DOT gives transit agencies $234M for Hurricane Sandy recovery

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded $234 million to New York and New Jersey public transit authorities to assist with their recoveries from Hurricane Sandy, officials with the agency announced on Friday. 

The DOT said the money, from the Federal Transit Administration’s Emergency Relief, is going to the New York and New Jersey Port Authority and New Jersey Transit to reimburse the agencies for construction that took place in the immediate aftermath of the 2012 storm. 

The Port Authority is scheduled to receive $167 million and the New Jersey Transit authority is being given $67 million, the DOT said. 

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“The U.S. Department of Transportation has worked alongside the Port Authority and New Jersey Transit since Hurricane Sandy made landfall to help the nation’s busiest transit network recover as efficiently as possible,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement announcing the funding awards. 

“The funds we’re providing today will go a long way to help these agencies continue rebuilding and strengthening the rail systems, ferry terminals, and local infrastructure that millions of riders depend on every day to get to work, school, and other vital destinations,” Foxx continued. 

Prior attempts to approve recovery funding for Hurricane Sandy led to political fights in Washington as conservatives objected to the pay-outs to states that were impacted. The standoff resulted in a memorable public spat between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and GOP leaders in Washington like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).  

The rare Northeast hurricane resulted in widespread damage to subway systems and commuter railways in New York and New Jersey. 

Amtrak shut down routes in the northeast in anticipation of the storm, which occurred days before the 2012 presidential election, as did intra-city mass transit systems in cities like Washington, D.C., Boston, Philadelphia and New York City. 

Sandy was only the second time entire New York subway was shut down in its 110-year history.