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U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $15 Million to Enhance Transit Options on Tribal Lands for an America Built to Last

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced the availability of approximately $15 million in competitive funding to help American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments strengthen public transportation options that improve access to jobs, education, medical services and other critical needs in underserved rural areas.

"President Obama has charged us with building an economy that works for everyone, and for thousands of families living on America’s tribal lands, public transportation is critical to accessing economic opportunity," said Secretary LaHood. "We’re committed to working with tribal governments to provide safe and reliable transit in their communities."

The Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Tribal Transit Program provides discretionary grants to projects eligible to receive planning, capital and operating assistance for tribal public transit services. 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.

"Access to reliable, affordable transit is truly a lifeline in rural tribal and Alaskan Native communities that have traditionally had few transportation choices to get to work, school and other destinations," said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. "With gas prices rising, it’s more important than ever to have viable transit options."

Under the Tribal Transit Program, eligible recipients 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.

Last year, the FTA reviewed 116 project applications for the Tribal Transit Program, representing more than $41.6 million in funding requests from tribal transit providers across the country.

The notice of funding availability for the FY2012 Tribal Transit Program is published in today’s
Federal Register. Proposals must be submitted by April 26, 2012.

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