Tahoe Transportation District receives $5.2 million grant | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe Transportation District receives $5.2 million grant

A Tahoe Transportation District bus makes its rounds in South Lake Tahoe.
Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The Tahoe Transportation District was awarded a $5.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration as part of the CARES Act.

This grant was part of the $8.6 million that was given to transit in the basin, the rest of it went to Tahoe Area Regional Transit.

“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 L. Chao in a press release.

TTD will use the grant funds for operating, administrative and preventative maintenance expenses, which are necessary for the continued operation of transit services in Lake Tahoe.

In a normal year, TTD collects about $600,000-700,000 from fares. Once the pandemic hit, ridership dropped nearly 60%, and although it has started to recover, it isn’t back to 100%.

They decided to make rides free and they’ve incurred extra costs because of the extensive cleaning they’ve implemented so Carl Hasty, TTD District Manager told the Tribune this money will help immensely to cover those costs.

“This money isn’t intended to be a windfall,” Hasty said. “It is just giving us some certainty for this fiscal year and into the next because we’re not expecting this situation to change anytime soon.”

“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 Deputy Administrator Jane Williams, in a press release. “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, cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, physical separation, and hand hygiene consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidance, which TTD has already done. CARES Act funding can be used to cover 100% of those costs.

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