U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $1,819,219 from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for the Broome County Department of Public Transportation. This competitive grant funding was made available through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Additional Assistance program, which is determined by operational need. The grant will be used cover increased operating expenses incurred by Broome County transportation during the pandemic like additional cleaning and disinfecting to combat the spread of COVID-19 and will ensure Broome County can keep the wheels turning and avoid layoffs.
“With this new $1.8 million in additional assistance, plus the tremendous gains from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that I led to passage, Broome County transportation services recovery just got kicked into overdrive,” said Senator Schumer. “As majority leader, I fought hard to pass the American Rescue Plan to deliver funding to hard hit areas in Upstate New York like Binghamton and Broome County to prevent tax hikes, keep bus fares low, essential services running, and rebuild the local economy. Consistent, reliable transit service is a lifeline for so many Broome County residents. This new vital funding will ensure the wheels keep turning and will set Broome County on the fast track to a full economic recovery and on the road to a bright future.”
“This critical funding will help to avoid cuts in the transit services that get Broome County residents where they need to go,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I’m proud to have worked to pass the American Rescue Plan that provided the funding to make this project possible and I’ll keep fighting to get federal resources to Broome County.”
“Services like public transportation are more important than ever. Over the last two years BC Transit never stopped running, providing an essential service for our community. As more people get back to work and return to a sense of normalcy, BC Transit will continue to be there to get them wherever they need to go. I appreciate Senator Schumer and Gillibrand’s continuous advocacy and ongoing support for Broome County,” said Broome County Executive Jason Garnar.
Schumer and Gillibrand have a long history of securing funding for Broome County transportation. In June 2021, they successfully secured over $3 million through the Low and No Emission Vehicle Grant Program for BC Transit to purchase six long-range battery electric, zero emissions buses with components made locally by BAE Systems, supporting local jobs in Broome County. BC Transit is slated to receive $27+ million over the next five years from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The senators also previously secured $10.7 million for BC Transit in the CARES Act, $2,390,194 in the American Rescue Plan, to keep the transit service operating and safe during the COVID pandemic and to help stave off fare hikes for riders. Additionally, Schumer, in 2014, pushed the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) for $4 million in federal funding for BC Transit to purchase 10 newer, more environmentally-friendly buses.
American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Additional Assistance funding is a part of $2.2 billion in competitive grant funding for transit systems demonstrating additional pandemic-associated needs. Additional Assistance Funding may be awarded to transit systems demonstrating additional assistance is needed to cover operating expenses related to maintaining day-to-day operations, cleaning and sanitization, combating the spread of pathogens on transit systems and debt service payments incurred to maintain operations and avoid layoffs and furloughs as a result of COVID-19.