Idaho to receive $60 million in federal transit funding
A Citylink bus exits the Transit Center in Riverstone.
LOREN BENOIT/Press file
Washington, D.C. – Members of the Idaho Delegation announced that Idaho will receive over $60 million in federal funding allocations to the transit industry following the President’s signing of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The CARES Act directs the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to allocate funding to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus through the existing Urbanized Area, Formula Grants Program Rural Areas Formula Grants Program, and the Tribal Transit Formula Grants Program.
“The crisis we are facing has placed immense pressure on states and local governments, who are in desperate need of federal support,” said Senator Mike Crapo. “As Banking Committee Chairman, which has jurisdiction over transit issues, I worked closely with my colleagues to ensure the legislation included resources to help all of our transit providers prepare for, mitigate and respond to this crisis.”
“Idaho’s transit providers are facing significant strain and dwindling resources as they try to remain operational during the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Senator James Risch. “This funding allocation from the CARES Act will ensure our state government and municipalities have the basic resources they need to keep public transit safe and, as necessary, viable during this difficult time.”
“It is good to see money from the CARES Act flowing to Idaho,” said Congressman Mike Simpson. “These funds will ensure that our public transportation systems stay operational during this crisis and will help provide personal protective equipment for employees as well as cleaning supplies for the fleet to help keep employees and the public safe.”
The funding amount for each individual transit provider is a local decision. By law, state governors, generally through the state Department of Transportation, distribute FTA formula funds among recipients in rural and small urban areas. For large urban areas, governors select a Designated Recipient. The Designated Recipient then allocates funds within the Urbanized Area to specific transit agencies that then apply for and receive grants from FTA. This is a normal part of FTA grant processes, so states and localities will follow a familiar process for making these decisions. Funds are apportioned directly to Tribes for the Tribal Transit Formula Grants Program.
Funding will be provided at a 100 percent federal share, with no local match required, and will be available to support operating, capital and other expenses incurred beginning January 20, 2020. Operating expenses are eligible for all urban, rural and Tribal recipients, even those in large urban areas, and includes operating expenses to maintain transit services as well as paying for administrative leave for transit personnel due to reduced operations during the emergency are eligible.