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American Public Transportation Association (APTA) officials last week informed House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I) members that federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding distributed to the nation's transit agencies will help keep them afloat only for a matter of months.
In a virtual meeting hosted by APTA, President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Skoutelas told committee members that transit agencies are using the majority of their CARES funding to maintain their workforce and avoid layoffs.
However, given the agencies' loss of farebox, state and local sales tax, parking and other revenue, the federal funding will keep transit agencies afloat only for some months, APTA officials said in a press release.
APTA urged lawmakers to provide additional federal funding for public transportation beyond what was provided under the CARES Act.
Moreover, Skoutelas urged the committee to continue to advance a surface transportation reauthorization bill. A long-term bill would jumpstart transit construction projects and help restore the nation’s economy, APTA officials said.
“It’s clear we must all continue to work together and be diligent in our fight against COVID-19 and to ensure the long-term success of public transit,” T&I Committee Chairman U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said in APTA's press release.