Virginia announces one-time relief funding for intercity bus providers

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FILE – In this April 7, 2020, file photo, a Muni worker walks in front of buses at a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency yard in San Francisco. A San Francisco bus driver was assaulted with a wooden bat after asking several passengers to wear a mask in keeping with city health orders to combat the coronavirus. A San Francisco police spokesman said three men boarded the bus Wednesday afternoon, July 22, 2020, and refused the driver’s multiple requests to put on masks. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — On Thursday, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) announced that they received $2.3 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) to allocate to Federal Motor Carrier-Certified intercity bus operators across the Commonwealth.

Eligible intercity bus providers are encouraged to apply before the application closes on Oct. 1.

“Healthy and competitive multi-modal transportation is the key to connecting people to better jobs, education, and healthcare. Each transportation provider across the Commonwealth serves as an essential piece of the mobility puzzle,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “The American Rescue Plan Act funding will ease the burden placed on intercity bus providers and help maintain these critical services that keep Virginia moving.”  

As part of the ARPA, $30.46 billion was allocated to support the transit industry. ARPA specifically allocated $100 million of that for intercity bus operators – two million of which went to Virginia.

“DRPT remains committed to enhancing intercity bus service in Virginia,” added Jennifer Mitchell, Director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. “In addition to our ongoing support for the Virginia Breeze Bus Lines, we also welcome this unique, one-time opportunity to help other intercity bus providers recover from the pandemic.”  

Officials say the funding can be used to reimburse certain operating expenses, as well as pay for administrative leave for transit personnel due to reduced operations.

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