NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced today an approximate $1.9 million in additional funds for the Regional Transit Authority.
"The funding provided by FEMA to restore, rebuild and maintain our facilities and fleet enable the Regional Transit Authority to keep its commitment to the people of New Orleans," said Justin Augustine, vice president of Veolia Transportation in service to the RTA. "RTA and FEMA have partnered on this and other projects to meet the transportation needs of members of the community who rely on public transit. We are grateful for FEMA's support of our efforts to bring world class transportation services back to New Orleans."
The RTA will use this federal grant to purchase new replacement parts and tools for vehicles that were destroyed and replaced as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The vehicles needing these parts and tools are a new fleet of buses, purchased with funds utilized from an improved project. The new buses are upgrades from pre-Katrina models, and the funding ensures they receive the proper maintenance required to keep them running.
"The more modern and efficient New Orleans buses will now have the necessary parts and tools to ensure they receive proper maintenance," said Acting Executive Director of FEMA's Louisiana Recovery Office Joe Threat. "This grant will better assure the new buses will remain in operation and serve the public transportation needs of New Orleans residents."
FEMA has obligated a total of more than $121.5 million to the RTA. Approximately $2.9 million of that amount has gone toward parts and tools for the new bus fleet.
When FEMA approves projects through its supplemental Public Assistance grant, the funds are made available to the Governor's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, who disburses them to the applicant for eligible work completed.
The Public Assistance program works with state and local officials to fund recovery measures and the rebuilding of government and certain private nonprofit organizations' buildings, as well as roads, bridges and water and sewer plants. In order for the process to be successful, federal, state and local partners coordinate to draw up project plans, fund these projects and oversee their completion.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.