State DOTs Highlight Funding for Transit Projects

The Ohio Department of Transportation and the Illinois Department of Transportation recently provided transit operators in their respective regions with funds to improve and expand services as well as purchase new vehicles.

[Above photo by the Illinois DOT]

In the Ohio DOT’s case, the agency recently awarded $106 million in state and federal funds to 384 transit projects statewide via seven separate grant programs overseen by its Office of Transit; projects that will focus on workforce mobility, senior citizen and special needs transportation, rural transit, and busing. 

Image by the Ohio DOT

“This funding will help ensure that transportation is not a barrier to opportunity,” noted Governor Mike DeWine (R) in a statement. “We are improving the quality of life for Ohioans [with this funding] who depend on public transportation to access jobs, education, and medical services.”

Jack Marchbanks, Ohio DOT’s director, added that those funds will be used for a variety of purposes such as transit fleet expansion, replacement vehicles, preventative maintenance, facility upgrades, new equipment and technology, and operating assistance.

“Transportation isn’t just about moving vehicles; it’s about moving people,” he stressed. “These grant funds target the pillar of Ohio DOT’s mission to make transportation accessible, especially in our rural communities.”

Meanwhile, the Illinois DOT recently awarded more than 500 paratransit vehicles valued at $57.1 million to 113 transit providers through its Consolidated Vehicle Procurement Program.

Omar Osman at left. Photo by Illinois DOT.

The agency said those vehicles will be delivered to public transportation providers as well as nonprofit organizations serving seniors and individuals with disabilities.

“Transit is an essential service that allows our urban, suburban and rural communities to survive and thrive, providing transportation to people who might not have any other options,” noted Omer Osman, Illinois DOT secretary, in a statement.

“These vehicles are going to benefit people immediately and far into the future,” he added.

The agency said that, for more than 20 years, its Consolidated Vehicle Procurement Program has helped smaller transit agencies navigate the red tape of the public bidding process while ensuring their vehicles meet federal requirements and specifications, including those of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

By purchasing in large volume – using a mix of state and federal funds – Illinois DOT can buy vehicles at a lower cost for the public than if they were purchased individually or in smaller amounts.

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