Rural transportation networks play a vital role in supporting our national economic vitality. In keeping with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s focus on addressing the deteriorating conditions and disproportionately high fatality rates on our rural transportation infrastructure, FTA’s Helping Obtain Prosperity for Everyone (HOPE) Program supports projects that will address the transportation challenges faced by areas of persistent poverty.
HOPE supports planning, engineering and technical studies or financial planning to improve transit services in areas experiencing long-term economic distress. It will also support coordinated human service transportation planning to improve transit service or provide new services such as rides to opioid abuse recovery and treatment.
An area of persistent poverty is a county with 20% or more of the population living in poverty over the 30 years preceding the date of enactment of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, or December 20, 2019, as measured by the 1990 and 2000 decennial census and the most recent Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates.
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"Mountains to Sea: Electrifying North Carolina's Transit Fleets" (2020 FTA H.O.P.E. Grant Submittal)
On October 7th, 2020, the FTA awarded the North Carolina Department of Transportation $122,048 in funding to work with two transit systems near Boone in rural eastern North Carolina to plan to deploy zero-emission buses. The plans will provide the basis for other rural agencies in the state to draft transition plans for new-technology buses, allowing them to benefit from economic benefits, such as lower fuel and maintenance costs.