Securing grants. Funding programs.

When it became apparent North Township’s Dial-a-Ride program desperately needed additional resources to purchase new buses that would expand capacity, Trustee Frank Mrvan went to work, lobbying for additional dollars in Washington, Indianapolis and everywhere in between.

The near-term result was an infusion of $1.9 million in Congestion Mitigation Air Quality grant funding through the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission. The three-year grant allowed for the purchase of two new buses and drivers. During that time the township increased ridership from about 12,000 riders per year in 2012 to nearly 33,000 in 2013. This year, the township is on track to log more than 55,000 trips.

The CMAQ money was a much-needed band-aid but Mrvan continues to lobby elected officials in the hopes of procuring a permanent source of additional funds for the transit service.