At the City Commission meeting on April 7th, 2021, elected officials voted to approve the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA) from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to aid public transportation in Tallahassee.
The CRRSAA was signed on December 27th, 2020 to support the transit industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Act directs recipients to make payroll and operational needs first priority unless it is expressed to the FTA that there were no layoffs or furloughs that occurred because of the pandemic.
Approval of the Act would consist of allocations of two separate apportionments that represent Sections 5307 and 5310 of the CRRSAA: $3,776,435 and $32,931, respectively. Sections 5307 and 5310 provide authorization and direction for StarMetro staff to disburse the funding for operating expenses and capital assistance as well as execute all documentation related to expending the funds.
According to the Commission, operating expenses that are eligible under the CRRSAA include maintaining transit services, lost revenue, purchase of personal protective equipment and supplies, as well as paying for administrative leave for transit personnel due to COVID.
As far as capital expenses, the funds from the Act can be used to upgrade or purchase hardware and software used to support transit services along with customer and emergency communication technology that could range from buses to mobile phone apps.
The allocation receipts and expenditures of the grant generally aligns the FY 2020-2024 Strategic Plan that includes Objective 4E that is intended to “ensure public transit is accessible, efficient, and equitable” as well as Objective 3D-2 that states that the City will increase its yearly grant awards by 5%. Approval has no fiscal impact meaning the Act is 100% federally funded and does not require the City to match expenses made by the FTA and the CRRSAA.