The Massachusetts Senate today approved a new multi-year road bill that will bring just over $2 million in funding to New Bedford.

The vote comes just one week after the House approved its version of the bill, which featured one year's worth of $200 million in Chapter 90 funding. The Senate voted in favor of a two-year, $400 million bill that would also include $30 million to fund regional transit authorities and Council on Aging organizations to help with transportation for the elderly and disabled.

Under the Senate version of the bill, New Bedford would receive $2,111,149 in Chapter 90 funds. Other SouthCoast allocations would include $1,194,360 for Dartmouth, $522,304 for Fairhaven, $326,163 for Acushnet and $229,161 for Mattapoisett.

"I am pleased to have helped move this legislation through the Senate so that our cities and towns can ensure vital infrastructure repairs are attended to as soon as possible without imposing greater burdens on local taxpayers," said Senator Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford). "Providing additional funding for mobility vans is a crucial component that has, and will continue to, serve residents in great need of specialized transportation services."

The van funding had originally been requested by Governor Baker, but was later removed from the House bill after the Joint Committee on Transportation dropped it from the legislation. The Senate later restored this provision to ensure local agencies maintain capacity to meet the specialized needs of vulnerable residents. Since 2015 several South Coast communities and organizations have benefitted from this funding source, including the Dartmouth Council on Aging, Kennedy Donovan Center, New Bedford Council on Aging, and the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority.

The bill must now be reconciled between the House and the Senate before it moves on to Governor Charlie Baker's desk for final passage.