The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued a Safety Advisory with recommended actions to reduce the risk of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) among transit employees and passengers. Transit agencies should follow the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommendations for the spread of COVID-19, which include face coverings, social distancing, frequent hand washing, facility and vehicle cleaning, and other measures to the maximum extent practicable.
“FTA is advising transit agencies to take action to reduce the likelihood that transit employees and members of the public contract or spread the virus that causes COVID-19, consistent with CDC and OSHA guidance,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams.
The Safety Advisory recommends that transit agencies develop and implement procedures and practices consistent with all applicable guidance and information provided by the CDC and OSHA to ensure the continued safety of transit passengers and employees during this public health emergency.
Federal funding is available to help the nation’s public transportation systems respond to COVID-19 through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed by the President on March 27. FTA has made available $25 billion to recipients of urbanized area and rural area formula funds across the country, with $22.7 billion to large and small urban areas and $2.2 billion to rural areas. The CARES Act funding can be used to cover 100% of the costs associated with implementing this advisory with no local match required. In addition, transit agencies can use the funding to pay the salaries for employees on administrative leave due to service reductions caused by COVID-19 and employees that are quarantined. Funding may also be available through FTA’s formula grant programs as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 and CARES Act funding are available on FTA’s website.