Federal Transit Administration presents rural transportation grant

Published 12:37 pm Monday, June 27, 2022

JACKSON, MISS – Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Administrator Nuria Fernandez today announced a $650,000 grant to the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Claiborne County Human Resource Agency (CCHRA) through FTA’s Areas of Persistent Poverty Program (AoPP). At an event at MDOT headquarters, Fernandez joined MDOT Executive Director Brad White, CCHRA Executive Director Annie Connor and others to describe the grant’s impact in rural Mississippi.

CCHRA and four partner agencies will use the grant to improve transit service for rural riders. The project – a cooperative effort between CCHRA, Five County Community Transportation, based in Prentiss, Noxubee County Human Resource Agency, based in Macon, Bolivar County Council on Aging, headquartered in Jackson, and Sunflower/Humphreys Counties Progress in Indianola, MS – will create and launch a joint online reservation and dispatching portal. Using artificial intelligence, the organizations will be able to dispatch buses to pick riders up more efficiently, resulting in less expensive rides that get people where they need to go faster.

“Transit can be the great equalizer, but if you live in a transit desert, where options are few and far away, you don’t have access to that power,” Fernandez said. “Particularly in rural areas, having access to an affordable, reliable bus ride can mean the difference between isolation and opportunity. FTA’s Areas of Persistent Poverty Program removes barriers to opportunity by increasing access to jobs, school, and services for some of our residents who need it the most.”

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$16.2 million will fund 40 grants in 32 states and two territories to help marginalized communities across the country. FTA grants the awards on a competitive basis to state and local governments, transit agencies and nonprofit organizations to create better transit for residents who have limited or no transportation options.

There were a number of distinguished guests who spoke or attended including:

·Nuria Fernandez, Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration

·Commissioner Willie Simmons, Central Transportation District

·Brad White, MDOT Executive Director

·Charles Carr, MDOT Director of Intermodal Planning

·Annie Connor, Director of the Claiborne County Human Resource Agency

·Regina Rankin, client of the CCHRA

·Senator Albert Butler

·Representative Robert Sanders

For more information about MDOT projects and current road conditions, visit www.MDOTtraffic.com, download the newly updated MDOT Traffic mobile app and follow @MississippiDOT on social media.