South West Transit Association
Masks & Additional COVID Relief
As the Biden Administration and new Congress begin work in 2021, a number of developments and requirements are emerging from Washington that will impact public transit providers in the SWTA Nation and across the country. This page will be updated throughout the first few months of 2021, leading off with new federal mask requirements for transit:
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has authorized the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to direct transit providers to mandate that all passengers and transit workers wear masks while aboard transit vehicles.
- Additional guidance on the mask requirement is available from the CDC.
- The U.S. DOT has developed mask requirement Q&A, available here.
- Background and Q&As on the mask requirement is provided by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA)
Additional Emergency COVID Relief
- New, independent economic analysis shows the need for an additional $39.3 billion for all transit providers resulting from COVID-related loss of ridership, according to APTA, which also sent a letter to Congressional leaders along with transit labor unions urging additional emergency relief for transit.
- CTAA and 267 transit systems and associations – including SWTA – sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging that any new COVID relief legislation “to utilize the standard formulas for rural, urban and specialized transit (Sections 5307, 5310 and 5311) to ensure that all transit agencies receive vitally needed funding to continue providing essential trips all across the nation.”
- The Biden Administration’s overall $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal includes an additional $20 billion for public transit systems, according to Transportation Today.
- A “bipartisan” COVID relief proposal sent to President Biden yesterday from 8 Republican Senators (Collins, Cassidy, Portman, Young, Rounds, Murkowski, Romney, Capito, Moran, Tillis) includes no additional transit funding or funds for local government.
- Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the two relief proposals.
Other Federal News & Updates
- President Biden’s nominee for U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg is set to be confirmed by the full U.S. Senate at noon on Tuesday, February 2nd.
- The House of Representatives’ Transportation & Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday, February 4th, on Protecting Transportation Workers and Passengers from COVID: Gaps in Safety, Lessons Learned, and Next Steps.
- On January 25th, President Biden signed an Executive Order updating federal Buy America requirements. Analysis prepared for SWTA provides simplified details of these changes for transit providers (see downloads below).
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