COTA to get $1M under CARES Act

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Posted on Apr 09 2020

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Alfreda P. Camacho, the special assistant for Public Transportation, poses with some of her staff at the Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority, (Contributed Photo)

The CNMI will get a million dollars to help with COVID-19 related transportation needs, through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Alfreda P. Camacho, the special assistant for Public Transportation, said that the Federal Transit Administration notified the CNMI last week that the Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority will be receiving $1,047,695. In his e-newsletter, Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) said that funding will be provided at a 100% federal share.

“[The funds] will be available to support operating, capital, and other expenses, including paying for administrative leave for transit personnel due to reduced operations, incurred beginning Jan. 20, 2020, to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19,” Sablan added.

The newly-enacted CARES Act provides $25 billion to transit agencies in the United States, to help to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COTA has been leading the COVID-19 Task Force’s quarantine mission assignment, with its entire fleet of buses and vans activated to transport all incoming CNMI travelers, who are required to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine, to the designated quarantine site.

In an earlier interview, Camacho said that COTA, with all the other departments tapped as essential to serve the community during the pandemic, has been stepping up, as the CNMI continues to tighten measures to protect and safeguard everyone from the virus.

“With all the hard work from every single agency involved, we will continue carrying out that mission every day. COTA is proud to serve our community in whatever way we can and we are proud to be a part of a task force full of agencies that have that same mindset,” said Camacho.

Last year, COTA was awarded $1.33 million to continue the development of its fixed-route, and demand response shared ride service, to ensure transportation access and services for hard-to-reach areas around the island.

Iva Maurin | Author
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at iva_maurin@saipantribune.com

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