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Salisbury Transit to get $756,650 in federal stimulus funding

Salisbury Transit, which runs the city buses, announced Wednesday it will receive $756,650 in federal stimulus funding.
N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue released the information earlier Wednesday in Raleigh.
Perdue said 140 transit projects in North Carolina will receive more than $103 million to improve transit operations in both urban and rural communities.
Her office said 21 urban transit systems will be receiving more than $70 million, while rural systems will receive more than $33 million.
Salisbury Mayor Susan Kluttz said the stimulus funds will go toward preventative maintenance for the Salisbury Transit facility and support the city’s fleet of six accessible buses.
The money will help purchase spare parts, shop equipment and diagnostic software, according to the city.
“Public transportation plays a key role in creating jobs, promoting a cleaner environment and securing energy independence for our country,” Kluttz said. “By creating improved transit operations, we are investing into our nation’s economic and environmental recovery.”
The funds come from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and are considered JobsNOW recovery projects.
“Not only will they put people to work, they will take people to work,” Perdue said.
The N.C. Department of Transportation received a total of $838 million through ARRA funding, which includes $735 million for highway and bridge projects.
To date, NCDOT has allocated more than 90 percent of the highway and bridge money received to projects across the state.
Perdue and Transportation Secretary Gene Conti are working with U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., U.S. Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., and other members of the congressional delegation to pursue discretionary grant money included within the stimulus package for the $300 million replacement of the Interstate 85 Yadkin River bridge.
Salisbury Transit employs 14 people. Its six buses are equipped with ramps, automated voice annunciation systems and surveillance cameras.
Salisbury started its bus service in 1976 when two privately owned companies operated the system.
Regular bus fare is $1 a trip; it is 50 cents for the disabled and senior citizens.
Transfers and children under the age of 5 ride free.
Bus service is available from 6:15 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. Monday-Friday and on Saturday from 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
“Accessible transit services are vital to a community and Salisbury Transit enables our citizens to partake in all aspects of the local environment,” Kluttz said in a release.
“By utilizing public transportation, citizens are also able to maintain their independence and remain active in the community when driving a vehicle no longer remains an option.”

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