MTD Santa Barbara Transit Center | Credit: Paul Wellman (file)

About $16.4 million is headed for the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (MTD) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“MTD will utilize the CARES Act funding provided by the Federal Transit Administration to offset revenue losses and expenses incurred as a result of the global pandemic,” said MTD General Manager Jerry Estrada. “MTD’s goal is to stretch the funding over the next two fiscal years to support essential public transit service within the South Coast as well as the ADA paratransit service provided by Easy Lift on behalf of MTD.”

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MTD is one of four California transit providers that will receive federal funding through the initiative, which allows them to better support transit workers who are unable to work due to the pandemic and continue providing essential travel. In total, $40 million will be split across the MTD, Kings County Area Public Transit Agency, the City of Porterville, and Central Contra Costa Transit Authority. U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced the nationwide grant on June 17.

The federal agency is also advising all 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,” Chao’s announcement said. Funding from the CARES Act can be used to cover 100 percent of these costs.

At the Santa Barbara Independent, our staff is working around the clock to cover every aspect of this crisis — sorting truth from rumor.  Our reporters and editors are asking the tough questions of our public health officials and spreading the word about how we can all help one another. The community needs us — now more than ever — and we need you  in order to keep doing the important work we do. Support the Independent by making a direct contribution or with a subscription to Indy+.


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