The Orange County Transportation Authority announced Thursday it has received a $160.4 million grant from the federal government to help the agency as it struggles with a downturn in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money is from the coronavirus relief bill and it will help the agency continue to provide transportation despite a dramatic loss of fares as commuters complied with stay-at-home orders to stem the tide of the coronavirus.

“This essential funding highlights the critical role transit has and will continue to play in providing support for essential travel during the pandemic, and in the future as part of a balanced and sustainable transportation system within the county,” said OCTA Chairman Steve Jones.

The agency reduced bus service by about 40% in March as more commuters were telecommuting.

Ridership increased as business reopened in June, so the agency added more bus service.

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