FTA gives $92,500 to Cherokee Nation for transportation

The public transit buses in northeastern Oklahoma are crucial to the lifestyles of the Cherokee Nation tribal residents and their transportation needs.

Many of these residents use the public buses to commute to work and school every day or visit the doctor. From 2013 to 2014, the tribal residents increased their bus ridership by 114 percent. Now the Cherokee Nation makes up approximately 80,000 bus rides every year.

Part of this success is thanks to community leaders. The leaders of the Cherokee Nation prioritize customer service for their transit consumers. With online surveys, they evaluate the best routing for both buses and residents. They also sponsor ads in the newspaper, keep in touch over e-mail and participate in community meetings.

In light of the aforementioned figures, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) took $92,500 from its Tribal Transit Program, which has $10 million for Tribal Transit discretionary grants, to give to the Cherokee Nation. The tribal residents will use the grant to buy eight new buses -- all of them designed to use clean fuel. The Cherokee are just one out of 55 tribes that gained funds from the program.

In 2015, the program sent money through 18 states to fund 65 distinct projects. These projects gave tribal residents better access to public transportation, even if they lived far away from the center of the population. area.

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