Secretary LaHood Announces Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Awarded 1,000th Recovery Act Transit Grant

5/13/2010
Contact: Paul Griffo
(202) 366-4064

Obama Administration Has Provided $8.7 Billion for Transit Vehicles, Infrastructure, Preventive Maintenance

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today that the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma has received the 1,000th grant for transit awarded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The Choctaw Nation will use the $480,374 grant for vehicle and technology upgrades. The non-reservation tribe provides transportation services for all the residents of a 10-county area of southeast Oklahoma where many members of the tribe live.

"Recovery Act transit grants are having a positive impact on people's lives, not just in cities, but in rural areas across the country as well," said Secretary LaHood. "By funding the nation's transit systems, we can create jobs today, and build a better, more sustainable economy moving forward."

Since the Recovery Act passed in 2009, $8.7 billion in transit grants have been awarded to transit providers across the country. Those grants have purchased more than 12,000 buses, vans and rail vehicles; more than $4.4 billion in transit infrastructure construction or renovation; and more than $725 million in preventive maintenance. These improvements have helped to save transit service and jobs, while enhancing safety and service reliability.

"Through the Recovery Act, the Obama Administration is providing clean, safe, and reliable transit for millions of riders across the country each day," said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff. "These one thousand grants have saved or created thousands of good-paying jobs in transit while improving commutes for millions of Americans across all fifty states."

Choctaw Nation Chief Gregory E. Pyle said that the grant money will enable the transit program to purchase three 14-passenger paratransit buses, three paratransit mini-vans and ride dispatching software. "We are very thankful for the Recovery grant," Pyle said.

"We serve a large area over 11,000 square miles," said Choctaw Transit Director Johnny James. "The Recovery grant will enable us to serve more clients with greater efficiency."

Recovery Act grants for bus purchases have also benefitted domestic bus manufacturers, which have received orders that are boosting production and supporting jobs. For example:

  • Orion Bus in Greensboro, N.C. has now received 10 contracts for nearly 300 buses with Recovery Act funds orders the company says allowed it to maintain 176 jobs.
  • Gillig Bus in Hayward, Calif. has received orders for 790 buses with Recovery Act funds work the company says has allowed them to support 395 jobs.

Other Recovery Act-funded transit projects include:

  • Denver Union Station will be redeveloped as a multimodal transportation center that will accommodate significant additional passenger rail service, promote economic vitality, and help people who are young, elderly, or disabled access transportation more independently.
  • Bridges and a parking lot that provide commuter access to the T. George Staten Island Ferry Terminal will be refurbished. The rehabilitation will restore and preserve the structural integrity of these bridges for another 25 years while completing the makeover of this vital transportation hub which provides a direct connection for 60,000 riders a day to and from Manhattan.

More information about transit projects funded by the Recovery Act can be found here.

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