More than two dozen American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native communities will see an improvement in their transit courtesy of $8.6 million in grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
The competitive grants under FTA's Tribal Transit Program come on top of more than $35 million in formula funding for Tribal Transit each year, according to the administration's news release. The President's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes nearly $46 million in competitive funding over five years for Tribal Transit, an increase of nearly 83%.
"With today's announcement, we are taking an important step to help ensure Tribal residents have access to reliable, affordable ways to get around," said Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Transportation secretary. "Using funds from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, these grants will help improve transit for Tribal Nations around our country."
According to the National Transit Database, nearly 12 million vehicle miles of service are provided by Tribal Transit systems each year nationwide, providing access to jobs, schools, healthcare, shopping, and to provide eldercare.
FTA said its Tribal Transit Program supports public transportation for federally recognized American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages, groups, or communities.
"Today's grant awards will improve public transportation and connections for people in communities that have been historically underserved," said Nuria Fernandez, FTA administrator. "We want to make sure that no one is left behind as we expand and modernize transit systems."