Administration gives $3.7B to transit agencies for Hurricane Sandy relief

The announcement comes as lawmakers in Washington have turned their attention toward funding for recovery efforts in Oklahoma following recent tornadoes that caused widespread damage there.

Some Republicans, like Sen. Tom Colburn (R-Okla.), have suggested that relief funding needs to be offset by spending cuts in other areas of the federal budget, even when their state is the one affected.

Lawmakers resolved the standoff over Sandy funding at the end of 2012.

The DOT said Thursday that it was providing $2.4 billion to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York, the New York City Department of Transportation, New Jersey Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for repairs, and another $1.3 billion to increase the systems' ability to withstand future storms.

The resiliency funding will come from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Emergency Relief Program, the agency said.

FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff said it was just as important to improve the readiness of transit systems for future storms as it was to fix specific damage from Sandy.

“We have learned from the back-to-back impacts of Hurricanes Irene and Sandy that it is vitally important to prepare for the future,” Rogoff said in a statement. “Investing in the strength of the region’s transit infrastructure now will help reduce the impact of travel delays, disruptions, and economic losses when the next big storm hits.”

The DOT said its announcement Thursday brought its total assistance to public transportation systems for Hurricane Sandy recover efforts to $5.7 billion.