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MTC Approves First Award of New Federal Relief Funds

$180 million for Pandemic-Stricken Transit Agencies
Karl Nielsen

MTC today approved almost $180 million in federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) funding to five Bay Area transit operators reeling from revenue losses due to steep ridership declines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the action taken Wednesday, MTC made these allocations:

  • BART $103,717,002
  • Caltrain $6,936,627
  • Golden Gate Bridge Highway & Transportation District $20,319,959
  • San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (MUNI) $43,750,147
  • Water Emergency Transportation Agency (WETA) $4,877,943

Total allocation: $179,601,678.

When approving the final distribution of CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act funding in July 2020, the Commission directed staff to apply a “true-up” of funding to any future allocation of federal dollars for pandemic relief, compensating operators that received less CARES funding than they should have due to inaccurate revenue loss forecasts.  

Additional money for transit came in the form of a combined $2.3 trillion federal COVID relief package and FY 2021 Appropriations bill approved last month.

The COVID-relief portion of the bill signed in December 2020 provides $14 billion in supplemental funding to public transit due to pandemic losses. This will provide a total of about $982 million to the Bay Area to assist the region’s transit operators. MTC in the coming weeks will work with the operators and other stakeholders to develop distribution scenarios for the approximately $803 million in CRRSAA funds that remain.

At the February 24 Commission meeting, staff will provide an update on the outlook for Bay Area operators in the current and upcoming fiscal years to help inform the distribution discussions. A proposal for the distribution of remaining CRRSAA funding will be brought to the Programming and Allocations Committee for consideration in March, with a recommendation for approval by the Commission expected later the same month.

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