First batch of new federal emergency relief allocated to BART


First batch of new federal emergency relief allocated to BART

Today the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is allocating the first batch of funds from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021(CRRSAA), which included $14B for public transit. This first tranche of funds is being distributed to Bay Area transit operators that received insufficient shares of CARES Act funding due to inaccurate revenue loss forecasts. Of the $180 million in funds allocated to a number of Bay Area transit systems, BART will receive $103.7 million.

“We are grateful for the MTC moving quickly to distribute this first batch of funds to help offset more of the revenue losses incurred over the last year,” said BART General Manager Bob Powers. “These funds provide short-term relief, preventing lay-offs and providing funds to keep our current service levels for our current ridership which is heavily transit dependent.” BART will still need to move forward with the March 22, 2021 schedule change which makes only slight adjustments to current service but includes running 3 route service on Saturdays.

BART will use $55 million of these funds to close the current year (FY21) deficit and the rest will help reduce the FY22 deficit. Prior to considering new federal assistance, BART anticipated a deficit of approximately $500M through the end of FY23. These new funds will reduce the forecasted deficit but an appropriate allocation of remaining CRRSAA funds will be needed to prevent further service cuts and layoffs in FY22.

“We look forward to working with the MTC on the second round of funding distribution and we will continue to advocate for additional emergency relief. The Biden Administration has proposed the American Rescue Plan with funds included to preserve public transit and prevent layoffs. While we continue to advocate for these funds, we also must continue to right size our workforce and budget through retirement incentives, shifting operating workers to capital projects, and significantly reducing non-essential overtime and other costs,” Powers said.