Agency Of Transportation Receives Federal Relief Funds For Public Transportation

Montpelier, VT (STL.News)  Vermont Governor Phil Scott today announced that the Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT) has received more than $26 million in federal funding through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) to support public transit across the state.

The $26,772,119 award may be used to pay for 100% of public transit operations and vehicles.  Most federal funds for public transit have a 20% or 50% non-federal funds match requirement, which usually comes from State and local resources.  The CRRSAA funding will allow AOT to temporarily reduce the State and local funds needed for statewide transit service, allowing for more flexibility and resources to respond to the economic hardships and rebuilding costs associated with the COVID pandemic.

“Investing in more energy efficient public transportation is important for our economy and environment,” said Governor Scott.  “I want thank our Congressional Delegation for their help securing these funds and I look forward to seeing these upgrades come to fruition.”

In a joint statement, Senators Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Peter Welch said:  “In a rural state like ours, Vermonters rely on public transit to get to work, buy groceries, see a doctor, and stay connected to their communities.  Like so many aspects of daily life, the pandemic has upended transit ridership.  Without congressional action, transit providers in Vermont and across the country would be facing the potential for steep cuts to transit routes and frequency.  That is why we included enough funding in the COVID Response and Relief Act to give Vermont a full year of funding on top of its annual allocation.  As a result, the state will now have the resources and flexibility to maintain a safe and strong public transit network that serves the needs of Vermonters.”

The federal relief funds will be used to address the significant vehicle and facility needs around the state, enabling AOT to replace as many as 30 buses, fund energy-efficient projects, and construct office space in the Rutland region.  Operations and payroll are top priorities, and the federal funding will also be used to purchase PPE and sanitize buses.

“These funds arrive in time to help us address the additional costs and challenges of our transit service, and also enable us to invest in vehicles and rebuild an improved transit service as we move past this health and economic crisis,”  said AOT Public Transit Manager Ross MacDonald.