The Federal Transit Administration expanded eligibility of federal assistance via it Emergency Relief Program on March 13 to help transit agencies coping with the Coronavirus in states where the governor has declared an emergency.
[Above photo by MBTA.]
This includes allowing all transit providers – including those situated in large urban areas – to use federal formula funds for emergency-related capital and operating expenses, while raising the cap on the federal government’s share of those expenses to 80 percent from 50 percent.
“FTA grantees may now use their Urbanized Area and Rural formula funds to take measures to protect the health and safety of their riders and their workforce,” said K. Jane Williams, the agency’s acting administrator, in a statement.
“Expansion of the permissible uses of federal funds will allow transit providers greater flexibility in the areas of the country that need it most,” she added. “Invoking the eligibility of the Emergency Relief Program also provide funds at a higher federal share.”
In addition to allowing the expanded use of formula funds for transit providers, FTA has established an Emergency Relief docket that allows transit providers in states where the governor has declared an emergency related to the Coronavirus to request temporary relief from Federal requirements under 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53 as well as any non-statutory FTA requirements.