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By a unanimous 96-0 vote, the U.S. Senate on March 26 passed H.R. 748, its version of a $2 trillion stimulus package for address the devastating economic and societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Called the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act,” it includes many rail-related funding measures of direct benefit to the railway industry—all modes, freight and passenger. H.R. 748 now goes to the House of Representatives, which is expected to put it to a vote on March 27.
A substantial section of the CARES Act contains the provisions specific to rail and other transport modes. In summary, it provides:
The pages in this PDF document that address rail are 140-143, 186, 193, 511, 579, 594, 771, 836-841, and 874-875. The PDF is searchable using the Command-F key combination.
The entire 880-page section can be downloaded here:
Editor’s Note: Interestingly, the numbers 7, 4 and 8 in H.R. 748 add up to 19—a coincidence?
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao joined Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams for a live briefing with more than 1,500 transit industry leaders “to share the agency’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” FTA said in a statement. “During the call, Secretary Chao thanked the nation’s transit agencies for their efforts to maintain service during the health crisis and highlighted the legislation currently working its way through Congress that will provide $25 billion in emergency relief to transit systems nationwide. The Secretary also announced that FTA will extend current competitive grant program funding opportunities for 30 days. In addition, she highlighted the actions taken by FTA in response to the crisis, including new flexibility that allows agencies to use existing federal formula funds for emergency-related capital and operating expenses at an increased 80% federal share.”
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