Congressman Johnson: Recovery Act transit funds crucial for Georgia
$12.2 million in federal stimulus money announced for state transit; $2.2 million for MARTA to help Atlanta metro system fill widening budget gap:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Monday, Congressman Johnson and Vice President Joseph Biden announced that Georgia will receive more than $12 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds for transit projects throughout the state.
MARTA, which is grappling with a $120 million budget deficit, will receive $2.26 million for its cash-strapped operating budget. The funds are part of more than $98.5 million MARTA has received under the Recovery Act since 2009 – which includes $55.4 million in Transit Capital Assistance, $25 million in Flexed Highway infrastructure (via ARC), $10.8 million in TIGGER funds and $7.4 million in Fixed Guideway Infrastructure.
“I’m pleased to help Georgia access the federal funds we need to stabilize the economy, create jobs, and lay the foundations for long-term growth,” said Johnson. “These funds will not only create jobs in our community, they will help Fourth District residents who rely on MARTA to get to school, work, the grocery store, and the doctor’s office.”
Last summer, Congress enacted a provision that allows up to 10 percent of the ARRA Transit Capital Assistance funding allocated to an urbanized area to be used for general operating assistance, which is how MARTA will be using these funds.
MARTA CEO Beverly Scott was pleased by the announcement.
“We are extremely appreciative for the national leadership and support we receive from Congressman Hank Johnson and other members of Georgia’s Congressional delegation to help ensure that we receive our fair share of federal economic stimulus funding,” said Scott. “While not a permanent solution, these federal stimulus dollars have been critical to helping us maintain transit service this year.”
The $2.26 million in ARRA funding received by MARTA in the grant this week represents a portion of the $3.13 million in ARRA Transit capital Assistance formula funding originally programmed for Clayton County last spring. When Clayton County decided to terminate transit service effective March 31, 2010, based on FTA guidance, their $3.13 million allocation was reallocated, in accordance with the regional policy, to the other active public transit operators/grant recipients in the Atlanta Urbanized Area, including Cobb and Gwinnett counties and GRTA, in addition to MARTA.