The U.S. Senate has reached an agreement on a $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill, which contains $25 billion in emergency relief funds for transit operators. Transit agencies can use the funding to cover lost revenue, costs to maintain service, expenses for increased cleaning of vehicles and facilities and paying administrative leave of operations personnel in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Below is a summary of other components of the bill:
- FTA must apportion the funds within 7 days of the bill’s enactment.
- Funding will be distributed among four existing FTA programs in the ratio that those programs received FY 2020 apportionments. Regardless of the program, all funding can be used for operating costs. Below is an estimate of how the $25 billion may be apportioned:
- Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula ($13.9 billion)
- Section 5311 Rural Area Formula ($1.8 billion)
- Section 5337 State of Good Repair Formula ($7.6 billion)
- Section 5340 Growing and High Density Formula ($1.7 billion)
- Funding for operating expenses are not required to be included in a transportation improvement program (TIP), long-range transportation and statewide transportation plans, or a statewide transportation improvement program (STIP).
- Funding recipients “should make every effort to appropriately adjust operations in response to reduced demand as a result of coronavirus.”
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