Georgia Senators Reverend Warnock and Ossoff Introduce New Legislation to Provide Transportation Grants to Poverty Stricken Communities
Grants will support planning, engineering and technical studies, and financial planning for projects that will improve access to jobs and human services
Senator Warnock: “The HOPE Act would provide a helping hand to Georgians in need, regardless of where they live”
Senator Warnock remains committed to fighting for investments in rural transit that will prioritize efforts to spur economic mobility
ICYMI: Senator Warnock introduced the bipartisan RURAL Act, alongside Senator Mike Braun (R-IN), to strengthen highway safety programs creating safer highway-rail grade crossing within the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act
Washington, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), joined by U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA), introduced new legislation to improve, develop, and expand access to public transportation in both rural and urban areas experiencing persistent poverty. The Helping Obtain Prosperity for Everyone (HOPE) Act would authorize a grant program and provide a total of $125 million for transit planning grants for areas of persistent poverty through the Federal Transit Administration. This grant program will help officials in distressed areas identify and address the transportation needs of Georgia’s most vulnerable populations. Through the HOPE Act, grant recipients will be able to use their award to support planning, engineering and technical studies, and for financial planning for projects that will improve access to jobs and human services, such as medical appointments or opioid abuse recovery and treatment. Senator Padilla (D-CA) is also an original cosponsor of the HOPE Act.
“From Dalton to Decatur to Dougherty County, the HOPE Act would provide a helping hand to Georgians in need, regardless of where they live,” said Senator Warnock. “Investment in Georgia’s public transportation providers across the state means creating even more opportunities for social and economic mobility and improving quality of life for all Georgians, regardless of zip code. The HOPE Act will get us one step closer to that important goal.”
“We’re poised to make a once-in-a-lifetime investment in transit and transportation, and every community in Georgia must be included — especially those historically deprived and neglected,” said Senator Ossoff. “We’ve introduced this legislation because Sen. Rev. Warnock and I know it’s vital that low-income communities participate fully in this historic moment as we expand transit across Georgia and upgrade our quality of life.”
The HOPE Act would provide $25 million per year for five fiscal years (FY22-26) for the grant awards, derived from the Mass Transit Account (MTA) of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). There are close to 400 counties across the United States where 20 percent or more of the population has been living below the poverty line for the last 30 years and lack access to basic quality services and economic opportunities—such as schools and health care, and good-paying jobs. In Georgia, there are nearly 45 counties experiencing persistent poverty. The funding provided in the HOPE Act would help connect older Americans, veterans, and individuals with low-incomes to better access jobs and critical services.
The HOPE Act has been endorsed by the Community Transportation Association of America, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Act (MARTA), the American Public Transportation Association, The Bus Coalition, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Read the bill text here.