Valley Metro awarded funds for bus shelters, amenities
HARLINGEN — A major funding boost for Valley Metro will be used to improve transportation facilities outside the UT Regional Academic Health Center at Harlingen.
U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville) announced yesterday a $661,342 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation Buses and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program is going to the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council. The Weslaco-based council oversees Valley Metro.
The grant will be split to purchase new bus passenger shelters and add amenities in Harlingen, Brownsville and Edinburg.
“This grant will provide essential funding to regional transit services in South Texas,” Vela said. “The new waiting areas will allow the bus system to attract new riders and provide improved service to existing passengers. I look forward to seeing the project completed.”
The grant application was filed jointly by UTRGV and the Lower RGV Development Council.
Tom Logan, executive director of Valley Metro, said the Valley was one of just five Texas entities to receive funding for the transit improvements from a pool of $2 billion.
“We’re very happy that these funds are coming to the Valley to improve our services for our citizens and visitors,” Logan said yesterday. “There were 339 proposed projects and we’re one of the 107 that were selected across the nation.”
Logan said the Harlingen portion will receive about a third of the overall funding, and will be used for a bus shelter, trash receptacles, bike racks and sidewalks outside the RAHC.
“We’re looking at the students, faculty, staff and visitors benefitting from these improvements,” he added.
Logan said there is no firm timetable for work to begin, but LRGVDC officials will be connecting with the Federal Transit Administration on securing the funds to enable the work to begin.