The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) this week announced an opportunity for communities to apply for $8.5 million in competitive grant funding for transit projects that would help support those living in poverty or recovering from substance abuse.
The agency's new Helping Obtain Prosperity for Everyone (HOPE) program supports planning, engineering, and technical studies or financial planning to improve transit services in areas experiencing long-term economic distress.
The HOPE program will provide these steps with a goal of bringing 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.
"The HOPE program is designed to help communities succeed," FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams said in a statement. "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."
Eligible applicants must come from counties with more than 20% 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. Many of the communities are in rural areas, which experience unique challenges in providing public transportation, ensuring safety and keeping transit assets in a state of good repair. Applicants are encouraged to partner with nonprofit organizations engaged in public transportation and anti-poverty issues.
SOURCE: Federal Transit Administration