Senate Secures $7 Million for Delaware Transportation Improvements

State to expand bus services and decrease traffic congestion

Wilmington, DE — U.S. Senator Tom Carper today announced $7 million in federal funding that will allow the state to repair and purchase new DART buses, make improvements to the Wilmington train station and help Welfare-to-Work recipients get to and from their place of employment. The money was included in the Senate Omnibus Appropriations Bill that will fund spending through 2003. Specifically, the Omnibus Appropriations bill includes: · $3 million to make needed improvements to the Wilmington train station. Funding will be used to replace windscreens and platform canopies, install new electronic signs, rehabilitate restrooms, elevators and escalators and install a fully accessible station entrance along with other accessibility improvements. · $3.25 million to continue the replacement of aging 40-foot transit buses and allow for the purchase of new 30-foot heavy-duty buses. Aging buses that are not in compliance with both the Clean Air Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act will be replaced; · $750,000 for the Jobs Access and Reverse Commute Grant Program, a component of Delaware’s Welfare-to-Work Initiative. These funds provide non-traditional transit services such as vanpools, feeder services, reverse commuter routes and employee shuttles to individuals who have non-traditional work schedules or who live in areas not served by fixed public transportation routes. “Welfare to Work empowers participants with a strong sense of accomplishment as they become productive members of their community. But there are still families who, because of where they live, cannot get to new jobs. This funding will help those families reach self-sufficiency,” Carper said. “Those in the business sector utilize inter-city rail service every day. A modern, convenient train station is essential to our continued economic development in the First State.” The bill must now go to conference with the House. It is expected that the bill will then be sent to the President to be signed into law.