FTA opens $8.9 million Tribal Transit Program

March 29, 2023
The competitive funding program helps connect Tribal communities to schools, jobs and other essential services.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has made nearly $8.9 million available to support American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native communities through the Tribal Transit Program. The funding is authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), with Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 being the second year the program has provided increased funding through the law.

"We are investing in transit serving Indian Lands and Alaska Native villages, which means that Tribal communities will be better connected to schools, jobs, food, health care and other essentials," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Tribal Transit systems transport Americans more than 13 million vehicle miles each year, providing critical access to communities that often have few other travel options. In FY 2022, FTA awarded funds to 25 American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native communities to help them meet the needs of their citizens, including elders, people with disabilities and youth in Indian Country. Last year, the Coeur D’Alene Tribe in Northern Idaho received funding from this program to buy new vehicles to provide more, quicker and safer rides. The new vehicles will ensure a continuity of service for its members to buy groceries visit loved ones, and go to the doctor.

"Last year, I was pleased to meet with representatives from the Nez Perce and Coeur D’Alene Tribes to hear about the significance of this support for their transit systems," said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. "The stories they told echo across our nation. Everyone in our country wants an easier trip to the store, a quicker ride to work or a more comfortable way to go visit their elders. Thanks to President Biden and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re going to provide better journeys to more people on Tribal lands."

Applications will be evaluated based on criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, including how the project will improve the quality of life for the Tribe and surrounding rural communities. The application period will close on June 26, 2023.