The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) was recently approved for a federal grant program to support operations and administrative costs during the COVID-19 pandemic. LAVTA will receive a $3.5 million grant through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to support critical transit services in the Tri-Valley.
The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA). LAVTA is one of four Bay Area agencies receiving funds for the current disbursement including the Napa Valley Transportation Authority and Sonoma County Transit. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, LAVTA has significantly reduced operations including schedule frequency and cancelling select Wheels bus routes.
A number of other regional transit agencies have also received support with CARES including AC Transit, Altamont Commuter Express, Caltrain and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) during the first distribution of grant dollars.
“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,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in a statement.
Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, who also serves on the LAVTA Board of Directors, said during the first issuance of funds in late April that the CARES Act "will help our transit agencies recover their footing when this public health emergency finally is behind us.”
“These funds will help save a lot of jobs for the bus drivers, train operators, mechanics, dispatchers, cleaners and others who are making it possible for other essential workers to get to and from their jobs all around the Bay Area," Haggerty said.
FTA officials also recently issued a safety advisory prompting 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 the entire cost of these materials.