The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced March 27 that $212,301,048 in grants are available to apply for under the Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program (Emergency Relief Program) for states, territories, local government authorities, Indian tribes, and other FTA recipients affected by major declared disasters in calendar years 2017, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
According to FTA, the agency may award additional funding made available to the program prior to the announcement project selections, which may include costs for disaster response, recovery, and rebuilding activities. Costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic are not eligible for this funding. Additionally, FTA says, transit systems that have been “reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for emergency relief expenses or have used FTA formula funds to pay for emergency relief expenses may not apply for funds available through this Notice for activities already funded.”
FTA’s Emergency Relief Program “enables FTA to provide assistance to public transit operators in the aftermath of an emergency or major disaster.” The program helps states and public transportation systems:
- “Pay for repairing and/or replacing equipment and facilities that have suffered serious damage as a result of an emergency, including natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes.
- “Undertake capital projects to repair or replace facilities or equipment that have suffered serious damage as a result of an emergency.
- “Support the costs of evacuation, rescue operations, temporary public transportation service.
- “Reestablish, expand, or relocate service before, during or after an emergency.”
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (Pub. L. 117-328), signed into law in December 2022, appropriated the funding for the ER Program’s support for 2017 and 2020-22 declared disasters.
Recipients are strongly encouraged to review FTA’s Emergency Relief Manual, found here, and FTA’s Emergency Relief FAQs found here, to assist in the identification of potentially eligible projects and emergency expenses.
Applications may be accessed and must be submitted electronically through the GRANTS.GOV “APPLY” function by May 26, 2023.
FTA says it will allocate funds “consistent with the requirements of the final rule for the Emergency Relief Program, 49 CFR 602, and distribute these funds “in a manner consistent with the eligibility requirements of this program, subject to the priorities” set forth in the Notice available here.