Senator John Kerry, Congressman Barney Frank and Congressman Jim McGovern today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded over $1.6 million to the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA) for projects that will benefit Fall River, New Bedford and surrounding towns.
The USDOT will provide $950,000 to help SRTA build a new bus terminal at 118 Fourth Street in Fall River. It will also provide $665,000 to purchase two new buses to replace vehicles that are over 16 years old.
The funding is a result of legislative action on the part of the three Members of Congress. Frank and Kerry requested and championed federal appropriations for the Fall River bus terminal. McGovern, Kerry and Frank jointly secured funding for the additional buses for the SRTA fleet.
"Good public transportation is important economically, environmentally and socially," said Frank. "It provides an alternative to automobiles for people who are trying to save money or diminish environmental harm, and it provides essential transportation for people who don't drive. I'm very proud to have worked hard to get this funding. These earmarks are an example of why I am fighting to reduce overseas military spending so we can continue to meet these local needs within a framework of deficit reduction."
"These federal funds are very important to improving public transportation in Southeastern Massachusetts," Rep. McGovern said. "Safe, reliable public transportation is essential for economic development. I especially look forward to the completion of the new bus terminal on Fourth Street."
"This investment means jobs and a better public transit system for commuters," said Senator Kerry.
"Our partnership with Federal leaders has enabled the City of Fall River to improve transportation for its citizens," said Mayor William Flanagan. As the Mayor of the City I am committed to enhancing transportation and improving the quality of service for our riders."
"As we work to enhance bus transportation in the New Bedford region, funding for new equipment is greatly appreciated," said Mayor Scott Lang. "On behalf of the citizens of New Bedford, I sincerely appreciate the efforts of Senator Kerry, Congressman Frank, and Congressman McGovern in securing the funding for these important transportation projects."
"SERTA is so grateful to our elected officials for helping to bring our terminal and buses into the 21st century and this money will go a long way toward making that transportation goal a reality," said Arthur Frank, the General Counsel of SRTA.