Senators announce funding for new Billings buses, airport upgrades

Baucus, Tester say stimulus bill will fund five new Met Transit buses

(BIG SANDY, Mont.) – The City of Billings will receive nearly $5 million to replace five Met Transit buses and to upgrade the Billings Logan International Airport, Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester announced today.

Billings’ Met Transit will receive nearly $2 million from the recently passed Jobs-stimulus Bill to purchase two 35-foot buses and three paratransit vans to transport disabled passengers. The $1,884,898 will also be used to upgrade the city’s bus wash facility and to install surveillance cameras and radios.

Both Baucus and Tester helped write and voted for the Jobs-stimulus Bill, which is investing more than $1 billion in Montana to create jobs and rebuild Montana’s economy.

The Senators also said that Billings Logan International Airport will receive a $2,996,447 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to rebuild, straighten and improve taxiways. The project will extend the life of the taxiway pavement and create jobs.

“We appreciate the support we have received from Senators Baucus and Tester,” said Tom Binford, City of Billings Aviation and Transit Director. “Access to reliable public transit and air transportation services is important for Billings and Montana. These funds will help us provide the facilities and equipment needed to efficiently and safely serve our customers now and in the future.”

“This is good news for the Magic City because it will go a long way in serving people who rely on safe, affordable and reliable transportation,” said Baucus, chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee. “Buses are important for people to get to work, get health care, and to do business in the community.”

“This funding will create jobs by investing in Billings and the people who live and work there,” said Tester, a member of the influential Senate Appropriations Committee, which oversees funding for the U.S. Department of Transportation. “Good, reliable bus systems and airports are part of the infrastructure we need to rebuild our economy.