Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced on Thursday that the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma received the 1,000th grant for transit awarded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
The Choctaw Nation will use the $480,374 grant for vehicle and technology upgrades. The non-reservation tribe provides transportation services for all the residents of a 10-and-a-half-county area of southeast Oklahoma, where many members of the tribe live.
“Recovery Act transit grants are having a positive impact on people’s lives, not just in cities, but in rural areas across the country as well,” said Secretary LaHood. “By funding the nation’s transit systems, we can create jobs today, and build a better, more sustainable economy moving forward.”
Choctaw Nation Chief Gregory E. Pyle said that the grant money will enable the transit program to purchase three 14-passenger paratransit buses, three paratransit mini-vans and ride dispatching software. “We are very thankful for the Recovery grant,” Pyle said.
Recovery Act grants for bus purchases have also benefited domestic bus manufacturers, which have received orders that are boosting production and supporting jobs. For example, Orion Bus in Greensboro, N.C. received 10 contracts for nearly 300 buses with Recovery Act funds — orders the company says allowed it to maintain 176 jobs — and Gillig Bus in Hayward, Calif. received orders for 790 buses with Recovery Act funds — work the company says has allowed them to support 395 jobs.