If you live in Iowa and rely on public transit, you can expect to see some new buses and renovated bus facilities in the near future.
Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa) announced in late November that the Iowa Department of Transportation will receive a $9.4 million grant from the federal government’s Buses and Bus Facilities Program.
The grant will allow the state to replace, fix, buy, or lease buses or related equipment, and rehabilitate, purchase, lease, or build bus-related facilities.
The funding will be distributed to 21 public transit systems across Iowa and will be used to replace 107 of the oldest public buses in the state.
“Iowa has one of the oldest bus systems in the country, and ensuring it stays up and running is critical to ensuring Iowans can get to work,” Finkenauer said in a statement, “I am happy to see this significant investment being made in our state. I’m hopeful that this will result in direct and noticeable improvements for people in Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Dubuque, and the rest of our district and state.”
Public transit service is available in all of Iowa’s 99 counties. Together, these transportation systems provide over 24 million rides per year, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation.
Finkenauer also announced a $50,000 grant is being awarded to Imagine the Possibilities Inc., an organization that provides community-based services and resources to people with disabilities.
The organization, based in Makoqueta and launched in 2016, is one of the state’s largest providers of services to individuals with developmental disabilities.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development office will distribute the grant, which will be used to purchase two transportation vans to transport individuals with disabilities around Maquoketa.