Upper Mattaponi Tribe awarded $750,000 through Tribal Transit Program

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Electric Transportation Vehicles at the 2017 Rally at the Raceway. From VCC Photo Library

A part of the Powhatan chiefdom, the Upper Mattaponi people played an essential role in the development of the first permanent English settlement in Jamestown, with Captain John Smith’s original map of Virginia in 1608 displaying the village of Passaunkack, where the Upper Mattaponi reside to this day. The Tribe has continued many unique traditional cultural practices into the modern era while ensuring new technology is utilized effectively with little pollution.

On October 11, 2022, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) designated $757,152 towards initiating transit services for the Upper Mattaponi Tribe to acquire electric, wheelchair-accessible passenger vans along with the necessary equipment for upkeep, communications and charge.

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Electric Transportation Vehicles at the 2017 Rally at the Raceway. From VCC Photo Library

The money stems from the FTA’s competitive 2022 Tribal Transit Program grant, which spreads roughly $8.6 million to 25 Native American communities for public transit projects that meet the growing needs of these thriving villages and towns.

The Tribal Transit Program (TTP) is funds set aside by the Formula Grants for Rural Areas program for the Fiscal Years 2022-2026, which is over $30 million strategically allocated using data from the Census Bureau along with annual reports by tribes to the National Transit Database.

The Formula Grant is split into three tiers:

Tier 1: 50% of funds are based on vehicle revenue miles.

Tier 2: 25% of available funds are apportioned among tribes with at least two hundred thousand annual vehicle revenue miles.

Tier 3: 25% of funds are given to tribes providing public transportation on tribal lands with more than one thousand low-income persons residing.

The grants will provide much-needed transportation infrastructure in rural communities in addition to reducing maintenance, fuel costs, and pollution output using electric vehicles. For more information, visit the Federal Transit Administration’s web pages about the announcement here or visit the Tribal Transit Program website here. To learn more about the Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe click the hyperlink below.

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