The Arlington County Board today accepted $420,926 in state grant funds to support Arlington’s local transit operations during the COVID-19 emergency. The funding is for the current budget year, fiscal year 2020, and is provided through an agreement between the County and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation.
“This assistance will help us all get through this crisis by supporting our much-needed transit operations,” Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said. “To those of you who still must go to work, and must use transit to get there, remember that ART rides are free during this emergency. Please stay safe as you ride, by washing your hands before and after you ride and maintaining distance from other passengers. If you are sick, do not ride the bus.”
The Board voted 4-0 to accept the funding. To read the staff report on this item, visit the County website.
Arlington Transit (ART) buses, like transit services across the region, have experienced significant declines in ridership and revenue due to efforts to reduce the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus. Costs for transit service also have increased as jurisdictions work to protect their employees and clean and sanitize their fleet and other capital assets. These impacts are expected to continue until it is safe to return to normal operations.
On March 17, the Commonwealth Transportation Board authorized funding to offset costs and lost transit revenue associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The amount provided to each local transit provider is equal to one month of projected FY 2020 operating revenue; for Arlington County, this amounts to $420,926. The grant funding is in addition to $3.56 million in transit operating assistance provided by the state to Arlington for FY 2020.
For information on Metro and ART service changes due to the COVID-19 emergency, visit the County website.
For updates on Arlington’s response to COVID-19 and resources for coping with this medical and economic emergency, visit the County’s COVID-19 Updates webpage, where you can also sign up for daily updates.