Southern Maine transit agencies awarded $11.1 million in stimulus funds
The CARES Act funds were awarded by the Greater Portland Council of Governments to help seven agencies replace revenues lost to the pandemic.
By Edward D. Murphy, Staff Writer Portland Press Herald
January 7, 2021: Seven transit agencies in Greater Portland will share $11.1 million in federal stimulus money, mostly to replace revenues lost during the pandemic.
The Greater Portland Council of Governments approved the distribution of the funding this week. Most of the money – $9.1 million – is to replace lost revenues, and the rest will be used for cleaning, sanitation, communications and to help recover lost ridership.
“The region’s public transportation system will be integral in the post-pandemic economic recovery, and this funding will enable us to rebuild customer demand after the pandemic,” said Matthew Sturgis, Cape Elizabeth’s town manager and chair of the council’s transportation committee.
The money comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed last March by Congress. That bill provided $25 billion nationwide for public transportation systems.
The council’s decision directs the money to the Greater Portland Transit District, the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, Casco Bay Island Transit District, Biddeford-Saco-Old Orchard Beach Transit, York County Community Action Corp., the Regional Transportation Program and the City of South Portland Bus Service. Concord Coach Lines has also received some money to support its Portland-to-Boston bus operations.
Public transportation in southern Maine has received $53 million in all through the CARES Act, the council said, with $32.6 million allocated in three phases. More than $20 million remains to be distributed