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New grant aims to increase transit connections
The Federal Transit Administration announced today it has awarded Pierce Transit a grant for $205,299 through the Mobility On Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstration Program. The MOD Sandbox grant program, which is part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, aims to explore new integrated, multimodal transportation options and technologies that provide greater individual mobility, improve transportation efficiency and enhance the customer experience.
Pierce Transit will use the grant funds to conduct a pilot program that helps people travel to and from transit services. The agency will coordinate with Transportation Networking Companies and/or taxi companies to coordinate on-demand rides within certain areas though the use of app-based technology. The rides, funded by this grant, will get people to bus stops, select transit centers or Park & Rides, or – from select locations – to a rider’s final destination after Pierce Transit’s service hours. Following the project, the FTA will evaluate whether the grant funds helped increase mobility.
The project’s goals include addressing mobility challenges for those with limited or no access to transit, finding solutions for the growing problem of at-capacity Park & Rides, reducing road congestion by getting more people on transit, and meeting the transportation needs of more remote riders.
“I am thrilled by this opportunity and look forward to leading Pierce Transit through this new landscape in transit,” said Sue Dreier, Pierce Transit CEO. “We look forward to helping people make that connection to and from public transit and providing a more advanced and integrated transportation system.”
Pierce Transit’s Congressional delegation supported the agency’s grant application, including U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.
"I am proud to support federal investments that will allow Pierce Transit to expand public transportation options for residents and commuters,” said Senator Murray. “This is great news for Pierce Transit’s ongoing work to increase access to education and employment in Pierce County, and I will continue to work to ensure transit systems are safe, reliable, and ready to meet 21st century needs in the South Sound."
“Congratulations to Pierce Transit for receiving this grant to improve access to public transportation,” said Senator Cantwell. “Pierce Transit is Washington state’s second-largest transit agency with nearly 10.5 million boardings a year. As demand for transit connectivity continues to grow in suburban areas, projects like this provide a cost-effective and flexible way to increase ridership.”