Texas allocates $96 million to boost rural transit access
By investing in these critical mobility services, the state is actively working to ensure that all Texans can reach their desired destinations safely and reliably, fostering economic growth and community development along the way.
Credit: Texas Department of Transportation
The Texas Transportation Commission has announced that it has given the green light to a significant funding allocation of $96 million in state and federal funds to support rural and small urban transit agencies across the state. The primary objective of this investment is to improve access to jobs, healthcare and education for Texans in underserved communities.
One of the beneficiaries of this funding is the Southwest Area Regional Transit District, who played a pivotal role in helping Gilleland achieve her dream of obtaining two college degrees. This had been made possible through comprehensive outreach, travel training and partnerships with healthcare case-management programmes, demonstrating the tangible impact that these agencies can have on individuals’ lives.
“Rural communities and surrounding areas can sometimes have limited options for transportation, and these transit agencies provide a lifeline for those who need it most,” said Texas Transportation Commissioner Alvin New. “This funding will help make sure Texans can get to where they need to go safely and reliably.”
The allocated funds will be distributed among 79 public transportation providers and planning agencies across the state. These agencies will work collaboratively to establish an integrated network of mobility services that cater to the diverse needs of their communities.
For instance, the East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG) is teaming up with Tyler and Longview to create a seamless transportation network through a combination of state and federal grant programmes, aiming to address the specific requirements of their respective regions.
Furthermore, the Bluebonnet Trails Community Services (BTCS) will employ around-the-clock language services to facilitate better co-ordinated transit for non-English speaking individuals, ensuring that language barriers do not hinder access to essential services.
In addition to these initiatives, the Rolling Plains Management Corporation (RPMC) is constructing an Administrative and Operations Center in Crowell, Texas. This facility will serve as the base for its SHARP Lines Rural Public Transportation dispatch, administration and training activities. The new space will include 6,000 square feet of office space attached to the existing bus storage and maintenance building, accommodating additional drivers, fleet maintenance and administrative staff.
Overall, this funding allocation marks a significant step towards improving transportation accessibility for marginalised communities in Texas.
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