WASHINGTON – Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) announced that five South Dakota tribes will receive $1.3 million in grants to enhance public transit service on tribal lands. The funds were competitively awarded as part of the Federal Transit Administration’s Tribal Transit Program. Earlier this year, the Senate passed a transit bill authored by Chairman Johnson which will double funding for transit programs on Indian reservations and give tribal transit providers greater certainty for planning and capital improvements.
“These funds will help tribal members stay connected and keep local economies growing,” said Chairman Johnson. “Reliable and accessible public transit is vital for many residents of Indian Country, and I will continue working to bring transportation options and economic opportunities to every part of South Dakota.”
- The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe will receive $350,000 to continue to provide public transit service in Eagle Butte and surrounding rural areas.
- The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe will receive $350,000 to continue to provide River Cities Public Transit service for tribal members who live on the Lower Brule Indian Reservation and surrounding rural areas.
- The Oglala Sioux Tribe will receive $300,000 to continue public transit service in an extremely rural area of South-Central South Dakota.
- The Yankton Sioux Tribe will receive $209,456 to continue to provide public transit service on the Yankton Indian Reservation and the surrounding area.
- The Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Central South Dakota will receive $120,000 to continue operation of by-request bus service to cities like Rapid City, Pierre, and Sioux Falls.
These transit agencies provide critical public transit services to a growing number of tribal members and the general public who rely on these rides to travel to employment, education, medical care and other services.
Senator Johnson took over as Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee last year. As Chairman he is responsible for authorizing the transit portion of the federal surface transportation program, which includes rural bus transit systems as well as urban public transportation.