Legislation may revive county transit

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Legislation may revive county transit

The Chronicle-Telegram – ELYRIA — Lorain County Transit may be able to restore routes and bring more drivers back to work if a new bill seeking changes in the way federal mass transit money is used wins approval in Congress.

The legislation is especially meaningful to LCT because the cash-strapped county’s lack of money prevented it from using available federal funds, according to Commissioner Ted Kalo.

“Since we do not have much local money, we couldn’t even access federal dollars when they were available in 80-20 or even 90-10 matches,” Kalo said. “This sounds like they’ve finally found a way to let us use capital dollars to provide services. We’ll have the flexibility to move capital dollars over to re-establish routes and bring back drivers.”

Transit systems large and small previously had not been allowed to use federal money to cover operating costs.

Government funds could be used solely for buying new buses, repairing existing ones, and building and fixing up transit facilities.

Details of the proposed bill were discussed Tuesday during a Capitol Hill press conference featuring U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Avon, and U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan of Missouri.

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