Grants Help Public and Non-Profit Organizations Offer Transportation Services to New Yorkers in Need
Governor Cuomo announced the Federal Transit Administration has approved $39.4 million in funding for public and non-profit organizations in New York State to purchase 415 accessible vehicles and other equipment used to assist in the transportation of seniors and people with disabilities.
"One of government's most important responsibilities is to ensure vital services reach the most vulnerable citizens," Governor Cuomo said. "This funding will assist community organizations in providing transportation services to the elderly and people with disabilities and improve their access to food, health care and other essential services."
Since the New York State Department of Transportation began administering the federal Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities program in 1974, more than $210 million in grant funding has been secured to help purchase approximately 4,500 accessible vehicles. The program was significantly expanded in 2015 from solely funding vehicle purchases to now including capital projects, operating assistance and mobility management services which build coordination among transportation providers in order to expand the availability of service.
A total of 152 non-profit and public organizations received awards in 2015. These organizations provide over 1.8 million passenger trips annually for seniors and individuals with disabilities in New York State.
To view the full list of awards, click here.
Congressman Charles B. Rangel said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo for his efforts to improve the quality of life for those who rely on critical assistance. Providing additional funding for these vital programs will help seniors and people with disabilities stay as independent as possible in their homes and communities."
Congressman Eliot Engel: said, "Traveling can be an arduous task for seniors and people with disabilities, especially when there are limited handicap accessible options in the community. The $39 million Governor Cuomo has allocated will help these populations in Mamaroneck, Mount Vernon and the Bronx maintain their independence, protect their health, and improve their overall quality of life. I applaud the Governor for his commitment to helping New Yorkers in need."
Congressman José E. Serrano said, "Oftentimes, seniors and people disabilities can't meet their most basic needs like getting food and going to the doctor simply because they don’t have access to reliable transportation. This federal funding will help ensure some of New York's most vulnerable populations continue having access to the transportation services and support they need to lead healthy lives. It will also allow the community organizations in the Bronx and elsewhere to expand their reach and serve more people, helping to improve quality of life in our state."
Congressman Jerrold Nadler said, "Mobility is a critical issue for millions of New Yorkers, including seniors and people with disabilities, and it is important for us to provide the support and assistance needed to help these vulnerable communities. This funding under FTA will go a long way to improve New York’s transportation services and infrastructure, providing the needed resources to better serve those with mobility issues, and I commend Governor Cuomo for his continued work on behalf of vulnerable populations across our state.”
Congressman Steve Israel said, "Far too often the transportation options for seniors or those in need are limited making it more difficult to get to the doctor, go grocery shopping, or run daily errands in their communities. That’s why I’m proud to join Governor Cuomo in announcing the approval of federally funded grants for non-profits and organizations to provide additional and expanded service for the elderly and New Yorkers with disabilities."
Congressman Brian Higgins said, "A daily commute to work, reaching medical appointments, and staying active in the community can be a challenge without reliable means of transportation. These funds will go a long way towards ensuring all members of our community have access to transportation, a sense of independence, and a high quality of life."
Congressman Paul Tonko said, "I am very pleased to see our state is prioritizing aid for accessible vehicles and mobility management projects for those with disabilities and for senior citizens throughout the Capital Region. Everyone deserves the opportunity to go out into their communities, regardless of their ability to drive or walk. I applaud the local organizations who have collaborated with Governor Cuomo and the NYSDOT to promote accessibility, and look forward to working with them in the future to further assist those in our communities with mobility issues."
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney said, "Too often, the elderly and those with disabilities remain unemployed or underemployed because of discrimination and unfair pay, combined with gaps in skill training and education. This investment in transportation assistance will open up new possibilities for many citizens in Orange, Dutchess, and Westchester Counties."
Congresswoman Kathleen Rice said, "Seniors and disabled individuals are valuable members of our communities, and it is our responsibility to make sure they have the means to live fully independent, active and rewarding lives. I’m pleased that this federal funding will continue to improve services for seniors and people with disabilities on Long Island, and I'll keep working to ensure that we use our federal resources to help the people who need it most."
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik said, "This important funding will help our district's seniors and most vulnerable. By providing these resources to local non-profits, these grants will help the neediest in our community access food and important health services."
Congressman Lee Zeldin said, "This critical federal funding will provide community groups on Long Island with the resources they need to improve the quality of life for our seniors and people with disabilities. Providing support for those who need it the most has always been a principle Americans have stood by for generations, and this funding is an important measure to ensure we help the many vulnerable men and women in our communities."
Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said, "This program has long been an essential source of funding for organizations that assist the elderly and people with disabilities, so it is refreshing to see the program grow and expand to support not just vehicles but additional services and projects. Ensuring access to employment, education, medical services and recreational opportunities is essential for the health and well-being of our communities and this program is one more way we can work with Governor Cuomo to enhance mobility for people across New York State."
Program funds cover 80 percent of the cost necessary to purchase accessible vehicles, related capital equipment and to provide mobility management services. Operating assistance projects are eligible for up to a 50 percent federal share with the Grantee providing the remaining non-federal share.
Grant proposal evaluations were performed by representatives from: Department of Transportation; Metropolitan Planning Organizations, where applicable; and by New York State agencies including the Office for the Aging, Department of Health, Office of Mental Health and Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.
Grant recipients of funding for vehicles will begin receiving deliveries in late 2016 with other projects to commence based upon the anticipated start dates provided during the application process. To maintain the integrity of the program, funding recipients are required to submit semi-annual reports that demonstrate the vehicles and other projects are used for their intended purpose. Department of Transportation officials also conduct site visits to ensure appropriate program compliance.
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