US announces $1.4B in Sandy transit aid to NY, NJ - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

US announces $1.4B in Sandy transit aid to NY, NJ

AP Photo/Charles Sykes AP Photo/Charles Sykes

NEW YORK (AP) - The federal government announced $1.4 billion in aid Friday to transit agencies affected by Superstorm Sandy.

Most of the aid announced by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is going to four agencies in New York and New Jersey: the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, PATH, New Jersey Transit and the New York City Department of Transportation.

"Considering that over a third of America's transit riders use the systems most heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy, it is imperative that we continue this rapid progress to restore these systems in the tri-state region," Federal Transit Administration head Peter Rogoff said.

A total of $10.9 billion was appropriated to transit agencies for disaster relief after Sandy hit in October. The amount was reduced by $545 million because of the mandatory federal budget cut that took effect on March 1.

The Federal Transit Administration said that with Friday's allocation the agency has met the 60-day Congressional deadline to reimburse transit agencies for expenses incurred while preparing for and recovering from the storm.

The agency earlier this month allocated nearly $554 million to transit agencies in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

"President Obama and I promised that we would do everything in our power to bring relief to the hardest-hit communities, and that is exactly what we have done," LaHood said in a statement. "In less than two months' time, we met our commitment to provide $2 billion to more than a dozen transit agencies that suffered serious storm damage and laid the groundwork to continue helping them rebuild stronger than before."

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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