Porterville takes lead in equitable transit

Porterville Unified is only public school district to receive a portion of state pilot project to study gaps in equitable transportation

PORTERVILLE – When students in rural communities in the southeast portion of the county were unable to make it to school to pick up free lunches, Porterville Unified spent the spring expanding its rural routes to not only service its own schools but the other elementary districts that fed into its high schools. This fall, Porterville Unified will again lead the way in equitable transportation as the only entity in Tulare County and the only public school district in California to receive a portion of new grant funding to identify and address obstacles for low-income residents.

Last month, PUSD was awarded $48,082, just short of the $50,000 maximum, by the

Clean Mobility Options Voucher Pilot Program (CMO) to conduct “Community Transportation Needs Assessments” that will help them to identify – and eventually address – transportation challenges faced by residents in their communities.

“Across California, and especially in low-income communities and communities of color, people spend too much time and money getting from home to work, or just to do daily errands,” CARB Deputy Executive Officer Steve Cliff said. “The Clean Mobility Options Program elevates the role communities play, and allows them to lead the way in addressing their particular transportation issues — and ultimately finding solutions that work for them.”

In all, 24 nonprofits, local governments, transit agencies, and Native American tribes in under-resourced communities were awarded a portion of $1.15 million for Community Transportation Needs Assessments as part of the inaugural funding. Projects were also awarded in Kern, Kings, Fresno and Inyo counties. Clean mobility options designed by and for under-resourced communities will save residents money and improve public health.

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