The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration announced Thursday that it is awarding $298.6 million of American Rescue Plan funds to the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County.
The federal funds are intended to help transit agencies maintain service and jobs as communities continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release from the DOT.
“Public transportation has been a lifeline for communities and the American people throughout this pandemic,” said the U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This funding from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan will help protect transit employees from layoffs, keep transit service running, and ensure people can get where they need to go.”
“As our nation’s transit systems recover from COVID-19, the American Rescue Plan funds ensure that they continue to provide service to the many Americans who depend on transit to get to essential jobs, health care, and vaccine appointments,” said Federal Transit Administration’s Nuria Fernandez.
This funding is part of more than $30 billion for public transportation in the American Rescue Plan Act which was signed into law by President Biden on March 11. DOT notes the funding comes from the $26.6 billion allocated by statutory formulas to urban and rural areas, tribal governments, and for the enhanced mobility of seniors and individuals with disabilities. The act also included $2.2 billion for additional transit pandemic-associated needs, which will be awarded later this year, DOT said in its news release.