On Wednesday, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) awarded $15.1 million to Native American and Alaska Native tribal governments across the U.S., enabling them to make public transportation improvements on or near reservations.
“DOT is absolutely committed to improving tribal transportation resources,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Building and maintaining good transportation infrastructure on and near tribal lands, and in Alaska Native villages, goes hand-in-hand with meeting the needs of the local workforce while protecting environmentally sensitive lands and important cultural legacies.”
Tribal Transit program funds will provide grants to tribes for 59 separate projects, including transit equipment purchases and facility construction and improvements. Participants in this program include federally recognized tribes and Alaska Native villages.
“More transportation options means greater mobility,” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. “Planning and expanding public transportation on or near Indian reservations will give those who live on tribal lands — sometimes in very remote areas — better access to jobs, health care, and other vital services.”
Funds made available on a competitive basis to tribes through the Tribal Transit program are in addition to formula funds that tribes receive from states through FTA’s program for assistance to rural areas. Tribal Transit funds can be used to support planning, capital and operating assistance for tribal public transit services.