The Iowa Transportation Commission approved funding Tuesday for several projects that’ll help cities pay for improvements to the support systems for their public transportation operations. Michelle McEnany, the director of the Department of Transportation’s Office of Public Transit, says they received applications for 11 projects requesting over five-million dollars in funding and they were able to give out just over two-million dollars in funding for eight projects. McEnany says one of the bigger projects is in Ames.
McEnany says the CyRide system need to expand their administration building for their bus system. She says this is a unique project as CyRide plans to add a second floor to their building and expand vertically instead of horizontally. Ames is receiving an $880,000 grant for the project. McEnany says Cedar Rapids was awarded $455,000 dollars for a transportation hub near the new federal court building.
Des Moines is getting $253,000 for their maintenance facility, and Sioux City is receiving $40,000 dollars for a building to hold equipment. Davenport ($168,000), Mason City ($58,000), Sheldon ($200,00) and Carroll ($220,000) also received grants for transportation facilities.
McEnany says there’s a reason the money goes to support facilities. She says one of the important goals is to increase the life of the vehicles, especially due to the wear and tear brought on by Iowa’s weather. McEnany says they also look to increase service and ridership. McEnany says cities have to provide a 20-percent match of the funds provided by the state.