The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) on July 31 announced $102.3 million in funding to 17 transit agencies, cities and planning councils in eight states and territories to help recover from natural disasters.
The funding includes $25 million to the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to rehabilitate its 57th Street substation, which was damaged during Hurricane Ida in 2021; $1.2 million in funding will go to LA Metro to repair damage from storms and flooding, as well as preventing falling rock damage.
According to FTA, the funding, provided through the Administration’s Public Transportation Emergency Relief (ER) Program, will help to repair damaged equipment and facilities and recoup costs for evacuation and rescue operations following floods, hurricanes and tornadoes that occurred in 2017 and 2020-2022.
The following awards will also be made by FTA:
- Nearly $12.8 million to Florida for projects in Collier County, Lee County, Sarasota County, and to the Florida Department of Transportation to support facility repairs and operating emergency services following Hurricane Ian.
- Nearly $3.9 million to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to support facility repairs after damaging storms, flooding and landslides in the summer of 2022.
- More than $222,000 to the New Orleans Regional Transportation Authority to repair damage from Hurricanes Ida and Zeta.
- Nearly $27.7 million to the Bi-State Development Agency of the Missouri-Illinois Metropolitan District to recover from major flooding in St. Louis in 2022.
- Nearly $31 million to Puerto Rico to repair damage caused by various earthquakes and Hurricane Maria.
- $618,570 to Texas to help transit agencies, cities and regional planning councils in Austin, Corpus Christi, San Angelo, and North Central Texas for emergency services in the winter storm of 2021.
FTA’s ER Program provides assistance to public transit operators in the aftermath of a declared emergency or major disaster. The program, FTA says, helps states and public transportation systems:
- Pay for repairing and replacing equipment and facilities that have suffered serious damage because of an emergency.
- Cover the costs of evacuation, rescue operations, and temporary public transportation service.
- Reestablish, expand, or relocate service before, during or after an emergency.
“As climate change accelerates, we are seeing floods, hurricanes, and wildfires that used to be once-in-a-century events coming every few months and causing greater damage to our lives, communities, and infrastructure,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
“Americans cannot stop their lives because a disaster damages their transit systems,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “We know it is critical to fund recovery efforts for these systems, so they can keep taking Americans to work, to school, to doctors’ appointments, and for all the other important journeys that transit provides.”
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (Pub. L. 117-328), signed into law in December 2022, provided the funding for the ER Program’s support for 2017 and 2020-22 declared disasters. This announcement, FTA says, reflects a first round of grants through the ER Program. FTA will continue to accept applications from affected transit agencies and communities for another 90 days.