The Federal Transit Administration recently awarded almost $5 million to Native American tribes in Alaska and Nevada to aid public transportation on tribal lands.
The recipients include the Native Village of Barrow in Alaska and the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation in Nevada. For the Alaskan recipients, money will help fund the addition of buses serving rural areas spread across the 21-mile area. It is meant to help them gain access to healthcare, education, cultural programming, and other services. The money earmarked for Nevada, on the other hand, will create the area’s first tribal transit program and help provide access to the remote area.
The funds came from the fiscal year 2017 Tribal Transit program funds. Such funds are meant to help federally recognized Native American tribes, villages, groups or communities to support capital projects in their area, as well as operating costs and planning activities for public transportation services. Residents in these communities must often travel long ways to reach basic services. In the case of the Nevada reservation, more than a 100 miles just to reach the nearest city.
These were two among 36 recipients of the program funds to be competitively selected throughout 19 states. Funding for the program was increased to $35 million annually through 2020.