Sarbanes, Maryland Delegation Members Announce More Than $1 Million for WMATA and Montgomery County Transit to Improve COVID-19 Safety
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today joined U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, along with Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie Raskin and David Trone (all D-Md.), in announcing a combined $1,050,000 for Montgomery County’s Ride On transit service and Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to improve rider safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This new infusion of federal funding will help WMATA and Montgomery County reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission on public transportation systems and get riders safely to their destinations,” the lawmakers said. “We will keep working to secure federal funding that invests in Maryland’s transit systems and improves their ability to deliver safe and reliable service.”
WMATA will receive $600,000 for enhanced air filtration and purification technologies that help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 on trains and buses.
Montgomery County’s Ride On transit service will receive $450,000 to capture real-time automated passenger counts that inform customers about available capacity. It will also use the federal funding to provide trip-planning information about alternate transportation routes and allow the County’s bus control center to better track and manage crowding.
In November 2020, the lawmakers sent a letter to the Federal Transit Administration in support of Montgomery County’s grant application.
Funding comes from the Federal Transit Administration’s COVID-19 Research Demonstration Program, which helps local transit agencies develop and deploy innovative solutions to improve the safety and operational efficiency of public transportation systems amid the COVID-19 public health emergency.