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Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday unveiled a new $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that includes $32 billion in emergency funding for Amtrak and transit agencies. The House will consider the proposed bill later this week.
The Heroes Act would provide emergency transit funding to ensure that transit agencies receive sufficient funding, that when combined with CARES Act apportionments, will equal 100 percent of agencies’ operating expenses.
The funds would be directed to payroll and public transit operations, American Public Transportation Association (APTA) officials said in a press release.
The bill includes $2.4 billion for Amtrak grants for pandemic-related expenses, including $1.4 billion for the Northeast Corridor and $1 billion for the national network. The bill sets aside $219 million of the funds to be available to Amtrak in lieu of commuter-rail route payments, APTA officials said.
The bill also would include $2.5 billion for Capital Investment Grants to assist transit project sponsors with non-federal financial commitments and $10 billion for emergency relief grants for public transit agencies that require additional assistance to maintain operations.
The bill provides $100 million for multi-state entities, such as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, that transport passengers or cargo and are facing revenue losses due to the pandemic.
APTA has endorsed the bill.