MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today announced grants totaling $1,056,449 for 18 projects that will help provide transportation for people with disabilities. The grants will support new public transportation services and alternatives for individuals with disabilities, and will promote coordination between specialized and public transportation in all areas of the state.
“New Freedom is a brand new program that will provide more transportation options than those currently available to individuals with disabilities,” said Governor Doyle. “Many of us often take our mobility for granted, but all of us understand that people with disabilities should have equal access to work, appointments and the full range of local cultural activities.”
New Freedom program grants, administered by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, are awarded for capital and operating expenses. Grants will be used to purchase new accessible vehicles, add new service routes for disabled passengers, and hire staff to coordinate rides and vehicles so that existing vehicles and services can be utilized as fully as possible, among other things.
The matching grant program provides 50 percent to 80 percent of project costs, depending on whether the request is for capital or operating expenses. Through an interagency partnership, the New Freedom program received $450,000 in additional funds from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation in the Department of Workforce Development to enhance access to transportation for individuals with disabilities in rural and small urban areas.
Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, local governments and operators of public transportation services. Grant awardees are listed below.
New Freedom Grants for Calendar Year 2008
Aging and Disability Resource Center – Central Wisconsin, Wausau
Aging and Disability Resource Center – Manitowoc County, Manitowoc
American Red Cross – Winnebago County, Oshkosh
Center for Independent Living – Western WI, Menomonie
Clarity Care, Oshkosh
Community Care, Ozaukee Co.
Disabled & Elderly Transportation, Menomonie
Independent Living, Inc., Madison
Langlade County Dept. on Aging, Antigo
Lutheran Homes of Oshkosh, Oshkosh
North Country Independent Living, Superior
Sauk County Commission on Aging, Baraboo
Southwest WI Community Action Program, Inc., Dodgeville
Trempealeau County Senior Services, Whitehall
United Way of Door County, Sturgeon Bay
Village of Pleasant Prairie
Workforce Connections, La Crosse