The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved the $30 billion for public transit funding this week as a part of the third COVID relief bill. The bill will now head to the floor of the House by the end of next week.
The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief proposal called for $30 billion for public transit agencies, $14 billion for passenger airlines, $8 billion to U.S. airports and concessionaires, $1 billion for airline contractors, $1.5 billion to Amtrak and $3 billion for a temporary payroll support program for aerospace manufacturing, the legislation says. There was a concerted effort to reduce amount for public transit in committee, but the funding remained intact.
The $30 billion for transit includes $26.1 billion in grants for transit agencies located in areas with 50,000 or more people, $280.9 million for rural transit agencies, $100 million for rural intercity bus service and $2.2 billion for the administration to allocate to transit agencies with greatest needs.
This would be the third round of emergency funding relief provided to the industry following the $25 billion provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law in late March 2020 and the $14 billion provided through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act of 2021, which was signed into law in late December 2020.
Formula Funds according to APTA would include the following:
- $26.08 billion for urbanized area formula grants where funds previously awarded through the CARES Act and CRRSA Act will determine how much an urban area is allocated. Each urban area will receive 132 percent of Fiscal Year 2018 operating costs in combination of previously awarded CARES and CRRSA funding. Excess funds will be distributed two ways: Urban areas where CARES and CRRSA funding put above the 132 percent threshold will receive an additional 25 percent of 2018 operating costs and urban areas that received a combination of between 130 percent and 132 percent of 2018 operating costs will receive an additional 10 percent.
- $281 million for rural area grants where states will be awarded between five percent and 20 percent of its 2018 rural operating costs. States that received equal to or greater than 150 percent of 2018 rural operating costs from the CARES Act and CRRSA Act will receive funding equal to five percent of those costs; if the state received equal to or greater than 140 percent of 2018 rural operating costs it will receive funding equal to 10 percent of those costs and states that do not fit into either of those categories will receive 20 percent of the 2018 operating costs.
- $50 million for mobility for seniors and persons with disabilities grants to be allocated using the same formula as Fiscal Year 2020.
We urge transit supporters in MO to reach out to their congressional delegation in support of the $30 billion for transit as the COVID Relief bill continues to move through the process.