Federal stimulus funds will soon help replace more than four dozen transit buses in northeast Minnesota, DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar announced this week.
The $7.4 million grant, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will be used to replace a total of 51 buses that serve rural Minnesota communities, Oberstar said.
Residents who use Arrowhead Transit for transportation will be among those seeing the new buses. Arrowhead Transit's share of that grant comes to just more than $1 million, which will be used to purchase 15 buses to serve Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake and St. Louis counties.
"People who live in rural Minnesota spend an average of 35 percent more on transportation than those who live in urban areas," Oberstar said. "During tough economic times, it's important to make sure that people have affordable access to transportation."
Oberstar said the new buses will stimulate many sectors of the economy. The busses will require steel and will be built and maintained in the U.S., he said.
"This is the type of investment that is creating and saving jobs across the country," Oberstar said.