To honor American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage month, the White House has been holding listening and briefing sessions with tribal leaders this week leading up to a Tribal Nations Conference today at the Department of the Interior. As part of this effort, we're proud to announce $15 million in grants to American Indian and Alaska Native governments for public transit investments that help provide access to employment centers.
As our country makes its way through the economic crisis, America's tribal communities have endured an unemployment rate consistently above the national average. And the Obama Administration is committed to addressing that. By supporting public transportation, we're helping to create and sustain crucial connections to jobs, training, and other essential services.
The FTA carefully reviewed 116 applications adding up to more than $41.6 million in requests for these grants. From these, they selected 67 projects in 25 different states including:
- $500,000 to the Nez Perce tribe in Idaho to continue providing service between rural communities and Lewiston with three fixed routes and an on‐demand service. This service allows residents access to health care, employment, education, and other needs.
- $475,000 to the Navajo Transit system in Arizona to expand their service, as well as improve connections to area economic centers Flagstaff, AZ, and Gallup and Farmington, NM.
- $328,085 to Alaska's Gulkana Village Council to maintain Soaring Eagle Transit, the area's only public transportation. Soaring Eagle service provides transportation among local rural communities, with limited service to Anchorage, Valdez and Palmer.
These grants will help support much needed mobility for the tribes in these regions. Thanks to the Obama Administration, critical service that otherwise might have fallen by the wayside will continue and even expand.
As FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff said, “We’re committed to ensuring that every American Indian or Alaskan native who needs a ride to earn a paycheck, attend school, see the doctor, or buy groceries has that opportunity.”
A full list of these important grants can be found here.