WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced over $9.3 million in federal funding to support a free, on-demand transit service in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The investment will be used to expand the current goMARTI (Minnesota’s Autonomous Regional Transit Initiative) vehicle fleet with electric vehicles and automated driving systems (ADS).
The expanded fleet of vehicles will be wheelchair accessible and will expand service to communities that lack access to reliable, convenient transportation.
“Investments in our transportation systems are a down-payment on the long-term economic success of our state and ensure Minnesotans can safely and reliably get to where they need to go,” said Klobuchar. “This federal funding will help meet Grand Rapids’ growing transit needs and provide accessible, efficient, and modern transportation options for residents and visitors alike.”
“Each day, transit systems connect Minnesotans to their jobs, schools, grocery stores and countless other opportunities – all while reducing traffic congestion and pollution,” said Smith, Chair of the Senate Transit Subcommittee. “This funding will help modernize transit options around Grand Rapids with electric vehicles and new automated driving technology. It’s a big win for residents who have lacked access to affordable, modern, and accessible ways to get around.”
The federal funding is made possible through the Advanced Transportation Technology and Innovation (ATTAIN) Program, which awards grants to deploy, install, and operate advanced transportation technologies. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which both Klobuchar and Smith helped pass, amended and helped fund the program. These projects are intended to help demonstrate how emerging transportation technologies, data, and their applications can be effectively deployed and integrated with existing systems to provide access to essential transportation services.