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TRI-COUNTY AREA   ADVERTISEMENT

Agencies get funds for buses

TRI-COUNTY AREA—Grants from the Federal Transit Administration will help the Arc organizations in Schuyler, Steuben and Yates Counties and ProAction in Yates and Steuben Counties purchase more buses.
The FTA received a total of 95 grant recommendations from the Department of Transportation. The approved ones included money for the Arc of Schuyler for two buses, the Arc of Steuben for four buses, the Arc of Yates for two buses, and ProAction of Steuben and Yates for one vehicle. While the money these agencies get is currently only estimated, the funds will be for 80 percent of the payment of the vehicles.
The same grant has been providing agencies with funds for buses since 1974.
Carol Breen, for the DOT, explained that the grant is mostly for nonprofit agencies. If a rural community does not have any nonprofit group then they allow other organizations to apply. The DOT goes over the applications but send them on to the FTA for final approval.
The Arc of Schuyler applied for this grant two years ago. Jeannette Frank, assistant executive director of the Arc of Schuyler, said they really needed to think ahead to apply for the grant.
“Transportation is critical for getting (people with developmental disabilities) access to vocational services,” she said.
That is one reason why they were awarded the grant. Another reason Frank explained was that the buses are also used by the people served by groups like the Office for the Aging and Department of Social Services. The Arc of Schuyler will come up with their 20 percent of the payment on the buses by fundraising.
The Arc of Steuben applied for five buses. Unlike the wait the Arc of Schuyler saw, the Arc of Steuben applied for these buses in April, 2008. They also just got the buses from their application in 2007 two weeks ago.
“It was a pretty quick turnaround,” said Debra Gleason, transportation director of the Arc of Steuben.
Like the Schuyler Arc buses, these ones will also be used by others outside of the people served by the Arc. Gleason explained that the public will also be able to use these buses. Six of the routes are open to the public. The Arc of Steuben bus routes are available at http://www.arcofsteuben.org/ArcTransportation/Schedules.php.
This is the first time ProAction in Yates County received funds through the program. The DOT estimates that they will be given $35,303 for one vehicle.
 





 


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