FTA Issues Grants to Fund Tribal Transit, Innovation Efforts

The Federal Transit Administration made two pools of grant funds available on May 28; one to support transit services for American Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages in rural areas and the other to support the development of “innovative technologies and designs” for improving the state of good repair for transit agencies.

[Above photo by the Stillaguamish Transportation Department.]

First, the agency is making $5 million in fiscal year 2020 competitive grant funding available via its Tribal Transit Program to support public transportation for federally recognized Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages, groups, or communities, as well as to meet the needs of older adults, people with disabilities, and youth in rural areas where transit is sparse.

Photo by Navajo Transit

The FTA noted in a statement that applications will be evaluated based on criteria outlined in the notice of funding opportunity, including how the project will improve the quality of life for the tribe and surrounding communities.

Examples include increased ridership and daily trips, improved service, elimination of gaps in service, improved operations and coordination, and increased reliability.

The application period for those tribal transit grants closes August 24.

Simultaneously, the FTA is making $1.25 million in grants available through a separate NOFO funding to help enhance asset management of infrastructure and safety by employing innovative technologies that can provide real-time condition assessment of transit capital and facilities.

The agency noted that this funding – provided via its Public Transportation Innovation program – offers an opportunity for transit agencies to assess, detect, monitor, and track deficiencies related to infrastructure and evaluate the cost-effectiveness and practicality of technological solutions.

FTA noted in a statement that eligible applicants under the NOFO are providers of public transportation, including public transportation agencies, state and local departments of transportation, technology system suppliers and bus manufacturers.

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