BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority received just over $21 million in grant money to help during COVID-19.
The BJCTA said they’re operating at about 50% capacity right now.
Ridership is down, and operators are concerned about their health.
So, this funding is crucial not only to help take care of any loss of revenue because of COVID-19, but also to help ease driver and rider concerns.
The $21.4 million is part of a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration, which is a part of the CARES act.
BJCTA's Executive Director Frank T. Martin said the money will go toward operating and capital assistance, possible laptops for customer care associates to work remotely, and PPE for operators and maintenance staff.
“We’re doing an industry search to determine what’s available in the marketplace,” said Martin. “And depending upon our research, then we will explore the possibility of buying a shield that would protect the operators as well.”
Martin said they provide masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer for their operators, and require passengers to wear masks and practice social distancing.
He added that this funding has also helped prevent layoffs of drivers during this pandemic.