The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has made $2 billion available through the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) new Emergency Relief Program
to help protect, repair, reconstruct and replace public transit equipment and facilities that were badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
The funds are the first installment of $10.9 billion appropriated to the FTA through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, which President Obama signed into law on January 29.
“At DOT, we continue doing all we can to help our state and local partners make their storm-damaged public transportation systems whole again,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “The $2 billion we’re making available now will reimburse transit agencies for extraordinary expenses incurred to protect workers and equipment before and after the hurricane hit and support urgently-needed repairs to seriously damaged transit systems and facilities in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and elsewhere.”
FTA’s new Emergency Relief Program was established under the two-year surface transportation law, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). The funds will be awarded through the program on a rolling basis, in the form of grants to states, local governments, transit agencies and other organizations that own or operate transit systems damaged by the storm.
Consistent with the requirements of the supplemental appropriations, the remaining disaster relief funds will be made available after FTA issues interim regulations.
For the most part, the FTA will cover 90 percent of the cost of transit-related operating and capital projects undertaken in response to Hurricane Sandy.