Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that the Pueblos of Isleta, Jemez and Santa Ana have been awarded a total of $307,770 in grant funding from the Federal Transit Administration to improve transit services and connections for tribal members and residents of the surrounding communities. Through a competitive selection process, projects at each Pueblo were chosen to receive funding through the FY 2013 Tribal Transit Program.
The Tribal Transit Program authorizes direct grants to Indian tribes located in rural and small urban areas to fund public transportation capital projects, operating costs of public transportation equipment and facilities, and costs associated with the planning and acquisition of public transportation services. The Pueblo of Jemez received funding to purchase a bus and begin the Jemez Flex-Ride Coordinated Transportation System. The Pueblo of Santa Ana received funding to replace an old bus, while the Pueblo of Isleta's grant will fund a study to identify needs surrounding a potential transit service.
"Helping people to get to work, school, and doctors' appointments strengthens tribal communities and their economies," Udall said. "Congratulations to these three Pueblos. As a member of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations subcommittee, I'm proud to continue fighting for jobs and infrastructure investments that create economic development opportunities for our tribal communities and all of New Mexico."
"These investments will help build and improve safe and efficient transportation systems in our tribal communities," Heinrich said. "Investments for transit projects, paved roads, and alternative forms of public transportation are critical to meeting our tribal communities' future needs and provide the groundwork for economic development and job creation."
Awarded grant funding:
* Pueblo of Isleta: $25,000 to study the potential for a transit system that would serve those needing transportation access to employment, medical services, and education in Bernalillo County.
* Pueblo of Jemez: $105,400 to start the Jemez Flex-Ride Coordinated Transportation System to improve transit connections for tribal members and residents of the surrounding communities between Bernalillo and Valles Caldera in Sandoval County. And $97,300 to purchase a bus for the Jemez Flex-Ride Coordinated Transportation System.
*Pueblo of Santa Ana: $80,000 to replace an aging bus for tribal members and other residents traveling between Santa Ana and other cities in northern New Mexico, including Rio Rancho, Santa Fe and Los Alamos.