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Regional transit authorities get state funds for new vehicles

A Lowell Regional Transit Authority bus
A Lowell Regional Transit Authority bus
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The Lowell Regional Transit Authority and the Montachusett Regional Transit Authority have both received state funding to purchase new vehicles.

The two regional transit authorities are among 27 organizations receiving money for new vehicles and 18 entities and municipalities receiving funding for transportation-related projects, for a total of more than $8.9 million from the state Department of Transportation’s Community Transit Grant Program.

“Community Transit Grants provide critical funding to local organizations to purchase equipment to help people get where they need to go efficiently and safely,” Gov. Charlie Baker said. “Our administration will continue to make efforts to work with local leaders, community stakeholders and the private sector to make transit accessible to everyone.”

The LRTA will purchase three new vehicles with the funding, while Fitchburg-based MART will purchase five.

The competitive annual grant program distributes Federal Transit Administration Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities funds meant to assist with the purchase of capital equipment, mobility management and operational costs. Additional funding comes from the state Mobility Assistance Program, which assists with the provision of transportation services to seniors and people with disabilities exclusively through the purchase of eligible vehicles.

“The Community Transit Grant Program is essential in allowing transportation providers across the commonwealth to adapt and improve their services for the public,” said state Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler. “In particular, these grants will help projects that will benefit individuals with disabilities or others who need assistance while accessing transportation.”