposals requesting $8.2 million from 21 states for Fiscal Year 2019 Tribal Transit discretionary funding.

In addition to the $5 million in competitive funding announced today, $30 million in formula funding is provided to tribes each fiscal year as authorized by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

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