USDOT splits $8.4M in grant awards between 17 public transportation projects focused on health care access

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The U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA), a part of the Department of Transportation (DOT), awarded $8.4 million to 17 projects in 16 states last week in an effort to improve public transportation connecting the underserved with health care.

Funding flowed through the FTA’s Innovative Coordinated Access & Mobility (ICAM) Pilot Program, in part from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act ($4.6 million), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The theory behind these pilot grant awards is that improvement to transportation coordination for critical services among underserved elements of the community could improve public health over all.

“Transportation is a lifeline for Americans, connecting them to doctors, dentists, hospitals and other health care providers all over the country,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “Because of the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, today’s grants will help improve the health and lives of people in underserved communities who need and deserve access to health care and other essential services.”

Projects selected for this include a regional transportation resource center collaboration between the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Departments of Aging, Developmental Disabilities, Job and Family Services stretching four counties, as well as the Southwest Colorado Council of Governments, for development of an online portal to consolidate travel information from regional providers into one centralized digital program. In this way, the different offerings vary significantly, but all bend to the purpose of access.

“This program supports statewide and regional strategies to help ensure people who are especially challenged in accessing health care can reach the services they need,” FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez said. “We are so pleased to provide resources that help reach into the forgotten corners of our communities to ensure no one is left behind.”

All coordinated access and mobility project selections can be viewed through the DOT website.