The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced Monday a total of $30.5 billion in federal funding would be available for the nation’s public transportation systems to help them respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, the money includes $26.6 billion to be allocated by statutory formulas to urban and rural areas, tribal governments, and for the enhanced mobility of seniors and the disabled. Another $2.2 billion in FTA grants would go to communities that demonstrate they have additional pandemic-associated needs. Funds would be directed primarily to operations and payroll costs and will be made available without requiring the community to provide matching funds.
“Transportation workers are serving on the front lines of this pandemic: delivering the vaccine, getting people to essential jobs, and providing goods and services to people who need them,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The critical American Rescue Plan funding we are announcing today will help prevent service cuts, protect employees from layoffs, keep riders and workers safe, and strengthen our economy.”
Another $1.7 billion in Capital Investment Grants will be provided, as will another $25 million in competitive planning grants.
“This is an important moment in our nation’s pandemic response,” said FTA Acting Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “The American Rescue Plan Act contains funding to help speed up vaccine distribution and provide relief to transit agencies so they can continue to provide service to the many Americans who depend on transit to get to essential jobs, healthcare and vaccine appointments.”
Funding formulas will be made available later this week, and eligible recipients can begin developing and submitting grant applications immediately. A webinar about the American Rescue Plan Act funding will be held by the FTA on April 2 at 2 p.m. to provide guidance for stakeholders. Information about the webinar is available at the FTA’s website.