Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) announced Wednesday that it will receive $103.7 million in Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) first batch of funds from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021(CRRSAA), which included $14B for public transit.
According to BART, 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.
BART says it will use the funding for the following:
- $55 million for funds to close the current year (FYI 21)
- The rest to help offset the FY 22 deficit
BART also said prior to federal assistance, they anticipated a $500 million deficit through the end of FY 23. 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 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.
“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.