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Emergency Relief Program

What's New

  • On August 23, 2019, additional Public Transportation Emergency Relief funding was allocated to recipients for expenses incurred in 2017 due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. View the allocations table.
  • FTA grantees that were affected by major declared disasters in 2018 are required to work with their FTA Regional Offices instead of FEMA for assistance with public transportation operating costs and damages associated with those events.
  • The Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019, signed into law on June 6, 2019, appropriates $10,542,000 for the FTA Emergency Relief Program for transit systems affected by major declared disasters occurring in calendar year 2018. FTA will post more information for organizations interested in this funding as soon as it is available.
  • FTA's Hurricane and Natural Disaster Response webpage provides important information for transit agencies in the event of a disaster.


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 more information, see our Emergency Relief Program Overview presentation.

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