NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Transportation has been awarded a $10 million State of Good Repair Grant by the Federal Transit Administration.
TDOT collaborated with 15 transit agencies — in-cluding the Martin-based Northwest Tennessee Hu-man Resource Agency Public Transportation Pro-gram — to submit a joint application to FTA for the replacement of transit vehicles that have exceeded their useful life based on years in service or mileage. TDOT is one of only five DOTs to receive a statewide State of Good Repair Grant.
“This joint application reflects the good relationship among Tennessee’s transit agencies, as well as their strong alliance with TDOT,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. “We are excited to assist in this effort and to help these agencies make upgrades that will benefit users in every region of the state.”
The Northwest Tennessee Human Resource Agency Public Transportation Pro-gram strives to provide quality transportation service for the citizens of the northwest Tennessee region, which includes Obion, Weakley, Lake, Dyer, Gibson, Hen-ry, Benton, Carroll and Crockett counties. The service is funded by the Federal Transit Authority, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, contract revenues and fares.
Three large urban agencies, three small urban agencies and nine rural agencies participated in the statewide application submitted to the FTA by TDOT. Participating agencies included the Northwest Tennessee Human Re-sources Agency locally, as well as Nashville MTA, Memphis Area Transit Authority, Knoxville Area Transit, Johnson City Transit, Jackson Transit Authority, Murfreesboro Transit, City of Sevierville (Gatlinburg’s Fun Time Trolley), Mid-Cumberland Human Resource Agency, Southwest HRA, Southeast Tennessee HRA, Upper Cumberland HRA, South Central TN Development District, First TN HRA and East Tennessee HRA.
All of the agencies which participated in the statewide application process are members of the Tennessee Public Transportation Association, which includes large urban, small urban and rural transit agencies.
This is not the first time Tennessee’s diverse transit agencies have joined forces to seek federal funding. In years past, Tennessee transit agencies have been successful in banding together to pursue Congressional earmarks.
Liza Joffrion, director of TDOT’s Division of Multimodal Transportation Resources, noted, “It’s a huge benefit that these agencies recognize that they are stronger together than they are separately.”
Since the $10 million award is 16.5 percent of the amount needed to replace all the vehicles that have exceeded their useful life at participating agencies, TDOT is providing each agency with 16.5 percent of their original request. The large urban and small urban agencies will work directly with FTA to obtain the funding. TDOT will assist the rural transit providers in procuring replacement vehicles.
Published in The Messenger 12.31.12