Via recently announced that it has received grants totaling nearly $200,000. The funds will be used to purchase fuel-efficient vehicles and provide accessible transportation and travel training for individuals with mobility limitations. The funds were awarded by the Federal Transit Administration’s Clean Fuels Program, the Ball Foundation, the Millennium Trust of the Community Foundation Serving Boulder County, The Denver Foundation, Encana Oil and Gas (USA), Inc., the James Hynd Trust and the Walmart Stores Foundation.
Approximately $165,000, including a 17-percent local match by Encana, will be used to purchase three MV-1s. Manufactured in the United States, the compressed natural gas (CNG) paratransit vehicle features a fully-deployable side ramp, can accommodate up to six passengers – including wheelchairs and motorized scooters – and is the only vehicle that meets or exceeds guidelines set forth under the Americans with Disabilities Act. With the addition of three new vehicles, Via’s fleet of MV-1s will expand to seven.
In receiving the FTA award, executive director Lenna Kottke said, “As one of 27 projects selected nationwide to receive this funding, we are pleased to use it to support cleaner, greener vehicles that reduce harmful emissions and improve fuel economy while providing a comfortable, accessible ride for our passengers.”
The other grant awards will be used to fund innovative programs that provide transportation and mobility options for older adults, people with disabilities and others with limited mobility.