US DOT announces US$2.2B to help public transport agencies pay for day-to-day operations; recipients include Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority and San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority

Sample article from our Government & Public Policy

March 8, 2022 (press release) –

At an event with Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced that it will award $2.2 billion to 35 recipients in 18 states through President Biden's American Rescue Plan. The funds will help public transportation agencies pay for day-to-day operations as they continue to provide essential service for frontline workers and keep tens of thousands of employees on the payroll.

"Essential public transit workers have been on the front lines  of the pandemic for two years, keeping our economy moving and helping Americans get where they need to go," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "This additional funding from the American Rescue Plan is helping communities across the country keep transit workers on the job and keep their trains and buses running."

"Millions of Americans rely on their local transit systems to get to work and school, access medical care and critical services, relieve congestion, and reduce pollution," said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. "The pandemic has shown that public transportation is more essential than ever, which is why these funds are crucial to avoid drastic service cuts and layoffs that would damage the economy and public health."

American Rescue Plan Additional Assistance funding is being provided to transit agencies that demonstrated a need for additional financial support to cover expenses related to day-to-day operations, cleaning and sanitization, combating the spread of pathogens on transit systems, and retaining employees.

Eligible applicants included eligible recipients of FTA Urbanized Area Formula funds or Rural Area Formula funds, including Indian Tribes.

Examples of recipients  selected to receive funding include:

  • The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) will receive $26.1 million to maintain its current ferry operations and to avoid any reductions in personnel and service schedules during the pandemic. 
  • The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (Metro) in Cincinnati, Ohio, will receive $62.3 million to offset an operating deficit and decreased fare and other revenues during the pandemic.
  • The Oneida Nation of Wisconsin will receive $1.47 million for operating costs for the Oneida Public Transit Program. 

The $2.2 billion in funding announced today was made available by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP), which President Biden signed on March 11, 2021.

The ARP included $30.5 billion in federal funding to support the nation’s public transportation systems as they continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. With this announcement, 99% of this funding has been allocated to support continued public transit operations and the continuity of transit projects. The final remaining allocation of $25 million in planning grants will be announced soon.

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