Daines Announces Nearly $1.5 Million for MSU to Increase Public Transportation

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced $1,402,200.00 for the Western Transportation Institute (WTI) to study how best to improve accessibility and efficiency of rural public transportation.


“It’s great to see additional funds being sent to an organization that has been an advocate for rural transportation efficiency and safety for over 20 years,” Daines stated.  “As a graduate of MSU’s College of Engineering, I am proud their contributions are recognized and these funds will be used to improve mobility in Montana and rural America.”

The Western Transportation Institute (WTI) is a department within Montana State University’s (MSU) College of Engineering.  They have been designated one of the top 10 National University Transportation Centers by the US DOT’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology. This is the second competitive USDOT grant WTI has been awarded. The first being the Small Urban and Rural Livability Center, which provided $4.2 million over three years.

The purpose of SURTCOM is to increase the mobility of residents and goods in small urban, rural, and tribal communities through improved public transportation and infrastructure. 

David Kack, Director, Small Urban and Rural Livability Center, Western Transportation Institute: “This funding will help us address mobility (transportation) issues for both people and goods in small urban, rural and tribal areas. These areas are often overlooked, as many people focus on potential mega-regions and large urbanized areas. We look forward to providing leadership in addressing mobility issues; focusing on research, education, workforce development and technology transfer.”