Building Public Transit: One Bus at a Time

High quality and efficient public transportation is important to the development of a city’s infrastructure. Transit authorities in big cities like New York City, Columbus, and Los Angeles are responsible for developing and maintaining trains, buses, and other forms of transportation that are used so that people can get to work, school, and various other locations.

A transit authority in a-not-so-big city is thrilled about the grant they are receiving to fund two new busses for an (as yet unnamed) new transit system. Their executive director makes it clear that Seneca-Crawford Area Transportation is not afraid to compete with the bigger players in the state of Ohio. 

Seneca-Crawford Area Transportation has received an impressive $724,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation through its Ohio Transit Partnership Program. The funds being awarded will be going to fund two buses for a proposed new transit system in Tiffin, as well as to build a bus storage building in Crawford County for Seneca-Crawford Area Transportation (SCAT) buses.

According to SCAT Executive Director Mary Habig, the grant will cover the cost of two buses 100%, each costing $82,000. Although she requested funding for four buses in the grant application, she makes it clear that this is not an impediment. The funds for the remaining two buses can be raised by putting in a request for a capital grant with a 20% local match, and that will cover those costs. 

The remaining amount, approximately $250,000 of the funds; can actually be leveraged to bring in federal government dollars. Habig had this to say about the doors that this money would open for the organization “This can turn into a total of $924,000 by the end, that’s almost a million dollars.”

Because SCAT didn’t expect to receive this much in funding, funds that had been previously allocated as matching funds can now be used to pay for other necessary projects, like cameras for the buses. Another $310,000 of these funds will be used to build a bus storage facility at SCAT’s Crawford County location. 

According to Habig, the construction project must be completed by June 2020, with the rest of the funds needed to be used by 2021. This funding was awarded to SCAT even while competing against much bigger transportation programs in cities like Columbus and Cleveland for a total of $44 million available in funds.

Authored by Lianne Hikind

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