The federal government has made $47 million in federal emergency funds available to help restore public transit service to New Orleans and to expand service to address the rising population in Baton Rouge.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta announced this week that the money will be used by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) and Baton Rouge Capital Area Transit System (CATS) to fund bus routes and services in the two cities.
According to the Associated Press, the funding will remain available over the next six months and draws on funding made available in the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act that was passed to aid the Gulf region following Hurricane Katrina.
"The recovery effort will depend on the strength of local transit systems," Mineta said. "Our ability to repopulate once-flooded communities and restore economies washed away by the hurricanes will hinge on the ability of local transit systems to move workers, commuters and families effectively."