WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), along with U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) announced that state and local governments in New Mexico will receive over $133 million in emergency transit grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The funds are part of a first wave of grants from the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that the entire New Mexico delegation voted to pass Congress last week.
Local governments and the State of New Mexico will receive a total of $133,196,781 in dedicated grants for urban and rural public transportation systems.
“This funding will help relieve financially-strapped state and local governments of choosing between providing basic services and responding to this public health emergency,” said Udall, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Although all New Mexicans should follow federal, state and local public health guidelines to stay home and physically distance to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, public transportation remains essential. Workers who can’t telework—in addition to the heroic frontline healthcare workers saving lives every day—need access to public transportation to go to work and get the resources they need. And we will need strong transportation systems after this crisis ends. I fought for funding in the emergency coronavirus relief package that responds to the realities facing families and local governments across the state. As we move forward to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, I will continue fighting to make sure that vital services get to where New Mexicans need them most.”
“While it seems like the coronavirus pandemic has stopped everything in its tracks, we must keep our transit services running to ensure health care workers and first responders on the frontlines of this public health crisis can still get to work,” Heinrich said. “This critical funding from the CARES Act will allow local governments across New Mexico to keep essential transportation services operational and support transit workers who have been furloughed during this emergency. I will keep holding the administration accountable every step of the way for delivering all the resources New Mexico needs during this crisis as rapidly and effectively as possible.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the lives of New Mexicans each day – and local communities need assistance to get through this crisis. That’s why I helped negotiate a strong, worker-first CARES Act to support New Mexico families. Public transportation is critical for essential workers who are keeping our communities afloat, and I’m proud to announce this $133 million investment in New Mexico’s transportation systems,” said Luján. “As we move forward with a fourth coronavirus response package, I will continue fighting for the infrastructure resources that state and local governments need.”
“Local communities are working to ensure our families have what they need during this public health emergency, but some find themselves having to choose between keeping bus drivers on the job and providing coronavirus resources. I was proud to fight for funding for Albuquerque and so many other communities throughout New Mexico to keep buses running so health care workers and essential workers can keep our communities going. It will go a long way to help local leaders and families during these trying times,” said Haaland.
“Public transit systems like RoadRUNNER Transit in Las Cruces face diverse challenges as communities follow public health directives to remain at home for our shared safety. This crucial funding ensures frontline essential workers can get to work safely and that transit agencies can make necessary improvements and adjustments during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Further, when we recover from this public health emergency, our transit systems must be ready to connect New Mexicans and support the recovery efforts in every corner of the state,” said Torres Small.
The full breakdown of the $133,196,781 in funding is below:
Section 5307 Urbanized Area Apportionments:
- Albuquerque, $79,845,589
- Farmington, $2,161,017
- Las Cruces, $6,026,321
- Las Cruces-El Paso, $1,543,501
- Los Lunas, $2,250,299
- Santa Fe, $5,315,047
Section 5311 & Section 5340 Rural Area Apportionments:
- New Mexico, $36,474,320