The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) on Tuesday announced a $166.3 million grant award to the Central Puget Sound Regional Transportation Authority (Sound Transit), as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed by President Donald J. Trump on March 27, 2020.
Sound Transit will use the grant funds for operating costs, maintenance, disinfecting vehicles, and keeping drivers safe across its light rail, bus, paratransit and other transit services during the COVID-19 public health emergency. See FTA’s apportionment tables for the totals apportioned to each area. (This funding is based on the agency’s current request and may not represent the full amount the agency will receive.)
“This historic $25 billion in grant funding will ensure our nation’s public transportation systems can continue to provide services to the millions of Americans who continue to depend on them,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
“We know many of our nation’s public transportation systems are facing extraordinary challenges and these funds will go a long way to assisting our transit industry partners in battling COVID-19,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. “These federal funds will support operating assistance to transit agencies of all sizes providing essential travel and supporting transit workers across the country who are unable to work because of the public health emergency.”
In addition to the CARES Act funding, FTA issued a Safety Advisory that prompts transit agencies to develop and implement policies and procedures regarding face coverings and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, physical separation, and hand hygiene consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance. CARES Act funding can be used to cover 100 percent of these costs.