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01/12/2021

 


 'Gang of 11' helps operators amplify their CERTS advocacy efforts

 

These days, not only can Canine name nearly all the 100 U.S. senators and most of the 435 U.S. representatives, he also knows what bus companies operate in their districts.

 

  From Bus & Motorcoach News:

Mike Canine admits that before the CERTS Act, he didn't pay much attention to what was going on Capitol Hill.

These days, not only can Canine name nearly all the 100 U.S. senators and most of the 435 U.S. representatives, he also knows what bus companies operate in their districts.

Mike Canine Canine is part of the "Gang of 11," a group of bus operators and vendors who came together to support industry lobbying efforts. Their organized grassroots campaign helped sign up hundreds of congressional co-sponsors of the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act.

"We all gained so much out of this experience," said Canine, a second-generation operator with Minneapolis-based Lorenz Bus. He and the other members of the Gang put in full-time hours for more than six months on the effort.

Trisha Fridrich, part of the group and co-owner of The L&W Team, feels like their efforts were rewarded.

CERTS Act funding

"The industry as a whole went from a couple of million dollars in funding for Homeland Security grants to $2 billion in stimulus funding. That's an insane feat and it's really thanks to a lot of people who said, ‘I'm going to make a difference,'" Fridrich said of CERTS Act funding.

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  FTA Makes $14B Available to Support Public Transit During COVID-19
 

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a total of $14 billion in Federal funding allocations to continue to support the nation's public transportation systems during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency.


    From Metro:

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a total of $14 billion in Federal funding allocations to continue to support the nation's public transportation systems during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency. Funding is provided through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA) (H.R. 133), signed in December. FTA previously announced $25 billion in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding in April 2020.

FTA is allocating $14 billion to recipients of urbanized area and rural area formula funds, with $13.27 billion allocated to large and small urban areas, $678.2 million allocated to rural areas and tribes, and $50 million allocated for the enhanced mobility of seniors and individuals with disabilities. Similar to the CARES Act, the supplemental funding will be provided at 100% federal share, with no local match required.

"We know that many of our Nation's public transportation systems continue to face challenges due to COVID-19, and these supplemental funds will help ensure that safe transit services remain available for riders traveling to jobs, health care and other essential services in communities across America," said FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams.

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 Washington Transportation Co-op Adds New School Bus Tech, Safety Procedures

 

A transportation cooperative for four Washington school districts has employed new school bus technology and cleaning protocols to ensure students are safe during the pandemic.

  
    From School Bus Fleet:

A transportation cooperative for four Washington school districts has employed new school bus technology and cleaning protocols to ensure students are safe during the pandemic.

KWRL, which provides transportation service for Kalama, Woodland, Ridgefield, and La Center school districts, sanitizes each of its school buses using electrostatic fogging sprayers that evaporate and spray a cleaning solution, according to a news release posted on Woodland Public Schools website. The solution reportedly cleans every surface on each school bus, including the underside of the bus’s seats.

"Our approach to everything had to change when the pandemic started," said Shannon Barnett, KWRL’s transportation director, in the news release. "We purchased the equipment for deep cleaning the instant COVID-19 hit so we could prepare for what might come our way."

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