Seniors, persons with disabilities, and veterans in Flint will find it easier to get around thanks to a $603,500 Michigan Mobility grant for the Vets for Wellness program.
The grant was awarded to the Flint Mass Transit Authority (MTA) as part of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s $8 Million Michigan Mobility Challenge. The goal is to use technology and innovation to address core mobility gaps for seniors, persons with disabilities, and veterans across the state.
Flint MTA is partnering with the Shiawassee Area Transit Agency, the Greater Lapeer Transit Authority, Kevadiya Inc., and several veterans-serving organizations to provide health and wellness transportation to the veteran communities throughout the region.
“Veterans in our community have been underserved for many years,” says Edgar Benning, general manager and CEO of the Flint MTA. “We appreciate the opportunity to provide transportation services and assist in filling this critical mobility gap.”
MDOT issued a Call for Projects in early June and received 43 proposals, requesting nearly $27 million in funding. Eight projects have been selected for full or partial funding in the first round, with the potential for more projects to be funded later in the year.
The Michigan Mobility Challenge grants are awarded to fund the demonstration of projects of varying sizes using new technology and innovative service models. The grants will be used to subsidize a portion of the cost to plan, deliver and monitor the demonstration services for a three- to six-month period, with the remaining costs being covered from fares, local contributions and other funds.
“Providing equitable and accessible transportation options for all Michigan citizens to access the goods and services they need is a priority,” says State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “The $8 Million Michigan Mobility Challenge allows us to better utilize the assets we have and introduce new methods for solving mobility gaps and getting travelers to their destinations as safely and efficiently as possible.”
The $8 Million Michigan Mobility Challenge is intended to engage the state’s robust technology, startup and transportation networks, along with service providers, advocacy groups and state agencies, including MDOT, PlanetM/Michigan Economic Development Corp., the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, and the Bureau of Services to Blind Persons.
“New mobility solutions offer opportunities to make our communities safer, greener and more productive in a way that allows all people to uphold their dignity,” says Trevor Pawl, group vice president of PlanetM, the State of Michigan’s mobility-focused brand and business development program. “The evolution of transportation demands collaboration between state, industry, community, advocacy, and higher education leaders working together to make sure advancements in how we live, travel and use services improve that quality of life for everyone.
More information about the program go to www.michigan.gov/mobilitychallenge. Follow on social media with the hashtag #mimobilitychallenge.