U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) today announced that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) are awarding more than $57.1 million in grants for the upgrade and infrastructure development in Alaska. The subsidies are intended for the construction of roads, the construction of wharves and service centers, as well as buses and bus facilities.
The entities benefiting from these new awards, which are made under bipartisanship Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act 2021include Gulkana Village Council, City and Borough of Juneau, Indian Community of Metlakatla, Borough of Ketchikan Gateway, Borough of Fairbanks North Star, City and Borough of Sitka, Bristol Bay Native Association and the Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska.
“The good news of our bipartisan infrastructure law continues. This latest round of grants will help Alaskans build roads, build and upgrade facilities, and cleaner buses for public transit,” Senator Murkowski said. “Communities that receive these grants will benefit from better transportation, less pollution and reduced costs for their residents. I thank both FTA and DOT for considering applications from Alaskans, and look forward to continued support for other communities in the years to come.
“As Alaskan communities change and grow, the need for affordable public transportation will also continue to grow,” said Ryan Anderson, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. “Public transit has become a greater necessity in all of our communities, large and small. We’re really excited to see these transit grants spread across the state’s transportation system.
“Sitka would like to sincerely thank Senator Lisa Murkowski for her support of the Sitka Waterfront and for assisting with our successful Augmentation Grant application. This grant ensures the continued operation of our community cold store. Sitka’s economy is supported by commercial fishers, and we appreciate the ability to invest in them,” said Sitka Mayor Steven Eisenbeisz.
“Soaring Eagle Transit’s (SET) multi-purpose operations and maintenance facility will be the first and only maintenance facility for transit. It will provide a heated and dry space for COVID preventive measures, a heated shelter for customers, administrative and operational offices and three maintenance bays. Since 2015, maintenance of Soaring Eagle Transit vehicles has been performed outside of the Town Hall parking lot. Located in interior Alaska, SET must operate vehicles half the year during the winter months. These colder temperatures of 0 to 42 degrees cause continuous problems for public transport vehicles in terms of performance. The maintenance facility will allow SET to extend the life of the fleet and continue to provide safe and reliable service to Copper Valley residents and tourists. Gulkana Village staff would like to thank the Federal Transit Authority, the Bus to Bus Facilities program and Senator Murkowski for the support that allows SET to be selected as a 2022 grant recipient,” said Gulkana Village Council Tribal Chairperson Eileen Ewan.
“The Metlakatla Indian Community would like to thank the Federal Transit Authority for awarding our project the Metlakatla Municipal Building Battery Electric Bus Service – Annette Islands Ferry Terminal in the amount of $402,257. This grant is part of our overall strategy to reduce transportation costs and reduce air pollution in Southeast Alaska. The goal is to eliminate unnecessary automobile trips and significantly reduce automobile emissions. It will provide transportation services to the community and complement our transportation services for seniors and those without adequate transportation. Additionally, it will provide energy storage for our micro-grid when not in use, reducing transportation and energy costs for the Indian community of Metlakatla. We once again thank Senator Murkowski and the federal government for this funding,” said the Indian community of Metlakatla Mayor Albert Smith.
“The Ketchikan Gateway Borough is extremely pleased that we have been selected to receive an FTA grant to electrify our buses. This, combined with our renewable hydroelectricity, will enable our transit service to provide quiet, exhaust-free public transportation for years to come. A victory for the environment and our community. Our sincere thanks to Senator Murkowski for her efforts to secure this grant for the community,” said Ketchikan Borough Mayor Rodney Dial.
“Thank you to Senator Murkowski for all of her hard work leading the infrastructure package and making sure the needs of Alaskans were met. This low-emission bus grant will help the Fairbanks North Star Borough improve our transportation options. public transport in a clean and efficient way”, said Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Bryce Ward.
Grants from the Federal Transit Administration’s Bus and Bus Facility Program and the Low- or Zero-Emission Vehicle Program include:
- Gulkana Village Council – Over $4.2 million for Soaring Eagle Transit (SET) multi-purpose operations and maintenance facilities.
- City and Borough of Juneau – More than $2.2 million for Capital Transit for maintenance facility rehabilitation and safety upgrades.
- Metlakatla Indian Community – $402,257 for battery electric bus service to the Metlakatla municipal building and the Annette Islands ferry terminal.
- Gateway Borough of Ketchikan – Over $4 million to support the use of hydroelectricity and the transition to electric buses and charging infrastructure in Ketchikan.
- Fairbanks North Star Neighborhood – More than $2.4 million for FNSB compressed natural gas buses and compressed natural gas paratransit vans.
Grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program include:
- City and Borough of Sitka – More than $7.8 million to fund the design and construction of the Sitka Marine Service Center.
- Bristol Bay Native Association – More than $13.2 million to help build 4.3 miles of gravel road connecting two communities.
- Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska – Over $22.3 million to finance the construction of a new wharf, container storage yard and associated utilities.