Gov. Andy Beshear announced last week that the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has been awarded nearly $22.9 million for relief of public transit agencies that have been hit hard by the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. The funding, part of the CARES Act, is from the Federal Transit Administration. KYTC will distribute it in grants to 17 public transit agencies across Kentucky. The local Daniel Boone Community Action Agency (DBCAA) was awarded $2,797,622. The DBCAA provides service to Clay County, Jackson County, Lee County, Owsley County, and Wolfe County.
Public transit agencies and their employees are a lifeline to thousands of Kentuckians who depend on them for daily transportation. For many in Jackson County, the Daniel Boone transit bus is how they get to doctor appointments, the grocery and other essential locations.
Kentucky Transportation Secretary Jim Gray noted that public transit agencies have lost ridership because of the pandemic and have experienced much employee time lost to illness. “These agencies are struggling financially, and this funding is sorely needed to keep services running and our people protected,” Secretary Gray said.
CARES – Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security – was enacted by the U.S. Congress to stimulate the economy while much of the nation’s workforce stays healthy at home.
The newly announced grant is for $22,894,101. The funding will sustain the transit agencies by covering some operational expenses, including administrative leave for employees forced to self-isolate because of exposure to people infected with COVID-19.
Other eligible expenses include purchases of fuel and procurement of personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, disinfectant wipes, disinfection services and protective barriers between drivers and passengers.