[Above photo by the FTA]
FTA said it awards those grants on a competitive basis to state and local governments, transit agencies, and nonprofit organizations to create better transit for residents who have limited or no transportation options.
“For millions of people in communities big and small, transit is a lifeline,” said Pete Buttigieg, secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, in a statement.
“Every American should have a way to affordably get to work or school, buy fresh food, access medical care, and visit their loved ones – and these transit grants will help make that a reality in 45 underserved communities across the country,” he said.
Buttigieg added that FTA’s AAoP program supports the Biden administration’s Justice40 initiative and its “general goals” of advancing racial equity and improving public health and the environment through transportation planning that generates new or better transit service.
“Transit can be the great equalizer, but if you live in a transit desert, where options are few and far away, you don’t have access to that power,” added FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez, who spoke at an event in Jackson, MS, to highlight a $650,000 grant to the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
“FTA’s Areas of Persistent Poverty program removes barriers to opportunity by increasing access to jobs, school, and services for some of our residents who need it the most,” she said.
The agency awards AAoP grants for planning, engineering, and technical studies or financial plans to improve transit in Census-defined low-income areas. The program also supports coordinated human service transportation planning to improve transit service or provide new services, including paratransit, FTA said.