April 02, 2020

Hawaii to Receive $107 Million for State Transit Coronavirus Response

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) announced that Hawaii will receive more than $107 million in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grants to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. These funds are distributed out of the third coronavirus relief package Congress passed last week.

The grants support urban and rural transit service. The grants will help transportation providers respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing funds for operational expenses during this time of reduced ridership, boosting public health and safety efforts on public transit, and allowing the purchase of personal protective equipment, among other funding uses. The FTA grants will be distributed to the City and County of Honolulu, the County of Maui, and the Hawaii Department of Transportation. The City and County of Honolulu will receive $90.8 million, the County of Maui will receive $7.86 million, and the State of Hawaii will receive $8.9 million to spend on transit across the state. 

“While we have a stay at home order, there are Hawaii residents who still need to use the bus system to access essential jobs, medical treatment, and food. This funding will keep county bus systems running, and help them operate in a safe manner that protects passengers and transit employees,” Senator Hirono said.

The transit funding will be paid entirely by the federal government, and will not require a local match. Urban, rural, and Tribal recipients can receive these grants. The grants could support backdated expenses starting January 20, 2020, including operating expenses like transit maintenance and paying for administrative leave for personnel due to reduced transit services during the pandemic. Capital and other expenses can also be funded through these grants.