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Federal Grant Funds Bus Improvements In Eugene, Salem

Chris Lehman

Two Willamette Valley communities will benefit from a federal grant announced this week to improve bus service. The grants from the Federal Transit Administration are from a fund set aside to promote and improve bus service. The agency says the demand for the annual grants far exceed the amount of money available.

In Oregon, there were five successful applications this year. Those include a $110,500 award to ODOT to help start a new bus route between Eugene and Florence. The route is primarily funded by state and local funds, and is expected open next year.

Another grant was award to the Salem Mass Transit District. The agency will receive $1.05 million to outfit buses with GPS receivers. Those will help create give buses the priority at traffic lights and give riders real-time notifications of bus locations while they’re waiting at a bus stop.

The other Oregon grants will go to transportation providers in Woodburn, Yamhill County and Wasco County.

“Public bus systems throughout the country provide millions of Americans access to jobs, healthcare, grocery stores, and other vital services,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao in a news release.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018 and became News Director in March, 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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