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Emergency Relief Program

What's New

  • During hurricane season, FTA remains prepared to help transit agencies in affected areas provide rescue, recovery and transport services. In addition, FTA can waive certain regulations following any presidential emergency declaration. 

  • On May 31, 2018, FTA announced $277.5 million in Emergency Relief Program allocations for states and territories affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Approximately $232.3 million will be dedicated to response, recovery, and rebuilding projects, with $44.2 million going toward resiliency projects. Grant funds will help states and territories rebuild and renew infrastructure.

Emergency Relief Program Allocation Graphic


FTA’s Emergency Relief program, established under MAP-21 legislation, enables FTA to provide assistance to public transit operators in the aftermath of an emergency or major disaster. The program helps states and public transportation systems pay for protecting, repairing, and/or replacing equipment and facilities that may suffer or have suffered serious damage as a result of an emergency, including natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. The program can fund capital projects to protect, repair, or replace facilities or equipment that are in danger of suffering serious damage, or have suffered serious damage as a result of an emergency. The program can also fund the operating costs of evacuation, rescue operations, temporary public transportation service, or reestablishing, expanding, or relocating service before, during or after an emergency.

The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 provided the first appropriation for FTA’s Emergency Relief Program - $10.9 billion for FTA’s Emergency Relief Program for recovery and relief efforts in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. After mandatory deductions, including sequestration, approximately $10.4 billion is available to FTA for allocation to states and transit operators affected by Hurricane Sandy

The second appropriation for FTA’s Emergency Relief Program was $330 million provided through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 for response and recovery related to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

For additional information, see the Emergency Relief Program Overview presentation.

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