CARES Act funding for transit providers

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CARES Act funding for transit providers

March 27, 2020, 4:10 p.m.

Congress has just passed and the President has signed the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or “CARES Act.” This legislation includes provisions for new transit funding to assist providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding package is the largest transit appropriation in history and will benefit Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Grants and Section 5311 Formula Grants for Rural Areas.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) now has seven days to apportion the funds to the states. ODOT’s Public Transportation Division (PTD) will expedite the distribution of funds as soon as the apportionment is available.

PTD anticipates distributing the funds to eligible agencies in two ways:  using a formula process similar to previous 5311 distributions and with a need-based solicitation. The amounts and exact processes are still in development and will be shared as soon as possible following FTA’s apportionment announcement. Both processes will be streamlined to move the funds out as quickly as possible.

Eligible Recipients

Providers that meet FTA eligibility for 5311/5311(f) 

Eligible Activities

Preventing, preparing for, and responding to the COVID-19 disease. Specific project types included in the bill:

  • Operating costs to maintain service
  • Lost revenue due to COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Purchase of personal protective equipment associated with response to the pandemic
  • Administrative leave salaries for operations personnel

Match Rate

100% Federal / 0% Local

Project Eligibility Date

January 20, 2020


American Public Transportation Association:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


National RTAP:



Tax Foundation: