December 1, 2011

Feds grant $15M to tribal governments

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced $15 million to help American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments invest in public transit to help improve access to employment centers and promote economic development on tribal lands.

The money, which is awarded through the Federal Transit Administration's Tribal Transit Program, will provide grants to tribes in 25 states for 67 separate projects. The projects will focus on maintaining existing transit operations during the economic downturn and enhancing services for seniors and people with disabilities.

In addition, some grants will be used to plan or launch new bus, van and commuter service in rural communities that have never been served by public transit before.

"With unemployment among American Indians at an unacceptably high rate, reliable public transportation offers a vital link to jobs, training centers and other essential services," Secretary LaHood said. "The Obama Administration is committed to working with leaders in Indian country to improve transportation connections while boosting economic conditions and creating jobs in tribal communities."

Eligible grant recipients under the Tribal Transit Program include federally-recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages, groups or communities, as identified by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior.

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