Contact: Angela Gates
WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced the second allocation of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) storm-related aid through the FY 2013 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act. The $164.2 million allocated today includes $163.4 million to reimburse New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJT), the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp. (PATH) and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for expenses incurred while preparing for and recovering from Hurricane Sandy. The City of Long Beach and Westchester County in New York and the Milford Transit District in Connecticut received reimbursements totaling an additional $841,000.
“In keeping with our pledge to help transit agencies make a full recovery from Hurricane Sandy, we are moving quickly to get disaster relief funds out the door as soon as possible,” said Secretary LaHood. “President Obama has called on us to invest in our nation’s infrastructure—and that includes ensuring that our transit systems are in good working order and ready to meet riders’ needs safely and efficiently.”
This second round of federal transit funds are part of the FTA’s Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program, which allows FTA to reimburse eligible public transportation capital and operating costs in the event of a federally declared disaster.
A total of $10.9 billion was appropriated for the program under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, which was signed into law by President Obama on January 29, 2013. However, this funding is now reduced by 5 percent, or $545 million, because of the mandatory budget cuts known as sequestration that took effect on March 1.
“In just over six weeks since President Obama signed the disaster relief bill into law, the FTA has responsibly allocated more than half a billion dollars to reimburse transit agencies most impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. “With millions of commuters using these systems each day and transit ridership approaching record highs across the nation, we must ensure that these systems are fully restored and protected from future disasters.”
The $164,228,214 allocated today will reimburse for labor, materials and capital costs incurred to protect vehicles, facilities and infrastructure; conduct emergency operations, including temporary transit service; and make immediate and permanent repairs, as follows:
The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) authorized FTA’s Emergency Relief Program, granting FTA the primary responsibility for reimbursing emergency response and recovery costs after an emergency or major disaster that affects public transportation systems. On February 6, 2013, FTA issued a notice of funding availability outlining three eligible categories of funding for which applicants affected by Hurricane Sandy could request reimbursement through the new program. FTA announced the first round of reimbursements on March 6. Up to $2 billion of this aid must be made available no later than March 30, 2013. Additional requests for reimbursement will be reviewed on a rolling basis.