The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a total of $1.68 billion in grants for transit agencies around the country.
As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020, two grants totaling $449 million were given to the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) in California; the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) received an $876.8 million grant; the Tri-County Metropolitan District of Oregon (Tri-Met) in Portland, Ore., received a $185 million grant; and the Central Puget Sound Regional Transportation Authority (Sound Transit) in Seattle, Wash., received a $166.3 million grant.
BART will receive $251.6 million and SFMTA will receive $197.2 million in grant funds to continue transit operations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and replace lost fare revenues during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
WMATA will use the grant funds for operating, capital and preventive maintenance expenses, which are necessary to maintain critical transit services and to ensure the safety of its passengers and employees during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Tri-Met will use its funds to support its bus, rail and paratransit transportation services during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Covered expenses will include driver salaries, including administrative leave for employees due to reductions in service or required for a quarantined worker, personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies.
Sound Transit will use the funds for operating costs, maintenance, disinfecting vehicles and keeping drivers safe across its light rail, bus, paratransit and other transit services during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
See the FTA’s apportionment tables for the totals apportioned to each area. This funding is based on the agency’s current request and may not represent the full amount the agency will receive.
In addition to the CARES Act funding, FTA issued a Safety Advisory that prompts transit agencies to develop and implement policies and procedures regarding face coverings and PPE, cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, physical separation, and hand hygiene consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance. CARES Act funding can be used to cover 100% of these costs.
“This historic $25 billion in grant funding will ensure our nation’s public transportation systems can continue to provide services to the millions of Americans who continue to depend on them,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
“We know many of our nation’s public transportation systems are facing extraordinary challenges and these funds will go a long way to assisting our transit industry partners in battling COVID-19,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. “These federal funds will support operating assistance to transit agencies of all sizes providing essential travel and supporting transit workers across the country who are unable to work because of the public health emergency.”