Last week, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that 128 intercity and tour bus lines will share in a total of $20 million to help meet the 2012 federal deadline for making motorcoaches accessible to riders using wheelchairs and other mobility devices. The money comes from the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) Over-the-Road Bus Program.
"Most of us don't think twice about the simple act of getting on a bus," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Yet for millions who use mobility devices for independence such as wheelchairs, a broken or non-existent lift can interrupt a commute to work or cause someone to miss a visit with friends or family. This investment will ensure greater mobility for all."
While the majority of awardees received under $100,000 for one or two wheelchair lifts, Greyhound of Dallas, which has a fleet of more than 1,200 coaches, will receive $5.3 million to purchase 146 lifts. Funds will also be used to train bus line personnel in the proper operation and maintenance of the lifts, boarding assistance, securing wheelchairs and other related functions.
"Public transportation, including intercity and tour bus service, should be available to everyone who wants to use it," said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. "This important investment will help ensure that happens."
First authorized under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century in 1998, the Over the Road Bus Program makes federal funding available for bus lines to accommodate people with disabilities by adding lifts and other accessibility components to new vehicles and by retrofitting existing vehicles.
To view a complete list of bus lines receiving Over the Road Bus grants, click here.