Biden-Harris administration announces nearly $110 million in relief funding to help public transportation providers recover from natural disasters
Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced nearly $110 million in funding to eight public transportation providers and state departments of transportation in six states and one U.S. territory to help communities recover from recent natural disasters.
The support, provided through FTA’s Public Transportation Emergency Relief (ER) program, will help agencies repair damaged equipment and facilities, and recoup costs for evacuation and rescue operations following floods, hurricanes and tornadoes that occurred in 2017 and 2020-22.
“As the climate crisis accelerates, extreme weather is disrupting not just American lives and communities, but also the infrastructure we rely on every day,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “Under President Biden, DOT is delivering much-needed funding to transit agencies to recover and rebuild after these disasters, while we continue our work to combat climate change across every mode of transportation.”
“Americans cannot stop their lives because a disaster damages their transit systems,” FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez said. “We know it is critical to fund recovery efforts for these systems, so they can keep taking Americans to work, school, doctors’ appointments, and other important destinations.”
Among the entities receiving funding: $201,160 will go to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority for emergency response operating costs following the December 2022 blizzard that impacted Erie and Niagara counties.
A press release stated, “The ER program not only helps states and public transportation systems repair and replace equipment and facilities that have suffered serious damage, but also provides funding to reimburse transit agencies for the costs of evacuating people during storms, rescue operations, and providing temporary public transportation service. Agencies may also use the support to reestablish, expand or relocate service before, during or after an emergency.”
This announcement reflects a second round of grants under the FY 2023 program. Last July, FTA announced $102.3 million in funding to 17 transit agencies, cities, and planning councils in eight states and territories to help recover from recent natural disasters.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (Pub. L. 117-328), signed into law in December 2022, provided the funding for the ER program’s support for 2017 and 2020-22 declared disasters.