Friday, January 15, 2010

Funds Available for Intercity Bus Accessibility

It's a small program, but serves an important function. Every year, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) makes funds available to help private intercity bus operators improve the accessibility of their vehicles to persons with disabilities.

FTA has just announced the latest solicitation for these competitive "Over-the-Road Bus Accessibility Program Grants." The announcement appears in the January 15, 2010, Federal Register, as well as at the FTA web site. A total of $10.7 million is available this year. Private operators of intercity bus service, either in scheduled route service, commuter service, or charter and tour service, are the ONLY eligible applicants. FTA funds under this program will cover 90 percent of a project's cost, with the applicant responsible for identifying the other 10 percent from other sources. Applications are due April 15, 2010.

For the most part, grantees have used this program to equip over-the-road motor coaches with wheelchair lifts, but a number of other accessibility projects also are eligible. The American Bus Association has compiled some information on this program and its details, which can be viewed on their web site.

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