Why was Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff in Toledo this week awarding a $3.4 million grant to replace 43 paratransit buses? Because this Administration is absolutely committed to helping provide better transportation options for all Americans.
The Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) operates a fleet of 56 small buses to transport elderly and disabled passengers. Those buses have outlived their expected service life and need to be upgraded. TARTA will use the grant, awarded under the FTA's State of Good Repair program, to replace its outdated buses with safer, more fuel-efficient vehicles. The new vehicles can carry as many as 12 people and can accommodate up to four wheelchairs.
Access to paratransit--available by appointment and on-demand--is crucial to the ability of transit-dependent Americans to get around. For TARTA, paratransit has been the fastest growing segment of their service. If you are elderly or disabled and can't use a standard bus, paratransit service is your lifeline to jobs, education, medical care, groceries, and just about everywhere you need or want to go.
As Administrator Rogoff said, “Getting around town is a challenge when you can’t drive, but it makes matters worse to have to ride in vehicles that aren’t reliable.”
As gas prices fluctuate unpredictably, other transit agencies across the U.S. are experiencing similar hikes in ridership. And the FTA's State of Good Repair grants are helping them maintain their fleets to meet this increased demand.
Investments like Toledo's State of Good Repair grant make sure that seniors and the disabled in cities and rural communities across America continue to have equal access to safe public transportation. Transit also frees others from the burden and expense of owning a car.
This is how we connect people to their communities and improve livability and sustainability. This is how we win the future.