The Texas Department of Transportation was awarded more than $20 million in federal TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grants to improve transportation services for rural populations. The funding will help replace 325 vehicles located throughout the state that are used to transport rural residents. The funds also will go toward updating or constructing transportation facilities in or near the following Texas cities: South Padre Island, Early, Weatherford and Cedar Creek.
“Our rural residents rely on these transportation services to commute between jobs, school, doctor’s appointments and other destinations that help them maintain their independence while also contributing to the economy,” said LtGen Joe Weber, USMC (Ret), TxDOT executive director. “Without this funding, more than 70 percent of the rural fleet used for such transit services would be outdated by 2017. We are pleased to be able to assist these communities in continuing these important transportation services with updated vehicles and facilities designed to keep people moving safely and comfortably.”
“We congratulate the citizens of Texas, who are the true winners in obtaining these highly competitive TIGER grant funds,” said Therese McMillan, Federal Transit Administration acting administrator. “The new buses, vans and transit facilities will be a lifeline in rural areas of the state for residents who rely on public transportation and deserve safe and reliable transit services.”
With more than 6 million residents living outside urban areas, Texas has the largest rural population in the United States. Between 2000 and 2010, the state’s rural population grew by 7.5 percent. Many of the areas served by rural transportation services have populations that are proportionally older, lower income and often have a higher percentage of people with disabilities.
For more information, call 512/463-8700.