U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) announced Tuesday that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which governs Metrorail, will receive $876,806,108 in federal transit funding under theCoronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act.
“We were proud to fight for this additional support for Metro and other local transit systems as part of the CARES Act. Public transit is a critical service that must continue during this pandemic,” read a joint statement. “With overall ridership down significantly, we need to make sure that WMATA has the resources it needs to purchase personal protective equipment to protect WMATA’s workforce, as well as maintain safety and reliability, especially for essential workers who continue to depend on Metro every day.”
The CARES Act includes $25 billion for transit agencies to help prepare and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.WMATA will use the grant funds, awarded through the Federal Transit Administration, to fund the continuation of critical transit services. The funds can also be used to cover expenditures such as personnel wages and benefits, cleaning and sanitizing, fuel, maintenance and other expenses related to responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 public health emergency.