To help cover the cost of rising fuel prices nationwide, transit agencies in highly populated urban areas will be able to use a portion of their fiscal year (FY) 2012 funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the new measure, which was published in Wednesday’s edition of the Federal Register.
The goal of the measure is to help transit agencies in cash-strapped cities keep up with the demands of increased ridership and operations costs, two of the most common consequences of a hike in fuel prices.
FTA originally announced the measure in the Federal Register in January, asking interested transit agencies to submit applications; they received requests from 175 urbanized areas in 40 states and Puerto Rico. The agency assures that all of the interested communities will receive at least some federal assistance.
The exact allocation of funding would depend on the total amount each city typically receives from FTA each year. A large city like Houston, for example, could put more than $2 million in federal money toward fuel and utility costs. Conversely, Pascagoula, Miss., could have $25,000 to make use of.
In total, FTA will be splitting $100 million among transit agencies across the nation. That money will not be added to the deficit; there will also not be any requirement to match the amount bestowed, allowing cities to stretch their resources even further.