VTA and tribe combine to win transit grant

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The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA) have teamed up to win $250,000 in funding from the Tribal Transit Program, run by Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The funding will go to upgrading the electrical infrastructure at the VTA operations center, charging infrastructures for electric buses. The tribe and the VTA plan to complete the work in time for the arrival of the VTA’s first electric vehicles in June.

“This is a really good partnership for us,” VTA administrator Angie Grant told The Times. “This grant will help improve access not only to tribal members but to all Islanders.”

Under the Tribal Transit Program, federally recognized tribes may use the funding for capital, operating, planning, and administrative expenses for public transit projects that meet the needs of rural tribal communities.

On Dec. 14, the federal agency awarded approximately $5 million to help American Indian and Alaskan Native tribal governments initiate, continue, and improve transit service on tribal lands. The funding will go to 36 selected transit projects in 19 states.