APTA opposes restrictive project eligibility for COVID-19 transit research demonstration grants

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) strongly opposes the inclusion of restrictive project eligibility criteria in the federal grant opportunity for COVID-19 research funding for public transportation systems.

On Oct. 8, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to provide federal funding for COVID-19 research demonstration grants. The NOFO states that FTA will review and consider applications in accordance with the September 2, 2020 memorandum issued by the White House that restricts the eligibility for Federal funds based on the Administration’s decision that certain communities are “anarchist jurisdictions”. The Administration has determined that New York, NY, Portland, OR, and Seattle, WA are “anarchist jurisdictions”.

“These funds are critical for transit systems as they undertake extraordinary efforts to safeguard riders and employees, while facing unprecedented budgetary woes,” said Paul P. Skoutelas, APTA President and CEO. “It is inappropriate and unjustified that criteria would be considered to prohibit certain public transit systems from receiving critical funds to support their efforts to respond to COVID-19.

“Just as public transit systems provide equal access to all residents, federal grants should be available to all public transit providers.”

Linked here is a fact sheet on the Presidential Memorandum and NOFO.

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