New rules protect public transportation systems

Public transportation systems that are destroyed in natural disasters might be eligible for government funds to rebuild under new rules from the Obama administration.

The Federal Transit Administration announced Monday it is moving froward with new rules for the emergency relief program, clarifying which cities would be eligible for federal funds to repair, reconstruct or replace public transportation systems that are ruined in earthquakes, hurricanes or floods.

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In some cases, the funds could also be used to help cities build public transportation systems that are protected from natural disasters before they occur, the agency said.

The emergency relief program is part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. 

To qualify, the governor or president would have to declare an emergency in the state, among other things.

The changes go into effect in 30 days.