Representatives Lori Trahan, Jim McGovern and Senators Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey Announce $4.5 Million Grant for Montachusett Regional Transit Authority
Washington, November 25, 2019
Washington, DC – Massachusetts Representatives Lori Trahan (D-MA-03) and Jim McGovern (D-MA-02) and Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) today announced that the Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART) will receive $4.5 million in competitive grant funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program. This federal grant will support MART as it makes capital improvements to its buses and bus-related facilities.
"A reliable public transportation service is vital to our region's economic and social health. People rely on MART buses to get to their jobs, to school, and to go shopping. MART keeps our communities connected," said Congresswoman Trahan. "In Congress, I will continue to fight to bring this important funding back to our communities so that we can improve our public transportation systems."
According to MART Deputy Administrator Bruno Fisher, this money will be used to replace about half of the MRTA’s fleet of buses. MART provides public transportation to 21 communities in the Fitchburg, Gardner and Leominster areas.
“MART is grateful for the funding award from the FTA and USDOT to be utilized for the purchase of ten fixed route buses. This award is extremely important and will allow MART to replace a significant segment of its bus fleet which keeps us in a state of good repair and allows us to provide our riders with safe and efficient public transit vehicles,” Fisher said.
Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale praised the award, saying it will play a key role in the future of Fitchburg.
“The Montachusett Area Transit Authority serves a crucial role in the transportation needs of our constituents, particularly as the City of Fitchburg builds itself to be a transit-oriented development community. These much-needed dollars will go toward capital upgrades of our MART fleet, bringing state of the art equipment to our residents,” said Mayor Stephen DiNatale. “I would like to thank our Congresswoman Lori Trahan and our federal delegation for their continued effort in representing the City of Fitchburg.”
"Everyone in Massachusetts deserves to have access to affordable and reliable public transportation," said Congressman McGovern. "That's why this grant is such incredible news for Northern Worcester County -- it's not only going to save people time and money by upgrading our aging infrastructure, it's going to improve economic opportunity for countless families throughout our region."
"This federal funding to modernize MART's bus infrastructure is terrific news for commuters in Northern Worcester County," said Senator Warren. "Investing in projects like these-which will improve families' transit options and support our local economy-is a great example of how the federal government can be a strong partner for cities and towns across the Commonwealth."
"The Montachusett Regional Transit Authority is a critical transportation hub for North Worcester County residents, and this funding will keep buses, commuters, and our economy moving," said Senator Markey. "Modernizing bus infrastructure is a crucial part of strengthening our public transportation system, and I am committed to continuing to work with our state and local partners to help secure these kinds of smart investments."
Other communities served by MART include Ashburnham, Ashby, Athol, Ayer, Bolton, Boxborough, Hardwick, Harvard, Hubbardston, Lancaster, Littleton, Lunenburg, Royalston, Shirley, Sterling, Stow, Templeton, Westminster and Winchendon. MART also operates a fleet of about 200 vans to offer additional services to senior citizens, people with disabilities, veterans and others.
DOT's Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program assists in the financing of buses and bus facilities capital projects, including replacing, rehabilitating, purchasing or leasing buses or related equipment, and rehabilitating, purchasing, constructing or leasing bus-related facilities. More information on the program is available here.