The Nebraska Department of Transportation recently highlighted its “Faces of Transit in Nebraska” video series, originally unveiled in April, as it spotlights the statewide efforts of rural transit agencies.
[Above image by Nebraska DOT]
The Nebraska DOT worked with the University of Nebraska at Omaha Center for Public Affairs Research or CPAR, the University of Nebraska at Kearney Nebraska Safety Center, White Shutter Media, and numerous rural transit agencies to produce this unique series of videos – produced with the intent of showing how public transit is helping prevent community members, especially in rural parts of the state, from being “left behind.”
“For many residents in rural communities, transit serves as a lifeline linking them to healthcare, work, education, and civic life,” Nebraska DOT noted in a statement. “Consequently, public transit in Nebraska is vital to the state’s economic prosperity and future.”
[Editor’s note: The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials issues an annual “Survey of State Funding for Public Transportation Report.” Its Fiscal Year 2032 report – based on FY 2021 data due to the COVID-19 pandemic – provides a snapshot of state-by-state investment in public transportation from federal, state, and local funding sources.]
In 2022, CPAR noted that Nebraska’s rural and urban transit agencies collectively covered over 9.8 million miles, an increase of 80 percent from 2021, with rural miles accounting for 43 percent of that total. The total number of passenger boardings across Nebraska in 2022 – defined as anytime a passenger steps onto a transit vehicle – topped 4.7 million in both rural and urban areas, according to CPAR’s data, reflecting an increase of 140 percent from 2021.