Public Transportation - CARES Act Grants

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President on March 27, 2020. The economic relief package of over $2 trillion delivers on a commitment to protect the American people from the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19.

FTA allocated $25 billion in CARES act funding nationwide to recipients of Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Funding and Section 5311 Rural Area Formula Funds. Large and small urban areas will receive $22.7 billion through Section 5307. Rural areas will receive $2.2 billion through Section 5311.

FTA provided the funding at a 100-percent federal share, with no local match required.

Recipients may use the funding to support allowable capital, operating, and other administrative expenses beginning January 20, 2020, to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19.

CARES Act Rural Area Formula Grants

FTA allocated $44 million in CARES act funding to Washington state for Section 5311 recipients. The funding supports allowable capital, operating and other administrative expenses to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19.

WSDOT awarded half of the allocated funds based on operating expenses reported by service providers in the 2019 Summary of Public Transportation. The second half of the award is anticipated to be based on revenue data.

Intercity Bus CARES Act Grants

Section 5311 Rural Area Formula Funds includes the Section 5311(f) Intercity Bus Program. Each state must spend no less than 15 percent of its 5311 allotment on the Intercity Bus Program.

WSDOT administers and awards funds to various Intercity Bus Program providers to connect rural communities to major transportation hubs and urban centers, fill gaps in the public transportation network, and make travel more accessible, reliable and convenient.

Of the $44 million in CARES Act Section 5311 funding, $6.6 million is available to intercity bus service providers through a competitive process.

For more information, contact Evan Olsen, evan.olsen@wsdot.wa.gov or 360-705-6929, or your local WSDOT Public Transportation Community Liaison.