FAST Act Reinstates Funding for Arlington’s Handitran Services
By Ryan Hunt
Posted on December 29, 2015, December 29, 2015

 Handitran Services

Arlington's Handitran once again has federal operational funding, thanks to new legislation approved by Congress in December.

Handitran offers safe and reliable door-to-door transportation services to senior citizens and residents with disabilities throughout The American Dream City.

For years, cities like Arlington were allowed to use Federal Transit Administration capital assistance grants to cover significant portions of transportation operating costs, an ability typically reserved for para-transit programs in smaller urban areas.

However, legislation in 2012, known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (Map-21), eliminated that option.

With that loss, Handitran was in serious jeopardy of not being able to fully fund the cost of people, fuel and administrative stuff needed to keep the buses on the road.

However, Congressman Marc Veasey knew the importance of this service to Arlington residents. In April 2015, hetoured the operation and even joined a driver out on a typical Handitran route. The Congressman authored language to reinstate Handitran's ability to obtain operation funding and fought to have it included in the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). During the conference process in the U.S. Senate, Senator John Cornyn provided essential assistance to the effort by ensuring that the final version of the FAST Act contained the needed language to fund Handitran for the life of the new law.

"As the need for Handitran's service continues to grow, any loss in operational funding would create a huge setback in our efforts to maintain existing service levels," said Bob Johnson, Transit Manager for Arlington Handitran. "Long term operational funding will help the City continue to provide this much valued service to our elderly and disabled citizens."

Congress approved the FAST Act in December, a bill that provides over $250 billion in funds for highway and transit projects over the next five years. The bill was signed into law by President Obama on December 3, 2015.

The latest "On the Clock" features a behind-the-scenes look at how Arlington's Handitran transportation services is managed and its importance to residents throughout the city.

Government, Headlines, News, Transportation