U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg Announces $1.6 Billion Grant Award to NJ TRANSIT for COVID-19 Response Under the American Rescue Plan
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced a $1.6 billion award of American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to NJ TRANSIT (NJT). American Rescue Plan transit funds are intended to help transit agencies around the country maintain service and keep workers on the payroll as communities continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. This award comes at a crucial moment as agencies nationwide are facing the challenge of a new variant.
“Public transportation has helped people reach their jobs at hospitals, grocery stores, ports, and more throughout this pandemic,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This funding from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan will help keep transit service running, protect transit employees from layoffs, and ensure people can get where they need to go.”
The grant funds for NJT will help maintain and improve transit service for New Jersey residents and visitors as the agency continues to address pandemic-related challenges such as decreased ridership and staff shortages.
The $1.6 billion grant award to NJT will help maintain service and preserve the jobs of the agency’s 11,000 employees – who served approximately 270 million trips in 2019 – and of those passengers who rely on the agency’s transit services to get to work.
In 2019, NJT provided 267 million trips, which is one out of every 37 trips nationwide. NJT also provided the second highest service levels in the country, with NJT buses and trains covering 164 million miles. These trips and service levels are critical to supporting New Jersey’s 9.3 million residents.
“As our nation’s transit systems recover from COVID-19, the American Rescue Plan funds ensure that they continue to provide service to the many Americans who depend on transit to get to essential jobs, healthcare, and vaccine appointments,” said Federal Transit Administration Administrator Nuria Fernandez.
This funding is part of more than $30 billion for public transportation in the American Rescue Plan Act which was signed into law by President Biden last March. The funding comes from the $26.6 billion allocated by statutory formulas to urban and rural areas, Tribal governments, and for the enhanced mobility of seniors and individuals with disabilities. The Act also included $2.2 billion for additional transit pandemic-associated need, which will be awarded later this year. No local share is required for this funding.
To date, FTA has awarded more than $56 billion in COVID-relief funding to transit agencies nationwide. Under the American Rescue Plan, other recent awards include a $395.6 million grant award to King County Metro in King County, Washington, a $285.7 million grant award to the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority in Atlanta, Georgia, and a $6.2 million grant award to the City of Ames, Iowa.