The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced approximately $1.2 million in recent grant awards to eight tribal governments as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed by President Donald Trump on March 27. The tribal governments receiving funds to support transit operations during the COVID-19 public health emergency are as follows:
√ The Comanche Nation will receive $464,772 to support operating, administrative and preventive maintenance costs, including salaries, cleaning supplies and driver protection barriers to support its transit service throughout central Oklahoma.
√ The Seneca Nation of Indians will receive $407,650 to support its STS transit system in Western New York.
√ The Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy Reservation will receive $126,719 to maintain transit operations in North Central Montana;
√ The Fort Belknap Indian Community will receive $107,554 to support transit operations; east of Great Falls, and;
√ The Northern Cheyenne Tribe will receive $74,941 for preventive maintenance on transit vehicles, equipment and facilities to support its service east of Billings.
√ The Tesuque Pueblo Administration will receive $12,709 to support transit operations north of Santa Fe;
√ The Jicarilla Apache Nation will receive $10,269 for continued transit operations in North Central New Mexico; and
√ The Pueblo of Pojoaque will receive $1,512 to support its transit operations in the northeast corner of the state.
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,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said.
“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,” FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams said. “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 has issued a safety advisory with recommended actions for transit agencies to reduce the risk of the coronavirus (COVID-19) among transit employees and passengers. Transit agencies should follow the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommendations for the spread of COVID-19, which include face coverings, social distancing, frequent hand washing, facility and vehicle cleaning, and other measures to the maximum extent practicable.