FTA awards SORTA $62.3 million in additional pandemic relief funding

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) is pleased to announce the awarding of $62.3 million in COVID-19 relief funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). These funds will help replace revenue lost during the pandemic and was made possible by the American Rescue Plan, passed by Congress last spring.

“We are incredibly grateful to the FTA for the awarding of these funds, which are critical to ensuring the financial health of our system,” said CEO and General Manager Darryl Haley. “These funds will help offset the losses we’ve experienced through our fare revenue, as well as the increasing expenses related to PPE and other safety protocols to keep our employees and customers safe during the pandemic. Ultimately, this grant allows us to continue serving our community without reducing service levels and keeps them connected to jobs, education and medical services while we continue to navigate the effects of COVID-19.”

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio – who was heavily involved in drafting and passing the American Rescue Plan – announced the funding in a news release Friday morning.

“Cincinnati riders rely on SORTA buses to take them to work, school or a game at Paul Brown Stadium, and then to take them safely back home again,” said Brown. “By investing in SORTA operations and by supporting their drivers and mechanics during the pandemic, we can improve service for riders and help the community have better access to safe and reliable transportation.”

The additional ARP funds will supplement Metro’s operating budget for the upcoming year.