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Monday, May 4, 2009

Congrats Citylink On Federal Award!

A news release I just received from Citylink:

FTA National Award Honors Citylink

The Citylink Bus System, a vibrant and thriving transportation service for Idaho’s Kootenai and Benewah counties, is in massive demand from riders on every route. That demand and its growth over time are now bringing national recognition.

The Federal Transit Administration will honor Citylink in Seattle on Monday, May 4th with its national award for ridership gains and innovation to boost ridership. The award comes as a significant milestone for Citylink, which began full operations in November, 2006. But Citylink is already unique in its conception, the brainchild of efforts by the Kootenai County Commission and the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council. Citylink remains the first and only transit system in the United States to come about as a result of cooperative effort between local and tribal governments.

In its first year of operation, Citylink averaged about 4,000 riders per month. It now averages some 35,000 per month, with annual ridership exceeding 500,000. It serves Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Hayden in the northern loop; the southern loop serves Worley, Plummer, Tensed and DeSmet. The rides are free. Buses are equipped to carry bicycles and wheelchairs.

“Citylink’s success certainly deserves national recognition,” said Chief Allan, Coeur d’Alene Tribe Chairman. “We’re showing not only a successful transportation system. We’re showing that cooperation between governments brings a better quality of life to everyone in our region. “

Planned to bring people to medical facilities, businesses, schools, public buildings and even recreational facilities, Citylink operates almost 24/7. The tribe provided $1.1 million in matching funds for an FTA grant to Kootenai County and the Kootenai Metropolitan Transit Authority. The KMPO is made up of elected officials from the county, cities and highway districts.

The awards ceremony will be held on Monday, May 4, 2009, from 2:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. during the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Bus and Paratransit Conference at the Sheraton Hotel, 1400 Sixth Avenue in Seattle, Washington.

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Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization (KMPO) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Kootenai County, Idaho. Federal law requires urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people to have an MPO. KMPO was formed in 2003, to provide coordinated transportation planning within Kootenai county for the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and the Coeur d'Alene tribe.

KMPO's Board of Directors oversees KMPO for Kootenai County, ID. KMPO's Executive Director and Staff are responsible for day-to-day operational and administrative needs.