Amtrak: The Rescue Plan provides $1.7 billion in additional funding to Amtrak, resources that will be used to support the entire Amtrak network, its state and commuter partners as well as customers and employees, with $970 million for Northeast Corridor grants and $730 million for National Network grants.
Amtrak can use a portion of this new funding – $285 million – in lieu of payments from commuter rail and State-supported route passenger rail providers. In addition, Amtrak is to use $166 million to restore service on long-distance routes and to recall and manage furloughed employees.
Aviation: The new law allocates $6.492 billion to FAA for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) formula grants to primary airports and certain cargo airports (although the existing AIP formula is modified). It allows AIP grants to provide a 100 percent federal share for AIP-funded projects in FY’2020 and FY’2021 (up to $608 million); rent and annual guarantees to airport concessions at primary airports, with funds reserved for concessions at small airports subject to spending limits; and other new AIP grant eligibilities (e.g., costs for expanded cleaning/sanitation services that limit the spread of pathogens, among other uses).
Public Transit: The nation’s transit providers will receive another substantial infusion of federal resources, totaling $30.5 billion of emergency transit funding. The primary goal of this additional commitment is to ensure that these new resources, when combined with allocations CARES Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, equal to 132 percent of an urbanized areas’ public transit operating costs. In addition, this new funding is available at a 100 percent federal share for operating expenses related to the response to the COVID-19 public health emergency (except for the Capital Investment Grant funds).
Among the many funding provisions, the law provides $26.09 billion in urbanized formula grants (Sec. 5307), subject to many adjustments and additional flexibilities; $317 million for rural areas (Sec. 5311); $50 million for seniors and persons with disabilities (Sec. 5310); $2.21 billion for operating assistance grants to eligible recipients or sub-recipients (that because of COVID-19, require additional assistance for costs related to operations, personnel, cleaning, sanitization, and debt service payments incurred to maintain operations and avoid layoffs and furloughs); $1.675 billion for Capital Investment Grants (Sec. 5309) under revised rules and grant conditions; and $250 million for certain Small Start projects.