The Federal Transit Administration will award $2.2 billion in competitive grant funding to transit systems demonstrating additional pandemic-related needs, as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021.
A Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for ARP Additional Assistance Funding will be placed on public inspection at the Federal Register on Sept. 8 (download unpublished version below) and published on Sept. 9. Applications must be submitted through Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. ET on Nov. 8.
The funding will be distributed to transit systems “demonstrating additional assistance is needed to cover operating expenses related to maintaining day-to-day operations, cleaning and sanitization, combating the spread of pathogens on transit systems, and maintaining critical staffing levels,” according to FTA. Eligible applicants are eligible recipients of Urbanized Area Formula funds (49 U.S.C. 5307) or Rural Area Formula funds (49 U.S.C. 5311).
FTA will review applications “based on level of financial need, including projections of future financial need to maintain service as a percentage of the 2018 operating costs. Funding that is requested by an eligible applicant must not have been replaced by funding made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) of 2021, and other ARP funding.”
“As public transit systems continue to recover from the devastating financial and public health impacts of COVID, they must have the resources they need to keep trains and buses running, especially in heavily transit-dependent communities,” U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg said. “The funding opportunity we are announcing today will help connect people to jobs, services and opportunities, while supporting crucial health and safety measures for the traveling public and our nation’s dedicated transit workforce.”