Georgia transit agencies get $522 million federal bailout

MARTA will get the biggest share of $522 million in aid to Georgia transit agencies included in recent federal coronavirus legislation. (Jenni Girtman for Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
MARTA will get the biggest share of $522 million in aid to Georgia transit agencies included in recent federal coronavirus legislation. (Jenni Girtman for Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Georgia transit agencies will receive $522 million in federal aid as they cope with declining revenue and other problems brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The money for Georgia is part of $25 billion set aside for mass transit in a massive federal coronavirus response package approved by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump on March 27.

MORE: A map of coronavirus cases in Georgia

MORE: Real-time stats and the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak

Metro Atlanta agencies will get $370.9 million of the money, Gov. Brian Kemp’s office announced Monday. Most of that will go to MARTA, with various county and regional services receiving the rest. Here’s a breakdown:

-- MARTA: $298,641,024

-- Xpress: $25,731,752

-- Gwinnett County: $19,821,538

-- Cobb County: $18,039,756

-- Cherokee County: $2,777,825

-- Henry County: $2,755,867

-- Douglas County: $2,523,816

-- Atlanta Regional Commission: $510,264

-- Center for Pan Asian Community Services: $145,918

Elsewhere, Augusta, Columbus and Savannah also will receive money. And the Georgia Department of Transportation will distribute $75 million to rural transit systems, plus an additional $49.7 million to numerous small urban systems such as Albany, Gainesville and Macon.

Transit agencies have been struggling amid the pandemic as fewer passengers translates into less farebox revenue. Last week MARTA reported that sales tax revenue is also suffering with much of the economy on hold, leading to a budget crunch.

MARTA and other agencies have cut service during the pandemic. MARTA says the federal bailout will buy time, but it won't entirely fill the hole in its budget.

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