Thursday, March 07, 2013

New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania transit agencies receive $390 million federal reimbursement

New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania transit agencies receive $390 million federal reimbursement New York MTA

The U.S. Department of Transportation has allocated nearly $390 million in FY 2013 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act funds to reimburse the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ).

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) received a smaller reimbursement for expenses incurred while preparing for and recovering from Hurricane Sandy.

The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act authorized a total of $10.9 billion, which is now reduced by five percent, or $545 million, because of the mandatory budget cuts that took effect on March 1.

"When Hurricane Sandy devastated public transportation systems in New York and New Jersey, President Obama pledged to act swiftly to help restore service for millions of riders and help the region's transit agencies recover economically," said U.S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "The funds allocated today will offset the emergency expenditures these agencies incurred while taking heroic measures to protect people and equipment and return to normal operations."

The funds are the first to be allocated as part of the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program, which allows FTA to make grants for eligible public transportation capital and operating costs in the event of a federally declared disaster. Up to $2 billion of this aid must be made available no later than March 30, 2013. Additional requests for reimbursement will be reviewed on a rolling basis and FTA will announce new funding allocations in the coming days.

As previously reported by RT&S on March 5, 2013, PANYNJ receive nearly $195.7 million for repairs. (bold section will link to the story). The Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp. (PATH) is receiving funds for two sets of projects: $141,506,347 for efforts undertaken to address the storm's catastrophic impact on commuter rail service between New York and New Jersey (including the Hoboken-World Trade Center service and service between Hudson and Essex counties in New Jersey and Manhattan).

Additionally, South Eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is receiving $1,192,568.

The New York MTA is receiving $193,136,983. This will include initial reimbursement from the FTA for costs incurred by New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad during preparation for the storm through January 29. The MTA secured $141.6 million to help repair, reconstruct and replace MTA New York City Transit equipment and facilities that were badly damaged. The $141.6 million includes $17.9 million for initial work to restore the heavily damaged A subway line in the Rockaways, parts of which were washed away during Hurricane Sandy. The A line is anticipated to reopen in summer 2013.

A total of $20.9 million will be used to reimburse the MTA Long Island Rail Road and $14.9 million will start reimbursement for MTA Metro-North Railroad for preparation, emergency response and service restoration. Some $2.7 million of the funding is allocated for the Connecticut portion of Metro-North's New Haven Line. The FTA's Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program will cover $11.2 million of the operating costs Metro-North incurred to prepare for the storm, make immediate repairs and re-establish service. The FTA funding also includes another $3 million to repair 17 rail cars and seven locomotives damaged by flood waters, as well as $720,000 to remove fallen, damaged and compromised trees that are in close proximity to critical infrastructure along miles of right-of-way.

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