ANCHORAGE -

Four Alaskan Native communities are set to receive over $400,000 for local transportation needs.

Four transportation projects in rural Alaska were approved for funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Authority, according to a release Tuesday. The money for the projects will fund public transportation needs in rural villages in Alaska as part of the FTA’s Tribal Transit Program.

The recently approved funding is complementary to another $371,000 approved for FY 2014 for similar projects in other communities within the state.

“We fully recognize that residents on tribal lands and in surrounding communities often face significant transportation challenges, as many cannot afford to own a vehicle, or fill the tank, and yet must travel long distances to reach basic services,” said FTA Deputy Administrator Therese McMillan. “We want to ensure that everyone who needs a ride to earn a paycheck, attend school, see the doctor, or buy groceries has that opportunity.”

Among the proposed projects are the purchase of two vans for Gulkana’s Copper River fleet, and transportation for Hydaburg residents to the Hollis ferry terminal, which serves much of southeast Alaska.

According to the release, funding for the Tribal Transit Program nearly doubled following the approval of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.