Special and rural transportation program receives federal grant funding

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) awarded $198,900 to the Oregon Department of Transportation on behalf of Benton County, who will receive funding to purchase new accessible buses.

The Federal Transit Administration Section 5339 Bus and Bus Facilities is a nationwide competitive grant open to all 50 U.S. states and 5 U.S. territories, administered directly by the FTA through Washington, DC.

Only 107 projects were awarded funding, out of a total of 339 project applications received. Five of these grant awards were made in Oregon, and the Benton County Special and Rural Transportation project was the third highest award in the state.

This grant award will replace up to three of the oldest (2006 to 2010) 12 passenger, 2 wheelchair-station cutaway buses. These small buses are the core of the demand-response fleet, but they are rapidly aging and deteriorating from heavy use. The FTA award is a three-year grant, and the 15% match requirement will come from the County’s share of the new state HB2017 Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund (STIF), available in 2019-20.

This grant will make a significant impact in modernizing our fleet, and in our ability to continue serving the residents of Benton County, in particular seniors and individuals with disabilities.