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MBTA gets nearly $860 million in federal coronavirus relief funds

David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe, File


BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is getting nearly $860 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to help maintain services and jobs as the pandemic drags on, federal transportation officials said Wednesday.

The funding for the Boston area public transit system is part of more than $30 billion for public transportation included in the American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden in March 11.

“Public transportation has been a lifeline for communities and the American people throughout this pandemic,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement. “This funding from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan will help protect transit employees from layoffs, keep transit service running, and ensure people can get where they need to go.”

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The T will use the ARP funds, along with previous relief funds, to balance its operating budgets into the beginning of the 2024 fiscal year, a T spokesperson said.

“The funds are necessary to plug the massive revenue shortfalls due to significantly lower ridership (and lower fare collections),” the T said in a statement.

Ridership on public transit systems across the nation have plummeted during the pandemic as people either lost their jobs or were asked to work from home.

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