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Sen. Murray and Rep. Herrera Beutler announce investments for Longview and Clark County

 

September 15, 2016



Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R- Southwest WA) recently announced three major Federal Transit Administration investments in Longview and Clark County’s public transportation systems made possible by Senator Murray and Rep. Herrera Beutler’s work to restore and fund the Bus and Bus Facilities Competitive Grant Program in last year’s transportation bill. RiverCities Transit, which serves Longview and Kelso, will receive grants to purchase two new biodiesel buses and to expand the Downtown Longview Transit Center. The other will go to C-Tran in Clark County for 10 new hybrid buses, which will provide more efficient public transportation and support increased ridership.

Both Murray and Herrera Beutler strongly supported the applications to expand transportation options in Southwest Washington. Senator Murray wrote letters in support of RiverCities Transit’s application for two new biodiesel buses, and its application for the Downtown Longview Transit Center Expansion Project. In the House, Congresswoman Herrera Beutler led the effort to restore the Bus and Bus Facilities Competitive Grant Program when she successfully championed an amendment to the transportation bill in November 2015. Herrera Beutler’s efforts influenced the final House-Senate transportation bill agreement which included an additional $1.5 billion for which Southwest Washington transit agencies competed to improve bus services for Washington transit commuters.

“Our communities rely upon safe, reliable public transportation systems, and as ridership continues to increase and technology improves our transportation options, it is critical we fight to invest in aging transit systems,” Senator Murray said. “I am so glad to see the City of Longview and Clark County receive recognition for their strong transit plans and receive these federal investments to lessen the environmental impact, ease congestion, and support Southwest Washington’s continued growth.”

“It is great to see Clark County and the City of Longview receive grant funds to improve service for bus riders in Longview and throughout Clark County,” said Congresswoman Herrera Beutler. “So many folks here depend on efficient and convenient bus services, which is why I fought so hard to return hardworking taxpayer dollars back to Southwest Washington for these bus improvement grants.”

"Washington State's Congressional delegation was instrumental in passing new transportation funding this year and Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler and Senator Patty Murray’s leadership to increase funding for the bus and bus facilities program certainly aided further in making this grant award possible," said Jeff Hamm, Executive Director/CEO of C-Tran.

“The City of Longview continues to take significant strides to improve RiverCities Transit service throughout the community and revitalize our downtown,” said Longview Mayor Don Jensen. “We are thrilled that FTA has recognized our vision and awarded the city over $3.6 million to improve our Downtown Transit Center and purchase two biodiesel buses. The help and support from Sen. Murray and Rep. Herrera Beutler was instrumental in getting this award for a couple reasons. First, they both championed restoration of the bus grant program in the 2015 FAST Act which allows small and mid-sized communities like Longview to compete for federal funds. Second, they strongly supported our grant request in Washington, DC and wrote letters to FTA endorsing the projects. We are grateful for the support and look forward to bringing these critical transportation and economic development resources to our community.”

More information on the three investments are below:

Grant Recipient: City of Longview (RiverCities Transit)

Title: Bus and Bus Facilities Competitive Program

Grant Amount: $2,784,000.00

· Grant will help expand an existing transit center located in the City of Longview’s downtown area, and increase capacity by providing additional space for staff and improving public access to bus facilities.

Grant Recipient: City of Longview (RiverCities Transit)

Title: Bus and Bus Facilities Competitive Program

Disc. Grant Amount: $832,000.00

· Grant will replace two of the oldest biodiesel buses in the fleet with two new biodiesel buses, and will help reduce service disruptions.

Grant Recipient: Clark County Public Transportation Benefit Area (C-Tran)

Title: Bus and Bus Facilities Competitive Program

Disc. Grant Amount: $6,080,000.00

· Grant will purchase 10 hybrid buses that will help save money in fuel and maintenance costs.

 

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