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

February 13, 2019

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced project selections totaling $5 million to American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments under FTA’s Tribal Transit Program. The Fiscal Year 2018 grants will support 36 projects in 14 states.

"These grants will help American Indian and Alaskan Native tribal governments provide transportation in rural areas to connect tribal residents with jobs, healthcare and other opportunities," 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. Tribal Transit grants connect tribal residents with jobs, school, healthcare, and other community services.

"The Federal Transit Administration is committed to helping tribal residents with their transportation needs," said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. "We’re proud to support investments in their transit systems, which provide access to essential services."

The selected projects will receive fiscal year 2018 program funds. Examples of selected projects include:

  • The San Carlos Apache Tribal Council in Arizona will receive funding to purchase buses with accessibility features to replace non-accessible buses that have exceeded their useful life.  The transit program, which provides access to jobs and services in Graham, Gila, and Pinal counties, is experiencing ridership increases of 10,000 trips a year.
  • The Kenaitze Tribe in Alaska will receive funding to expand administrative operations of its tribal transit program, fulfilling needs for a transportation coordinator and driver.  The bus program serves the communities of Kenai, Soldotna, Sterling and other towns – an area covering more than 15,000 square miles in rural Alaska.
  • The Seneca Nation of Indians in New York will receive funding to construct a bus facility for maintenance and to shelter vehicles from harsh weather conditions.

FTA received 50 proposals requesting $8.3 million from 47 tribes in 16 states for Fiscal Year 2018 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 through the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

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Updated: Thursday, May 9, 2019
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