The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration this week announced $8.75 million in competitive grant funding for rural tribal communities for improving transit services.

The funding comes from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed into law in November 2021, that includes a total of $45.8 million in competitive funding over five years dedicated to tribal transit.

"With this new transit funding, we will connect more Native Americans and Alaska Natives to opportunity, advance environmental justice, and empower Tribal self-governance in transportation," U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement. "Thanks to the President's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are dramatically increasing our support for transit projects on Tribal reservations and in Alaska Native villages." 

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Applications will be evaluated based on criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, according to the Department's press release, including how the project will improve the quality of life for the tribe and surrounding communities. Applications will close May 25.

To qualify, applicants must be a federally recognized tribe in a rural area with a population of less than 50,000. The Federal Transit Administration will host a webinar with more details on​​ application eligibility and criteria, with a date yet to be announced.

For information on the Tribal Transit Program, contact Matt Lange, Office of Program Management, at 312-353-4118, or at [email protected]

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Jenna Kunze
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Staff Writer
Jenna Kunze is a reporter for Native News Online and Tribal Business News. Her bylines have appeared in The Arctic Sounder, High Country News, Indian Country Today, Smithsonian Magazine and Anchorage Daily News. In 2020, she was one of 16 U.S. journalists selected by the Pulitzer Center to report on the effects of climate change in the Alaskan Arctic region. Prior to that, she served as lead reporter at the Chilkat Valley News in Haines, Alaska. Kunze is based in New York.