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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

FTA allocates second round of Hurricane Sandy relief aid


The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has allocated $164.2 million in Hurricane Sandy-related relief funds, the second round of aid distributed through the fiscal-year 2013 Disaster Relief Appropriations, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced yesterday.

The allocation includes $163.4 million to reimburse New Jersey Transit, the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp. (PATH) and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for expenses incurred during preparation for, and recovery from, Hurricane Sandy, LaHood said in a prepared statement.

The city of Long Beach, Westchester County in New York and the Milford Transit District in Connecticut received reimbursements totaling an additional $841,000.

The funds allocated yesterday will reimburse the agencies for labor, materials and capital costs incurred to protect vehicles, facilities and infrastructure; conduct emergency operations, including temporary transit services; and complete immediate and permanent repairs.

NJ Transit received $144.4 million; PATH obtained an additional allocation of $18 million following FTA's first allocation of $141.5 million on March 6; and MTA received an additional $756,915 after the first allocation of $193 million on March 6.

"With millions of commuters using these systems each day and transit ridership approach record highs across the nation, we must ensure that these systems are fully restored and protected from future disasters," said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff.

The second round of transit funds are part of FTA's Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program, which allows FTA to reimburse eligible public transportation capital and operating costs in the event of a federally declared disaster.

A total of $10.9 billion was appropriated under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, which President Barack Obama signed on Jan. 29. However, the funding was reduced by 5 percent, or $545 million, because of mandatory federal budget cuts that went into effect on March 1 as part of the sequestration process, LaHood said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/20/2013