For each of the last 15 years, our Federal Transit Administration has recognized transit providers that overcome significant challenges to deliver reliable services to families, seniors, and persons with disabilities who live and work in rural, often far-flung communities.
Yesterday FTA Deputy Administrator Therese McMillan traveled to the National Transportation Research Board Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation Conference in Burlington, Vermont. There, she presented six transit providers with this year's Outstanding Rural Transit System awards:
- Special Transit of Boulder, CO
- Rural Community Transportation of St. Johnsbury, VT
- Citylink Public Transit System of Worley, ID
- Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency of Cookeville, TN
- Flint Hills Transportation Agency of Manhattan, KS
- South Central Adult Services Council of Valley City, ND
Now, the millions of us who live and work in the nation’s cities and suburbs have options for getting around: car, taxi, bus, train, trolley, bike, or our own feet.
But that’s simply not the case for many Americans living in more rural areas. From the tribal communities of North Dakota to the Ozark Mountain towns of Arkansas, transportation choices are more limited—particularly if you can't afford a car—and destinations are often spread far apart.
For many rural Americans, this is the reality they face. And, believe me, a transportation gap turns the day-to-day activities many of us take for granted into a real challenge—whether it’s getting out to look for a job, traveling to a dialysis center for treatment, or simply running the errands needed to manage a household.
That's why I think the Outstanding Rural Transit System awards are so important. And why I want to thank this year's winners for providing such a valuable service to the people who depend on them each and every day.
I also want to thank our partners in the National Rural Transit Assistance Program, who evaluated the winners.
We at DOT are really proud of this year’s winners. But we are also thankful for all of our rural transit providers. These are difficult times, and anything transit systems can do to make it less of a challenge for Americans to get where they need to go is important.