U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced over $500,000 in emergency relief funding for the City of Long Beach. This federal funding is administered through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and will provide the City of Long Beach with funding for emergency operating costs incurred after Superstorm Sandy to keep the bus fleet operational. These operating costs include repairing the damaged maintenance facility, moving transit equipment to higher ground for protection, creating alternative transit routes, and extending services to compensate for the Long Island Railroad being shutdown.
“Superstorm Sandy caused significant damage to the bus facility in Long Beach and the City did the right thing by providing added public transportation options for residents,” said Schumer. “I am pleased to deliver this necessary funding from the FTA which will ensure Long Islanders don’t have to shoulder the entire burden of these damages and expenses.”
“The City of Long Beach suffered severe damage and its workers and first responders worked tirelessly around the clock providing emergency bus transportation for residents in the aftermath of the storm,” said Gillibrand. “This necessary funding is a vital step forward as we continue to meet Long Beach’s needs to recover and rebuild.”
This federal funding is being provided by the FTA. The $518,364 will act as funding for the expenses incurred after Superstorm Sandy that are outside the normal operating budget of the bus system in the City of Long Beach. The City of Long Beach incurred emergency operating costs in order to keep the bus fleet that was not damaged operational. Additional emergency response/capital expenditures were made to the bus maintenance facility, which sustained significant damage due to flooding. The electrical, HVAC systems, communication, storage, office space, and diagnostic equipment all required replacement. Operating costs included evacuating residents to shelters, moving transit equipment to higher ground for protection, delivering water, food and medical supplies to distribution centers, and then returning residents to homes, and shelters; setting up additional transit routes; extending transit service due to Long Island Railroad being down; emergency repairs to keep buses operational, such as changing batteries, electrical components, brake lines, brakes, etc. due to salt water erosion. These expenses are all outside of normal operating budget.