Wed, Oct 22, 2014 04:36
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Texas Gets Millions in Federal Transportation Dollars

Texas Business reports: AUSTIN—Millions of dollars are coming to Texas as a result of federal program funding dedicated to upgrading public transportation infrastructure and supporting service operations across the state.

The Texas Transportation Commission approved close to $37 million in federal transit money along with approximately 4.4 million in Transportation Development Credits (TDC).

The money will fund critically-needed public transportation services and projects such as replacing outdated facilities and retiring older, less-efficient vehicles and replacing them with newer, fuel-efficient versions. The dollars also provide financial support to provide transportation for persons with disabilities as well as for clients going back and forth to work or participating in job training programs.

These programs benefit citizens all across the state, said Eric Gleason, TxDOT Public Transportation Division Director.

“It’s important for Texas to support a healthy public transportation system, to assure that citizens from all walks of life have easy and efficient access to jobs, medical centers, education, shopping malls and other locations,” Gleason said  in a prepared statement.

The money was awarded in seven separate minute orders including:

$14.2 million in federal funds and 2.46 million of TDC to rural public transportation providers for vehicle procurement and facility projects.

 $9 million and 943,500 of TDC for various transit programs providing transit service to individuals for job training and work, improving access to existing public transportation services for the disabled, and enhancing intercity service connections between cities and rural areas.

 $7.3 million of rural federal funds will assist transit agencies with both operating and capital expenses and the growing demand for more service.

 $4 million of federal funds and 366,249 of TDC for transit projects increasing services to elderly and individuals with disabilities.

 About $1.7 million of planning federal funds and 342,887 of TDC match was allocated statewide to Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) for public transportation planning that will improve transit service in urban areas.

 $335,000 to Mental Health Mental Retardation of Tarrant County for a demonstration project to advance public transportation services for seniors and people with disabilities using innovative techniques.

 $230,992 in federal funds and 249,158 in TDC for a Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative (VTCLI) for capital projects.

Transportation development credits are awarded to various transportation agencies to assist with the match of federal funds for capital projects. The commission made special mention at the meeting that TDC awards were an important and innovative financing option for areas with limited to no local resources.