NMI transportation office awarded over $961K in grant funding

Notified by the director of the Office of Program Management and Program Oversight for the Federal Transit Administration Region IX, Bernardo Bustamente, on Friday, Special Assistant for Public Transportation Alfreda Camacho announced that the CNMI had been successfully awarded over $961,000 in FTA funding to provide operating assistance, bus purchase, and program administration funds for COTA to continue to launch its first Fixed-flex route and para-transit services.

According to Camacho, the grant will allow for COTA to properly plan and provide safe, efficient, effective, flexible, and responsive transit services for the entire community including the elderly and those with disabilities.

Upon notification, Gov. Ralph Torres was assured that COTA has executed the award on the FTA database completing the grant transfer to the CNMI government.

“I am very pleased to see the continuity of the development of public transit services. I commend Special Assistant Alfreda Camacho for ensuring that the funding for this project would go toward the sustainability of the current demand and operations,” Governor Torres said.

Camacho expressed that the grant award covers the acquisition of another medium low-floor ADA accessible bus to add to the Fixed Route System, as well as surveillance systems for COTA’s fleet, a phone recording system for COTA’s One-Call/One-Click Center, and an overall computer system upgrade for the transportation tracking software for the required National Transit Database reports to FTA.

“The bid process for these systems will begin immediately and on behalf of the COTA team, we thank Governor Torres for his unending support and continuous assistance for this public transportation program,” Camacho said.

For more information on COTA, log onto its new website at http://cnmicota.wixsite.com/cota-mp.

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