The Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority under the CNMI Office of the Governor was awarded Friday $800,000 in competitive grant funds under the U.S. Department of Transportation: Federal Transit Administration’s “The Areas of Persistent Poverty Program” to develop a sustainable transportation master plan and conduct an independent ferry feasibility study for the Northern Mariana Islands.
The 20- year Sustainable Transportation Master Plan will create multi-modal and intra/inter-island transportation options.
In March of 2022, special assistant for Public Transportation Alfreda Camacho Maratita attended the Territorial Climate Infrastructure Workshop and presented to the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Transportation, and regional partners on the CNMI’s Built Infrastructure priorities, which include the importance of a sustainable transportation master plan in order to improve the transportation options for the CNMI.
The CNMI is in dire need for a complete multi-modal transportation system to support infrastructure and community health outcomes. Currently, travel is limited to monopolized air travel on small flights, which presents connectivity challenges, especially for individuals in need of medical attention. Increased mobility options will provide a pathway to improved wellness, economic outcomes, and enhanced environmental sustainability for the CNMI.
“With this grant award, the CNMI will be able to conduct an interisland, multi-modal transportation feasibility study and a sustainable transportation master plan to build [on] the Saipan Walkability Assessment and support the islands of Tinian and Rota with multi-modal connectivity planning throughout the CNMI that will include pilot project implementation of renewable charging stations to support electric-vehicles fleet build-out,” said Maratita.
“I would like to thank and recognize [Maratita and COTA] for their hard work in securing the grant funds to conduct this feasibility study and develop the transportation master plan. This will go a long way in moving our islands forward, as we continue to improve our public transportation and infrastructure, promoting accessibility and sustainability,” said Gov. Ralph DLG Torres. (PR)