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Higgins: $600,000-plus in federal funding to assist NFTA in operating Metro Bus service during COVID-19

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Wed, Jul 15th 2020 03:20 pm

Congressman Brian Higgins announced a federal grant totaling $601,653 to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) for costs necessary to operate, maintain and manage Metro Bus service during the COVID-19 health emergency.

“As this health crisis continues, so does our need to keep Western New York’s transportation running smoothly and efficiently,” Higgins said. “This funding will help the NFTA shoulder the costs incurred by operating for our community during COVID-19.”

Federal funding for this grant was provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) of 2020 under section 5311 Rural CARES Act funding, approved by Congress to support public transportation systems that are continuing to operate during the outbreak. The NFTA intends to focus this funding on the regions it serves in Erie and Niagara counties outside the Buffalo-Niagara Falls urbanized area.

NFTA Executive Director Kimberley Minkel said, “We are so appreciative of the continuous and hard-fought support from Congressman Higgins. This critical assistance will help keep our Metro service going and our employees working, which benefits all of us during these challenging times and will be vital to our economic recovery in Western New York. ‘’ 

Higgins previously announced $61.3 million in federal funding for NFTA to support public transportation in Western New York, also made possible through the CARES Act. That funding was for operational and capital needs to maintain services as well as for measures to protect the health and safety of transportation workers and riders.

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