The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) allocated $277.5 million in Emergency Relief funds for public transportation systems damaged by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
The funding is divided into two categories with approximately $232.3 million dedicated to response, recovery and rebuilding projects and $44.2 million going toward resiliency projects.
“Public transportation played a critical role in providing emergency support and evacuations in response to these catastrophic hurricanes,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. “FTA will continue to work with our local partners to ensure these funds will help make emergency response and preparedness efforts as effective as possible.”
FTA says it plans to allocate the funds as follows: approximately $223.5 million for Puerto Rico, $23.3 million for Texas, $22.8 million for Florida, $6.7 million for the U.S. Virgin Islands and $187,000 for Georgia. In Florida, Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works, which oversees the area’s Metrorail system, received the largest amount in the state with an approximate $11.4 million allocation. In Texas, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Houston METRO), received the largest allocation of approximately $13.5 million.
Each state or territory will be able to use the grant funding for several major categories, such as emergency operations, damages to transit vehicles and infrastructure, and the cost of resiliency projects to better protect against future disasters. Costs that have been incurred during emergency operations are eligible for reimbursement.
“This funding by the federal government demonstrates the importance of public transit during emergency evacuations and the critical role public transit played in helping communities recover from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria,” said American Public Transportation Association President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas.