Speaker's Office, Navajo Transit System sign MOU

<i>Photo by Natasha Kaye Johnson</i><br>
Navajo Council Speaker Lawrence T. Morgan signed a memo of understanding with Navajo Transit System that resulted in the purchase of new buses and a $1.00 per day flat rate for public transportation. Pictured left to right, Harrison Watchman and Lee Bigwater with Navajo Transit System; Virgil Brown with Navajo Division of General Services; Council Delegate Young Jeff Tom; Speaker Lawrence T. Morgan; and Council Delegate Leslie Dele.

<i>Photo by Natasha Kaye Johnson</i><br> Navajo Council Speaker Lawrence T. Morgan signed a memo of understanding with Navajo Transit System that resulted in the purchase of new buses and a $1.00 per day flat rate for public transportation. Pictured left to right, Harrison Watchman and Lee Bigwater with Navajo Transit System; Virgil Brown with Navajo Division of General Services; Council Delegate Young Jeff Tom; Speaker Lawrence T. Morgan; and Council Delegate Leslie Dele.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - Navajo Council Speaker Lawrence T. Morgan along with Lee Bigwater, department manager of Navajo Transit System, and Virgil Brown, division director of the Navajo Division of General Services, have received positive feedback from the public on the recently approved reduced flat rate for public transportation.

"This agreement has been a big step towards helping curb the high cost of living our Navajo people are facing, especially considering our rapidly changing economy," Speaker Morgan said during the signing of a memorandum of agreement with Navajo Transit System. "I am pleased the agreement we signed has helped to alleviate some of the financial tension our Navajo people are facing during these challenging times."

Under the MOU, the Office of the Speaker purchased several buses in the amount of $700,000 in exchange for a $1 per day flat rate for all public transportation services within the Navajo Nation service area for two years on existing bus routes.

The agreement states, "The Navajo Transit System will bear all operational costs during the two year period and will not require additional funding from the Office of the Speaker."

The Navajo Transit System's services and priorities are providing safe and reliable charter and public transportation for the Navajo Nation. Navajo Transit System (NTS) is a department under the Division of General Services within the Navajo Nation government.

"Through this agreement, we have been able to further our mission to provide high quality, efficient and affordable public transportation services to all residents of the Navajo Nation," Bigwater said. "The public has expressed their gratitude for the teamwork between our office and the Office of the Speaker."

The agreement was approved this fall by the Intergovernmental Relations Committee of the 21st Navajo Nation Council and the committee approved the funding transfer from the Office of the Speaker's capital outlay budget. When Speaker Morgan addressed the committee on the legislation, he reminded the Council of Navajo elderly who are spending anywhere from $75 to $100 on gas driving into their respective nearby border towns.

"It is our intention to provide the Navajo people with reliable transportation to help them carry out their day-to-day activities," Speaker Morgan said. "This agreement has generated positive feedback from the public and our office looks forward to working on more legislation that will help meet the needs of our Navajo people."

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