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Senate CARES Act includes $25B for Transit

The Senate released its version of the COVID-19 relief package this morning, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which includes $25 billion for public transit. Funding would be allocated to transit operators to protect public health and safety while ensuring transportation access to jobs, medical treatment, food, and other essential services remain available during the COVID-19 response.

According to Bus Coalition, the Senate version is broken out as follows:

5307 Urbanized Formula Grants: $13.9 billion
5311 Rural Area Formula Grants: $1.8 billion
5337 State of Good Repair: $7.6 billion
5340 Fast-Growth & High Density: $1.7 billion

Though the funds will be distributed through existing formulas, the bill clarifies that these funds are for operating expenses related to the coronavirus public health emergency beginning on January 20, 2020, and should be used for operating costs to maintain service, lost revenue due to the coronavirus emergency, as well as the purchase of personal protective equipment, and paying for the administrative leave of operations personnel due to loss of service. These funds are not required to be included in the transportation improvement plan, state transportation improvement plan, or long-range transportation plan.

The bill text is still being finalized, however, the Senate is expected to vote later today (3/25/2020). The House is likely to vote tomorrow (3/26/2020), though that could be delayed if any one House member objects.

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