Today, the Iowa Transportation Commission (Commission) approved more than $1.6 million for five transit providers under the calendar year 2012 Iowa Intercity Bus Assistance Program. The Commission approved the funds for 16 projects submitted by the following five entities.
* Jefferson Lines
* City of Fort Dodge (DART)
* Burlington Trailways
* Sioux City Transit
With the current trend in intercity bus transportation moving away from rural connectivity into only urban-to-urban service, these funds play a vital role in keeping rural Iowa connected to other areas of the state, Midwest and nation. This funding comes from Federal Transit Administration's program intended to support intercity bus service that serves communities with less than 50,000 residents.
Several new applications were received this year that highlight the important role of this funding. Jefferson Lines received funds to install real-time information monitors at 10 Iowa intercity bus depots. These monitors will show real-time locations of buses, and accurate arrival and departure times. Burlington Trailways received funds to retrofit three of their buses with three-point seat belts to improve safety and electrical outlets to accommodate passengers wishing to use electronic devices while traveling.
Funding was also awarded to Jefferson Lines to continue operating the "Iowa Travel Information Center" (800-451-5333) located at the Mason City airport. Agents at this toll-free number provide information on intercity bus service, schedules and ticket purchasing, as well as information on urban and regional public transit systems.
A listing of the individual projects and funding amounts is available on the Iowa Department of Transportation's website http://www.iowadot.gov/transit/.