The Nevada DOT (NDOT) this week announced the availability of $27.8 million in federal rural transit relief funding as a result of the passage of the CARES Act in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This availability of federal funds is in addition to transit funding dedicated to the state’s metropolitan transit services, and comes after the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recently announced appropriations of $25 billion in national transit relief funding. This includes $1.8 billion to rural transit under the Federal Grant Transportation Funds for Rural Areas. In Nevada, those rural transit funds are administered by NDOT.
NDOT has notified its 17 current sub-recipients of these rural transit funds that all operating and maintenance expenses incurred from March 1, 2020 through the end of the federal fiscal year will be reimbursed 100% through federal funds. This will relieve the burden on local agencies, which typically provide matching funds, amid an anticipated significant drop in sales tax revenue.
While the relief funds are meant to primarily cover operating expenses, preventive maintenance and other capital expenses are also eligible for reimbursement. With no expiration currently in place for CARES Act funding, NDOT intends to continue to award this relief funding through federal FY 2021 and beyond until all funds are expended.
NDOT says that while the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are unknown, this relief funding will provide some certainty that transit services can continue. The agency says Nevada’s rural transit operators continue to provide essential services throughout the statewide stay-at-home directive, although many now operate on a reduced schedule.
Each year, NDOT utilizes approximately $10 million in FTA funds to support local transit operations, including the purchase of buses and other vehicles, modifications to facilities, and mobility management programs.
SOURCE: Nevada DOT