Thursday, May 21, 2020

PART Bus System Gets $1.8M from Virus Relief Fund

A PART bus makes a turn off South Hanover Street into the transit center in this file photo.

Blogger's Note: The following was submitted by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration has announced a $1.8 million grant award to the Pottstown Area Rapid Transit system in Pottstown, as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed by President Donald J. Trump on March 27.

PART will use the grant funds for operating, preventive maintenance and administrative expenses, which are necessary to maintain service during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“This historic $25 billion in grant funding will ensure our nation’s public transportation systems can continue to provide services to the millions of Americans who continue to depend on them,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in a press release announcing the grant.

“We know many of our nation’s public transportation systems are facing extraordinary challenges and these funds will go a long way to assisting our transit industry partners in battling COVID-19,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. 

“These federal funds will support operating assistance to transit agencies of all sizes providing essential travel and supporting transit workers across the country who are unable to work because of the public health emergency.”

In addition to the CARES Act funding, FTA issued a Safety Advisory that prompts transit agencies to develop and implement policies and procedures regarding face coverings and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, physical separation, and hand hygiene consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance. 

CARES Act funding can be used to cover 100 percent of these costs.

In March, the borough declared that all those riding PART buses must wear a mask and on April 2, instituted a policy allowing riders to enter the bus through the rear doors, thus allowing bus drivers to maintain appropriate social distancing from riders.

The borough also suspended fares for the same reason on April 1. Regular fares are set to resume on June 1.

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