With help from federal COVID-19 relief funding, the Texas Transportation Commission recently approved $89 million to support rural and urban transit services in more than 96 percent of the state’s land area, serving 41 percent of the state’s population.
[Above photo by Texas Transit Association]
That funding – comprised of $35 million in state funds and $54 million in federal funds – includes $10 million from the federal American Rescue Plan to help transit agencies statewide continue managing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When most services shut down during the pandemic, these transit agencies continued serving thousands of Texans across the state,” explained Marc Williams, the new executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation, in a statement.
“In a time when they were needed most, these agencies helped people get to jobs, groceries or the medical care they needed,” he added. “This additional funding will continue to improve access for Texans, enabling TxDOT to fulfill our mission of ‘Connecting You with Texas.’”
That funding also includes more than $7 million to support 39 public transportation projects that address the needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities, including:
- Valley Metroin the Lower Rio Grande Valley will be able to expand its transit service offerings with on-demand microtransit, increasing its flexibility in scheduling and routes, and offering advance reservations to seniors and individuals with disabilities.
- Spartan Public Transportationin Levelland will be able to fill existing service gaps, maintain vehicles, pay mobility managers who help plan and manage trips, and purchase four accessible replacement vehicles.
- The South East Texas Regional Planning Commissionwill use its share of those funds to continue and expand its collaborative work with local transit agencies that provide seniors with curb-to-curb paratransit service to nutrition centers, area agency on aging programs, and foster grandparent programs.