WACO, TX — The Texas Transportation Commission approved $89 million in funding to support public transit programs throughout the state, in efforts to make the transit system more equitable and reliable for Texans in need of public transportation.
According to the list of the agencies and communities that received funds, The McLennan County Rural Transit District received $320,102, The City Of Waco $253,000, Waco $627,231, Temple $321,109, and Killeen $415,133.
The award is the largest amount ever in funding at one time for Texas transit agencies, and will include over $10 million from the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act to assist transportation agencies rebound from the impact of COVID-19.
TxDot funding has contributed to nearly 20 million transit rides in it's fiscal year of 2020 throughout the pandemic, according to the TxDOT release.
“When most services shut down during the pandemic, these transit agencies continued serving thousands of Texans across the state,” TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams said. “In a time when they were needed most, these agencies helped people get to jobs, groceries or the medical care they needed. This additional funding will continue to improve access for Texans, enabling TxDOT to fulfill our mission of ‘Connecting You with Texas.’”
These funds, $35 million in state funds and $54 million in federal funds, support 96 percent transit services in the state's rural and urban areas, and serve 41 percent of Texans.
“During the pandemic we saw how important these transit agencies are for many Texans, especially in the more rural regions of the state,” Texas Transportation Commissioner Alvin New said. “Transit can be a lifeline for many people, and I’m happy to see this amount of funding go to these communities.”
$7 million of the funds were awarded to public transportation projects that address the needs of seniors/ elderly and those with disabilities. Some of the 39 projects that were selected to receive funding include projects from Valley Metro in the Rio Grande Valley, Spartan Public Transportation in Levelland, and the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission in Beaumont.
The approved projects were given awards, in a range of rural and urban areas, because they offered service plans for seniors and individuals with disabilities a variety of transportation services - from flexibility in scheduling, to mobility planning and management, to transit service to nutrition centers and other community centers in the individual's area.