The Federal Transit Administration (FTA), an agency in the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), recently announced $14 billion in additional federal funding provided by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA) (H.R. 133) to support American public transportation systems during the COVID-19 public health crisis (U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces $14 Billion to Support Nation’s Public Transportation Systems During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency). FTA had previously authorized $25 billion in funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in April of 2020.
“This additional $14 billion in transit infrastructure grants will help ensure our nation’s public transportation systems can continue to serve the millions of Americans who depend on them,” United States Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao said.
FTA is authorizing a total of $14 billion in urbanized and rural area apportionments, including $13.27 billion to large and small urban areas, $678.2 million to rural areas and tribes, and $50 million to enhance the mobility of seniors and disabled individuals. As with funding under the CARES Act, financing will be 100% federal, with no requirement to match with local funds.
“We know that many of our Nation’s public transportation systems continue to face challenges due to COVID-19,” FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams said. “And these supplemental funds will help ensure that safe transit services remain available for riders traveling to jobs, health care and other essential services in communities across America.”
CRRSAA instructs recipients to allocate funds to payroll and operational needs first, and then to other eligible expenses. FTA will host a future series of live, interactive webinars to provide further information, as well as providing online answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
USDOT continues to work in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other federal agencies to advise the public transportation industry regarding the appropriate responses to COVID-19. As our country begins to recover from the effects of this deadly pandemic, hopefully the industry will continue to prioritize the safety of the American public over the endless pursuit of profits.
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