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MPO mulls flexing federal funds to buy new buses

The Maui News

After many revisions and review, the Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization is considering flexing federal highway funds to purchase new buses.

Public comments on the revised Federal Fiscal Year 2022-2025 Transportation Improvement Program is now being accepted by Maui MPO — the transportation planning agency for the island of Maui — through Friday. 

The TIP includes all transportation projects on Maui that use federal highway or transit money or are regionally significant. By identifying projects in the TIP, Maui can receive funding for roads, bridges, bus transit, trails, paths, and sidewalks.

The changes from the previous revised TIP includes flexing $5 million of Federal Highway Administration funds to the Federal Transit Administration for the purchase of buses on Maui, as well as adding the West Maui Greenway shared use path to the TIP to facilitate design and construction funds for the project.

Transferring or “flexing” funds from Federal Highway programs to the Federal Transit program facilitates federal investments at the local level for measures that improve access and enhance transit operations, according to Maui MPO.

Maui MPO said that this funding method promotes greater coordination between agencies to speed up project delivery and reduce costs.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation requested that Maui MPO facilitate the transfer of funds, which will enable the state to request the maximum amount of federal redistribution funds for Hawaii.

To move forward with the transfer, the Maui TIP must be amended by late July, according to the organization.

Comments can be emailed to lauren@mauimpo.org or mailed to Maui MPO at 200 South High Street, Wailuku, HI 96793.

For more information or to review a draft of the revisions, visit mauimpo.org.

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