The U.S. Department of Treasury released guidance for the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) grant program on Thursday.
The guidance comes almost six months after former President Donald Trump signed the legislation as part of his administration’s last COVID-19 relief package, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. This allocated $2 billion would support companies in the U.S. motorcoach, school bus, and domestic passenger vessel industries amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the guidance has been published, the application process and portal to apply for funding is not yet available. Once the Treasury Department releases the final application requirements and the CERTS funding portal is open, operators will have a four-week long window to submit applications. At the end of the four-week period, after the Treasury Department receives the applications, it will determine how much each industry sector and each applicant will receive.
Grants will be awarded by comparing each applicants 2020 revenue versus their 2019 revenue. Grant amounts will also be adjusted based on other federal assistance operators have received during the pandemic, such as funding through the Paycheck Protection Program and/or Health Care Enhancement Act.
The Treasury Department will reportedly also rely on information from each applicants tax documents to validate revenues and employment.
Further funding eligibility/application requirements, based on each industry, are listed below.
For motorcoach companies, operators will need to validate:
- Total number of commercial passenger motor vehicles by type.
For school bus companies, operators will need to validate:
- Customer name(s), point(s) of contact, contract amount(s), and contract service period(s) for the school bus service contract(s) with a school, school district, or State department of education.
For passenger vessel companies, operators will need to validate:
- Total number of vessels by type.
- Number of maximum passengers and crew sizes for vessels.
- Type of service(s) offered (e.g., commuter, ferry, sightseeing, etc.).