U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the allocation of nearly $390 million in FY 2013 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act funds to reimburse the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp. (PATH).
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) received a smaller reimbursement for expenses incurred while preparing for and recovering from Hurricane Sandy.
The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act authorized a total of $10.9 billion, which is now reduced by 5 percent, or $545 million, because of the mandatory budget cuts known as sequestration that took effect on March 1.
“When Hurricane Sandy devastated public transportation systems in New York and New Jersey, President Obama pledged to act swiftly to help restore service for millions of riders and help the region’s transit agencies recover economically,” LaHood said. “The funds allocated today will offset the emergency expenditures these agencies incurred while taking heroic measures to protect people and equipment and return to normal operations.”
The funds are the first to be allocated as part of the disaster relief package enacted on January 29, 2013, for the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program, which allows FTA to make grants for eligible public transportation capital and operating costs in the event of a federally declared disaster. Up to $2 billion of this aid must be made available no later than March 30, 2013. Additional requests for reimbursement will be reviewed on a rolling basis and FTA will announce new funding allocations in the coming days.