FTA Set to Release Transit Emergency Aid

Federal emergency aid to public transit systems is ready to be distributed by the Federal Transit Administration.

The agency announced Thursday that it is providing $25 billion to transit systems that was allocated in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

The funding is being allocated on the basis of $22.7 billion to large and small urban areas, and $2.2 billion to rural areas.

Transit agencies will not need to match the funding, which can be used to support capital, operating, and other expenses generally eligible under those programs to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19.

Operating expenses incurred since Jan. 20 can be covered by the emergency funding, including paying for administrative leave for transit personnel due to reduced operations during an emergency.

In a news release, the FTA said it has taken a number of other steps to support transit agencies, including expanding the eligibility of Federal assistance available under FTA’s Emergency Relief Program to help transit agencies respond to COVID-19 in states where the governor has declared an emergency.

FTA said all transit providers can now use federal formula funds under the Urbanized Area Formula Program and Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program for emergency-related capital and operating expenses.

This includes the provision of personal protective equipment or special-purpose trips.

The agency also has established an emergency relief docket that allows transit providers in states where the governor has declared an emergency related to COVID-19 to request temporary relief from Federal requirements as well as any non-statutory FTA requirements.

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