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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 16, 2022
Press Release: 22-0031
Contact: Shannon McCarthy, (907) 744-7360, shannon.mccarthy@alaska.gov

Rural Transit Day Highlights a Growing Necessity

(JUNEAU, Alaska) – Today, Governor Mike Dunleavy proclaimed July 16, 2022 as  Rural Transit Day in Alaska. The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) is joining Transit Agencies across the nation to recognize Rural Transit Day. The day focuses on what agencies do to support the specialized needs of rural passengers. It’s also about showing appreciation for public transit agencies, drivers, mechanics, and all the workers than help make transit a success.

Rural transit has been an integral part of Alaska’s history since 1928 and is an important piece of DOT&PF’s multimodal transportation system. In 2020 and 2021, DOT&PF’s Alaska Community Transit staff managed the grant awards and distribution of over $24 million in Federal Transit Administration grant funds to 12 rural transit service providers.

“As our communities change and grow, and costs increase, the need for affordable public transportation will also continue to increase,” said DOT&PF Commissioner Ryan Anderson. “Rural transit delivers people to important locations such as work, medical appointments, shopping, entertainment, and other destinations. Public transit is a valuable part of DOT&PF's mission to keep Alaska moving through service and infrastructure.”

The Economic Value of Public Transit in Alaska,” recently published by the DOT&PF Alaska Community Transit office, assessed the multifaceted benefits of transit and its importance to the Alaskan economy. That study considers the impacts of what would happen if transit were not available and quantifies how transit helps minimize costs to people and society relative to other modes of transportation such as personal vehicles. The study also analyzes the value of enabling people who rely on transit to access to jobs, health care, and other social connections. 

Read the Governor’s Rural Transit Day Proclamation here.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 237 airports, 9 ferries serving 33 communities along 3,500 marine miles, over 5,600 miles of highway and 839 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”

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