The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration today announced $49.2 million in grant awards to six transit providers in Los Angeles County as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
The recipients will use the grant awards to support transit operating, administrative and preventive maintenance expenses during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- Long Beach Public Transportation Company (Long Beach Transit) will receive $29.2 million to support public transportation services in Long Beach and surrounding areas, including daily operating expenses such as driver salaries;
- Montebello will receive $10.2 million to support Montebello Bus Lines service in Montebello and neighboring cities;
- Torrance will receive $7.9 million to support public transportation services in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County;
- Redondo Beach will receive $907,000 to support the Beach Cities Transit system, including WAVE Dial-A-Ride service, in Redondo Beach as well as neighboring cities, including Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and El Segundo;
- Commerce will receive $834,000 to support Municipal Bus Lines operating expenses such as labor, fuel and items to combat COVID-19, including personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies;
- Claremont will receive $153,000 to support operating costs for the city’s Dial-a-Ride program, which consists of demand-based taxi-service and a group service (six or more riders) in which rides can be scheduled in advance.
The funding comes as Metro and other California public transit agencies have asked federal and state officials for $3.1 billion in emergency funding to avoid what they warned would be massive and permanent cuts to public transit.
Officials from Long Beach Transit previously said ridership fare revenue was down 97% in April and May. Ridership overall is down about 80%, spokesman Michael Gold said, reversing a trend of growth that Long Beach Transit had seen before the pandemic.
“We know many of our nation’s public transportation systems are facing extraordinary challenges and these funds will go a long way to assisting our transit industry partners in battling COVID-19,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. “These federal funds will support operating assistance to transit agencies of all sizes providing essential travel and supporting transit workers across the country who are unable to work because of the public health emergency.”
In addition to the CARES Act funding, FTA issued a Safety Advisory that prompts transit agencies to develop and implement policies and procedures regarding face coverings and Personal Protective Equipment, cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, physical separation and hand hygiene consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidance. CARES Act funding can be used to cover 100% of these costs.
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