The Federal Transit Administration issued $64.2 million worth of Capital Investment Grants or CIG program grants on February 28 to three projects in Florida and Texas, followed by an opportunity activated on March 2 to apply for $8.5 million in new Helping Obtain Prosperity for Everyone or HOPE program grants.
[Above photo by FTA.]
As part of those new CIG program grants, the Florida Department of Transportation will be establishing safety standards for a 1,200-foot extension of the East Corridor Bus Rapid Transit project spearheaded by the Jacksonville Transportation Authority in Jacksonville, Florida.
The JTA is getting $6.8 million via the CIG program to help fund compliance with those safety standards, FTA noted in a statement.
The notice of funding opportunity FTA posted for the new HOPE program grants aims to support planning, engineering, and technical studies or financial planning to improve transit services in areas experiencing long-term economic distress, the agency said – noting that the deadline for applications is May 4.
In a statement, FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams emphasized that the end result envisioned by this new program is improved public transportation, new transit routes and facilities, and innovative technologies in communities experiencing persistent poverty.
It will also support coordinated human service transportation planning to improve transit service or provide new services such as rides to opioid abuse recovery and treatment, she said.
“We want to ensure that transportation connects people to jobs, school and healthcare and is not a barrier for people seeking substance abuse treatment and recovery services,” Williams added.
Eligible applicants for HOPE program grants must come from counties with more than 20 percent of the population living in poverty for 30 years or more, as measured by the U.S. Census or the 2013-2017 American Community Survey, FTA noted.