Provision of Essential Non-Transportation Essential Services During the Pandemic

Published on: November 27, 2020

FTA has provided CARES Act guidance stating, as part of Emergency Relief efforts authorized by 49 U.S.C. § 5324, FTA will permit recipients to use Section 5307 and 5311 funds administered under the provisions of the Emergency Relief program or CARES Act funds until January 20, 2021, to pay for the operational costs of such services. In addition, this service is eligible for FEMA’s Public Assistance program, and to maximize the funding available to them to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency, FTA recommends that recipients check with their State Office of Emergency Services to determine whether those resources are available, or to seek reimbursement from the entity requesting the service. A recipient may charge only costs not covered by other entities to an FTA grant.

While FTA permits the use of 5307 and 5311 CARES Act funding to reimburse operational costs of non-transit essential services, transit systems must be aware of National Transit Database (NTD) reporting requirements for these expenses. Only transportation service expenses should be considered for NTD system reporting. If your transit system is or has provided non-transportation essential services such as grocery delivery or prescription delivery, expenses associated with the provision of those services must be segregated from transit expenses. Expenses for non-transportation essential services should be reported under the Other Reconciling Item Expenses category when completing NTD financial reports.

This article was published in the RTAP September 2020 newsletter, published by RLS & Associates.

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