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FTA releases $1.42B in third round of Sandy aid

Posted on March 29, 2013

The FTA released a third round of storm-related reimbursements totaling $1.4 billion, which will go to the four transit agencies that incurred the greatest expenses while preparing for and recovering from Hurricane Sandy.

The agencies include, New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp. (PATH), New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) and the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT). The remainder will be allocated to other transit agencies that incurred eligible storm-related expenses but have not yet received funds.

A total of $10.9 billion was appropriated for the disaster relief effort, which is administered through FTA’s Emergency Relief Program. The amount was reduced by 5%, or $545 million, because of the mandatory sequestration budget cut that took effect on March 1.

Earlier this month, FTA allocated nearly $554 million of the first $2 billion in aid to reimburse certain transit providers in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. With the allocation, FTA met the 60-day Congressional deadline to get the initial funds out the door in order to reimburse hard-hit transit agencies for expenses incurred while preparing for and recovering from the storm.

The remainder of the $10.9 billion will be utilized for ongoing recovery efforts as well as to help agencies become more resilient in the face of future storms and disasters. The FTA published an Interim Final Rule in the Federal Register this week for FTA’s Emergency Relief Program outlining general requirements that apply to all the funds allocated related to Sandy and future grants awarded under this program.

A summary of how the funds are to be allocated is described below. A more detailed breakdown, and information on eligibility requirements, appears in the Federal Register:

  • $1.4 billion in disaster relief aid primarily to assist the transit agencies that incurred the greatest storm-related expenditures: the MTA, PATH, NJ Transit and NYC DOT. These funds are made available on a pro-rated basis, based on damage and cost assessments FTA has made with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the transit agencies themselves.
  • A separate $21.9 million allocation to reimburse the NYC DOT as part of a consolidated request with other entities for various activities prior, during, and after the storm to protect the Staten Island Ferry, its equipment, and personnel, the East River Ferry service and Governors Island, including the public island’s Battery Maritime Building ferry waiting room.
  • $422,895 to reimburse four additional transit agencies for expenses incurred preparing for and recovering from the storm. These are the Greater Bridgeport Transit District ($21,783); the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority ($344,311); the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority ($1,179) and the Connecticut Department of Transportation, which is receiving $55,622 just for CTTransit bus-related expenses, as FTA previously allocated $2.8 million to MTA for Metro-North rail service serving southwestern Connecticut.

A table listing total allocations for funding recipients to date and a summary of their reimbursable expenditures is available here.

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