“We'll put it to good use here in Ohio,” said Ohio Department of Transportation Press Secretary Matt Bruning in response to the announcement that the state will receive a federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to fund the Transit Tech Ohio program, which has been described as an initiative to better connect the state’s overall transportation system, which provides some 117 million rides every year.
The TIGER grant was awarded for $6.8 million.
"[The Transit Tech Ohio] project will basically expand broadband access into areas of the state that are underserved,” Bruning said. “We're going to be working with Connect Ohio. To be able to upgrade [various systems’] scheduling and dispatching services makes them more efficient. [It] makes the service more efficient and thus saves tax payers dollars.”
Moreover, Bruning indicated that project will streamline communication across the state, notably in rural areas where maybe Internet access is spotty, name-dropping counties such as Perry, Morgan and Vinton.
“By putting that broadband Internet in for these transit agencies, we also think there may be some possibilities where that could be expanded to you and I if we live in these rural areas,” he said.
Once the upgrade begins, it could take up to 38 months to complete. According to ODOT, the following agencies will share in the grant money:
- Pike Co – Community Action Transit System (CATS)
- Athens Transit
- Crawford County Transpiration Program
- Wilmington Transit System
- Perry County Transit
- Morgan County Transit
- South East Area Transit (SEAT) – Zanesville area
- Ashland Public Transit
- Chillicothe Transit System
- Fayette County Transportation Program
- Knox Area Transit
- Lancaster Public Transit System
- Logan County / Transpiration for Logan County
- Logan Transit System
- Marion Area Transit
- Pickaway Area Rural Transit