The Obama Administration is firmly committed to improving tribal transportation resources. The Recovery Act, for example, included a $310 million boost for the Indian Reservation Roads Program, and we increased the annual amount of that program from $275 million to $450 million.
We’re also working to make it easier for Native American communities to access resources through discretionary programs like Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER). For example, we provided $12 million in TIGER support to improve roads on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana.
And just last week, I was pleased to announce the availability of $15 million in Tribal Transit grants. These grants will enable rural American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments across the United States to invest in public transit options that provide convenient access to employment centers and promote new economic development on tribal lands.
The Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Tribal Transit Program provides grants to tribes for capital transportation projects and operating expenses to meet the growing public transit needs of rural tribal communities. Funds available on a competitive basis to tribes through the Tribal Transit program are in addition to formula funds tribes receive from states through FTA’s rural transit program.
In addition, these dollars create jobs and stimulate development of new tribal-owned businesses.
Interested tribes should start with the application instructions on the FTA's program website.
Affordable transit choices in our rural communities give residents better access to jobs and health care, and provide an incentive for much-needed economic development. Through the Tribal Transit program, DOT will continue to make these choices a reality for native communities across the country.