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From early April to early May 2021, the Mobility Management team assisted Cedar County Transit with their application to the Community Rides Grant Program. Cedar County Transit sought to increase service within Cedar county and expand into Knox county. The grant funding would allow Cedar County Transit to put more vehicles on the road at a time. This would increase service to Cedar county and eastern Knox county residents.

National RTAP organized the Community Rides Grant Program to offer current recipients and subrecipients of FTA 5311 funding the opportunity to apply for awards of up to $100,000. Projects must develop or strengthen transportation partnerships that improve social determinants of health in rural and tribal communities. There was no local match required, and the projects must last 15 months.

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Nikki Pinkelman, manager of Cedar County Transit, worked with the Mobility Management team to utilize their assistance with planning an expansion and applying for grants. Each week the Mobility Management team met with Nikki, NDOT transit manager Kari Ruse, and various team members to plan the expansion of service, the budget, and how to answer the application’s questions. Together, in less than five weeks, the team put together a budget, six letters of support, 20 pages of supporting documents, and a 3,000-word proposal.

Cedar County Transit is still awaiting word back from National RTAP on their application, because the organization needed extra time to evaluate all the applications received.

While waiting for what everyone hopes will be a yes, the Mobility Management team is regrouping and planning an exciting fall with in-person meetings and travel back on the menu. The team is looking forward to a strong second half in 2021 and is here to help connect and improve rural transit. If you have a project you hope Mobility Management can assist with, please reach out to the Statewide Mobility Manager Bill Bivin at

About Author

Nebraska Public Transit is a program administered by the Nebraska Department of Transportation. NDOT’s Local Assistance Division is responsible for coordinating public transportation activities in Nebraska’s 93 counties and provides technical assistance as requested. NDOT receives money from the Federal Transit Administration and state transportation funds to fulfill requirements set forth by Nebraska Revised Statute 13-1204.

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