More than $13 million in Recovery Act Funding Anticipated for Rural Transit Agencies and Rural Intercity Bus ServiceContact: Bill Shreck 517-335-3084
May 28, 2009
LANSING - Lieutenant Governor John D. Cherry, Jr. today announced that $13.2 million in funding for rural transit agencies and rural intercity bus service from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) will be submitted to the Federal Transit Administration for approval. This funding represents Phase 1 of a two-part distribution of approximately $25 million for Michigan's rural passenger transportation system.
"The Recovery Act provides an opportunity to create jobs by investing in our infrastructure and enhancing rural transit services that Michigan residents use to access health care, shopping, jobs, or job-training opportunities," said Cherry. The investment in buses, improved and new facilities, and equipment is expected to create between 100 to 200 construction jobs in our state.
"Rural transit systems are public transportation lifelines throughout Michigan, and these funds will go a long way toward improving their services and helping the agency become more effective and efficient," said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. "Our goals for selecting projects in this first phase were to upgrade the overall condition of the rural transit fleet and create Michigan jobs through construction of new facilities. In Phase 2, we also will be focusing on investments that will improve rural transit efficiency by reducing operating costs and increasing energy efficiency. For example, the state has released a request for bids for a small hybrid bus that can be used in rural settings so that we can add hybrids to our rural fleet in Phase 2 of Recovery Act spending."
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will be hosting a Michigan vendor showcase and transit summit in July to showcase Michigan vendors and determine the best use of the Phase 2 funds.
The recommended projects in Phase 1 include replacing rural transit buses that are past their useful life and constructing new administrative, bus storage, and maintenance facilities for rural transit systems. The rural transit agencies in Michigan also will receive $68 million of Fiscal Year 2009 state and federal funds to support operating and capital needs of the transit agencies.
Rural intercity bus services also are slated for improvements. The MDOT uses state and federal funds to contract with carriers to provide service that would otherwise not exist, in particular, in the Upper Peninsula and northern Michigan. Recovery Act funding will be used to improve services for intercity passengers and help reduce costs for the carriers through the purchase of motor coaches to replace those that have met their useful life and improvements to passenger terminals.
Transit agencies in urban areas of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Battle Creek, Bay City, Benton Harbor, Holland, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Monroe, Muskegon, Port Huron, Saginaw and Livingston County) will receive approximately $108 million and also will be submitting applications to the Federal Transit Administration.
Attached is the Phase 1 list of projects that will be submitted to the Federal Transit Administration for approval and their estimated cost.
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