Posted on February 12, 2003
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation has begun distributing over $3 million in bus funding for the State of Tennessee. The funding was included in the fiscal year 2002 Transportation Appropriations Bill. "Having a strong mass transit system is critical for growing states like Tennessee, and buses provide an affordable alternative for commuters that alleviates traffic congestion and reduces pollution," said Frist. "This funding is a sound investment in the future of our state's transportation infrastructure and our mass transit needs." "Ensuring the safety of our citizens is one of the most important things government can do," Alexander said. "This grant allows Tennessee to improve the conditions and accessibility of public transportation to those who depend on it the most. We appreciate that the Department of Transportation recognized these needs in Tennessee." The Department of Transportation grant is for a fiscal year 2002 bus earmark in the amount of $3,142,696. This distribution is a portion of the allocated $10 million which was appropriated in the fiscal year 2002 Transportation Conference Report. The funding will be used to purchase two 35-foot replacement buses, six 30-foot replacement buses, 46 replacement vans that meet the requirements of the "Americans with Disabilities Act" (ADA), and automated data processing communications and safety equipment for 14 public transportation service providers located throughout the state. With many of Tennessee's buses exceeding their service life standards, Senators Frist and Alexander will continue to urge that funding be included to replace aging buses and improve bus facilities for public transit agencies statewide.