Today the U.S. Department of Transportation highlights the transportation elements of the historic American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP).
This will provide immediate relief for American workers, help communities that are struggling in the wake of COVID-19, and ensure that our transportation system keeps running.
ARP includes a total of $43.2 billion in resources for the Department to continue its response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Transportation workers have been on the front lines delivering personal protective equipment (PPE), essential goods and services, and vaccines to help combat the pandemic,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The American Rescue Plan makes a historic investment in our transportation system, helping to keep workers on the job and get travelers to where they need to be. The benefits of this package are already being felt – with airline workers tearing up furlough notices, Amtrak announcing expanded routes, and critical assistance reaching those who are struggling during this pandemic.”
The American Rescue Plan contains transportation relief funding in three main categories:
ARP helps hard-hit public transit agencies avoid layoffs and service reductions, which disproportionately harm workers who are more likely to depend on public transportation.
ARP contains $30.5 billion to assist with operating costs, including payroll and PPE expenses. This includes dedicated funds to support rural transit agencies, transit service for the elderly and individuals with disabilities, and transit on Tribal lands.
ARP ensures that airports can continue to function to provide the transport of essential goods and essential trips even as we are still waiting for travel to return to normal for all Americans.
ARP contains $8 billion to cover costs of operations, personnel, and cleaning, including a set-aside for rent relief and other costs of airport concessionaires primarily directed toward small businesses and minority-owned firms. ARP contains an additional $3 billion for the establishment of an Aviation Manufacturing Payroll Support Program to protect aviation manufacturing jobs.
ARP also contains an additional $15 billion to continue payroll support for airlines that will be administrated by the Treasury Department with support from USDOT.
ARP gets Amtrak workers back to work and restoring service on routes across the country. ARP contains $1.7 billion to recall employees furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restore daily long-distance service, and help states cover lost revenue in state-supported routes.
USDOT continues to work with federal, state, local, and Tribal governments, public health officials, health care providers, researchers, and the public to execute a whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the health and safety of the American people.