Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Coralville receive bus funding

Funding also approved for CABS program

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Three Eastern Iowa communities will be getting some new buses.

The Iowa Transportation Commission on Tuesday approved more than $6.3 million in funding to support public transit projects, including nearly $2 million to replace buses in Cedar Rapids, Coralville and Iowa City.

The funding comes from various federal programs intended to replace vehicles that have met their useful life and must be matched with local money. The match ranges from 10 percent to 15 percent of the total equipment cost.

Cedar Rapids was approved for $1,287,000 to purchase four 35-foot heavy duty buses with video surveillance systems and a low floor for easier passenger access. The city also was approved for $68,000 to buy a light duty bus.

Iowa City was approved for $316,800 to purchase four light duty buses, and Coralville will receive $328,00 to buy a 40-foot heavy duty bus.

Cedar Rapids also was approved for $155,797 under the federal New Freedom program to partially fund the hiring of a mobility manager and a CABS program coordinator as well as expand the CABS program. CABS is a taxi subsidy program for persons with disabilities who reside in the Cedar Rapids metropolitan area.

The New Freedom program was repealed under the new federal transportation authorization bill. The program was intended to reduce barriers to transportation services and expand mobility options available to people with disabilities.

Separately, the Iowa Transportation Commission approved a $1.4 million grant from the Revitalize Iowa's Sound Economy program to realign and reconstruct approximately 2,650 feet of Herber Road in Dubuque County. The road  connects the John Deere Construction and Forestry Division’s manufacturing facility with its test facility proving grounds north of Dubuque.

The project will support the retention of 50 jobs and creation of 80 new jobs, along with $7.2 million in associated capital investment. It is targeted for completion by December 2014.

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