The Riverside Transit Agency is the recipient of a $51.1 million federal grant earmarked for transit services impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, it was announced Wednesday.

The RTA will be able to apply the funds at all operational levels, including purchasing equipment, officials said.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said the funding is part of a $25 billion appropriation approved by Congress in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security — CARES — Act that was signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27.

According to Chao, the “historic” allotment “will ensure our nation’s public transportation systems can continue to provide services to the millions of Americans who continue to depend on them.”

Along with the grant, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration issued a safety advisory that directs public transit agencies to develop policies and procedures that ensure the protection of riders’ and drivers’ health, including use of personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, frequent disinfection of exposed surfaces and availability of hand sanitizer.

“We know many of our nation’s public transportation systems are facing extraordinary challenges, and these funds will go a long way to assisting our transit industry partners in battling COVID-19,” FTA Acting Administrator Jane Williams said. “These federal funds will support operating assistance to transit agencies of all sizes providing essential travel and supporting transit workers across the country who are unable to work because of the public health emergency.”

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