September 7, 2012

U.S. DOT awards $3.5M for Maine commuter bus

The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) is providing more than $3.5 million for transportation improvements in the greater-Seacoast area, including a $324,000 grant to the Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation (COAST) to improve access to transportation services for veterans and military families.

The funding will help expand express commuter bus service that will make it easier for civilian and military personnel to get to work at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Pease International Tradeport, two of Kittery, Maine’s largest employment centers.

Federally-funded transportation improvements in the greater-Seacoast area include COAST’s new Clipper Connection commuter bus service, as well as increased frequency of service on regional bus routes and the development of a one-click, one-call information center that veterans, military families and others will be able to use to find information online and by phone about transportation services in the area.

The U.S. DOT is providing $2.6 million to COAST to increase the frequency of regional bus routes to every 30 minutes during peak commuting periods, with matching funds provided by the New Hampshire Turnpike Authority, as part of the Little Bay Bridge rehabilitation project between Dover and Newington, N.H. In addition, the department is providing $640,000 for the newly expanded Clipper Connection commuter bus service, with matching funds provided by the Navy.

The $324,000 grant was announced on Veterans Day in November 2011, and the funding is being made available now through the Federal Transit Administration’s Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative program to help veterans, military families and others connect to jobs and services through improved access to local transportation options. COAST has met all of the grant obligations and is ready to begin implementation of the project. The COAST project is one of 86 projects over two years that were selected to receive funding as part of this grant program. More information about the program can be found here.

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