July 11, 2011

Rockefeller, Manchin, Rahall Announce Over $1.7 Million for Upgraded County Buses, Bus Maintenance Throughout West Virginia

Funding Will Support New Buses and Vans in 19 Counties

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, along with Congressman Nick Rahall, announced $1,209,694 in new federal funding plus $438,842 in reallocated funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation for new public transit buses and vans to serve 19 counties in West Virginia. 

They also announced $97,600 for the Ohio Valley Regional Transportation Authority to purchase a lift that will enable maintenance work to be completed on its 31 vehicles including 26 public transit buses.  The lift will raise buses into the air for maintenance work as well as tire and battery service.

“We need a solid and effective public transportation system to make sure that West Virginians can get to work, the grocery store, or the doctor’s office in an affordable way, particularly as gas prices have drastically peaked in the past few months,” said Rockefeller.  “It’s more important than ever to make sure to update buses and make sure they receive maintenance when needed to keep each passenger safe day in and day out.   I’m glad that so many counties will benefit from this funding.”

“Public transportation is playing an increasingly important role in West Virginia, especially with skyrocketing gas prices and an aging population,” Manchin said. “So many people in our state depend on public transportation to live their daily lives, travel to and from work, feed their families, and take care of their health care needs.  I am glad that these funds will help support the many needs that are served through public transportation in our state.”

“Investing in transportation in West Virginia is investing in jobs,” said Rahall, who serves as the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “More buses and vans, especially for our disabled residents, open doors to jobs, making appointments to doctors, and becoming active citizens and consumers in their communities.  Transportation not only drives the local economy, it enhances the quality of life for citizens and communities.  We must stand united against attempts by some in Washington to cut these critical funds which are often a lifeline to citizens and communities alike.”

The more than $1.6 million in funding for buses and other vehicles will go to the West Virginia Department of Transportation who will distribute the funding to specific counties.  The following counties will receive some of the funding:

Bluefield Area Transit - $341,077 - For two 24 passenger buses, two converted vans with lifts, one plain minivan and a support vehicle in Mercer and McDowell Counties

Buckwheat Express - $16,615 - For one plain minivan in Preston County

Central West Virginia Transit Authority - $21,356 - For one support vehicle in Harrison County

County Roads Transit - $44,766 – For one converted van in Randolph and Upshur Counties

Fairmont-Marion County Transit - $54,588 - For one converted van with lift in Marion County

Here and There Transit - $43,862 – For one converted van with lift in Barbour County

Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation Authority - $717,563 – For ten 18 passenger buses with lifts, and six converted vans with lifts in Kanawha County

Mountain Transit Authority - $49,751 – For one converted van with lift in Fayette, Greenbrier, Nicholas and Webster Counties

Potomac Valley Transit Authority - $161,588 – For 2 plan minivans, support vehicle, and one 24 passenger bus with lift in Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Mineral and Pendleton Counties

Wayne X-Press - $197,370 – For four cutaway vans with lifts in Wayne County