Natives Aff


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Tribal Transit Grants Program solves Native infrastructure shortfalls and economic recovery

NCAI 2008 (National Congress of American Indians, “Indian Country Economic Recovery Plan,” December 17,

Tribal governments and the Native American communities they support should be included as eligible recipients for transportation new construction and maintenance. Inclusion would create a large number of immediate jobs, contracting opportunities, and related procurement. Funding would also help to save lives by improving road safety among a population with the highest transportation accident rates.iii

According to BIA officials, tribal communities have an unmet immediate need of well over $258 million in maintenance funding for roads and bridges and $310 million in unmet new roads and bridges projects. These projects will immediately create over 21,500 jobs and will inject a much-needed stimulus into the Native American economy.

The Tribal Transit Grant Program has been highly successful in its early years. However, the funding awarded has not met the transit needs for tribal communities. Funding for transit projects not only creates immediate jobs and contracting opportunities, but will also improve citizen participation in the economic system. According to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), applicants for FY2006 and FY2008 a total of $66 million was requested with $30 million funded. We are requesting the $36 million in unfunded need for tribal transit.

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