On January 19, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced $15.8 million in grant funding for 37 projects in 35 states to improve the operational efficiency of transit agencies and enhance rider mobility during the COVID–19 public health emergency. FTA received 104 eligible project proposals. Several county government entities received funding; view the selected projects here.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on transit operations, the majority of which take place at the local or regional level. Transit agencies have experienced a drastic decrease in ridership rates, resulting in a significant drop in revenues. As a result, transit agencies are facing major challenges in providing and maintaining essential transportation services for those who rely on them. To address these challenges, FTA established the COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program to focus on the following areas:
- Vehicle, facility, equipment, and infrastructure cleaning and disinfection
- Exposure mitigation measures
- Innovative mobility, such as contactless payments
- Measures that strengthen public confidence in transit services
Counties play an important role in our nation’s transportation and infrastructure networks, owning more roads and bridges than any other entity, while also directly supporting both public transit systems and public airports. In fact, counties directly support 78 percent of public transit systems that keep Americans connected in every corner of the country. As the 117th Congress and the administration work toward recovery efforts, counties believe that further federal investments in local transportation systems and county infrastructure will be an important tool in restoring the national economy.