CARES Act funding helping public transit agencies across Virginia
April 28th, 2:02 AM EDT
RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act has been allocated to public transit agencies across Virginia.
The Commonwealth Transportation Board approves the allocation of nearly $100 million on Monday.
According to a release, this is coming out of the $456 million in federal transportation funding that was apportioned to the Commonwealth under the CARES Act.
The funding will allow local governments, small urban and rural transit agencies throughout Virginia to offset the revenue losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The release says the money will also sustain essential mobility functions related to the prevention, preparation and response to the virus.
“Our public transit agencies are the backbone of our economy and ensure critical movement of goods and people in all of our communities,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “This relief helps Virginia’s transit systems continue essential services and operations, and also offset the substantial costs of driver salaries, sanitization supplies, and protective equipment purchased to combat the coronavirus and its aftermath.”
The CARES Act includes $25 billion in federal transit assistance for the country.
The release says, of the $456 million sent to Virginia, $356.5 million was distributed directly to urban public transit agencies, $47.2 million went to the Commonwealth for discretionary allocation to small urban transit agencies, and $52.5 million when to the Commonwealth for discretionary allocation to rural transit agencies, the Virginia Breeze intercity bus service and the Appalachian Development Public Transportation Program.
The release says CTB amended the Department of Rail and Public Transportation’s fiscal year 2020-2025 Six-Year Improvement Program to reflect the almost $100 million in discretionary funding for small urban transit agencies, rural transit agencies and more.
It also says the CARES Act funding does not require a state or local match, and it is nearly three times the amount of federal transit funding appropriated to Virginia transit agencies in fiscal year 2020.
All operating and capital uses are also eligible retroactively to Jan. 20, and include purchases of personal protective equipment, cleaning equipment, and payment of administrative leave for employees.
Last month, the CTB also approved $11 million in emergency statewide operating funding, which has allowed many public transit agencies to offset revenue and ridership losses and provide essential trips fare-free.