|BUS SERVICE EXPANDED|
AFTER HOURS GRANT DELIVERED 7-18-13 LMS
District Six Idaho Transportation Department Mobility Manager Jeff Osgood informed the Salmon City Council on July 17 that the long awaited After Hours grant has finally arrived. The grant will fund supplemental service during the hours the Targhee Regional Public Transportation Authority (TRPTA) buses are not on duty.
Osgood explained the funding is actually in the form of two grants. The first was awarded in 2011 for the year 2012 then another for 2013 but due to some administrative issues on the state and federal level the 2012 monies were not released. The April 1, 2012 and April 1, 2013 grants have now been delivered and After Hours service should be able to start soon. The funds will help cover the costs of fuel and drivers who will be driving the local buses after TRPTA hours and on weekends. It is hoped that service will begin in early August.
Osgood also warned of a gap in TRPTA services that may begin to occur around August of next year.
Earlier in the council meeting JoAnn Wolters had used the phrase ‘fatal flaw’ when referring to mistakes that can be made on grant applications which result in the application becoming ineligible. Osgood said that one of those fatal flaws occurred in the last funding cycle for the Targhee Regional Public Transportation Authority. As a result the Community Transportation Association of Idaho (CTAI) was unable to consider TRPTA’s 2014 funding application for the sixth district therefore, no funding has been allocated. That district includes Lemhi County as well as Bonneville, Butte, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Madison and Teton counties.
Osgood told the council he is in the process of developing a new transportation plan for 2015 and is trying to find ways to prevent a gap in the TRPTA services. He said, “But right now the funding, depending on the way they are able to manage the operation, will run out sometime in mid-2014 and we don’t have an opportunity to fund them until 2015.” He said there was a bit of money left on the table during the last funding cycle which might be able to be used for late 2014 but that is unknown at this point. Osgood wanted the City Council to know everything possible is being done to address the potential gap in transportation service.
Osgood said TRPTA follows the federal fiscal year of October 1 to September 31. CTAI’s grant cycle year is from April 1 to March 31 so the potential funding gap for TRPTA could be as long as from August 2014 to April 2015.
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