WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCBD)- South Carolina is one of 24 states to receive federal grant money to restore and improve transit services affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tri-County area is the only recipient in the state, receiving $1.2 million as a part of a $25 million grant program through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

“Throughout the pandemic, our transit agencies and the essential workers who operate them have kept this country moving – ensuring people could continue to get to work, school, medical appointments, and more,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “Now, thanks to President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, they will have the resources they need to better serve riders across the country.”

The grants were provided through the FTA’s Route Planning Restoration Program and are aimed at helping transit agencies with planning projects that will increase ridership and decrease travel times. The program is also designed to expand transportation options for low-income riders and disadvantaged communities.

“The Route Restoration Program will greatly assist transit agencies nationwide in eliminating barriers and increasing equity in underserved communities,” FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez said. “COVID-19 drastically altered how transit systems operate, and these funds will provide an opportunity for them to take a fresh look at their systems and routes, to ensure that everyone has access to transportation.”

Local projects that will receive funding:

  • The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments will get $650,000 to study fixed route and bus rapid transit alternatives for the US 52 Corridor connecting Goose Creek and Moncks Corner
  • Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) will get $563,800 to develop a downtown restoration plan to improve ridership and service quality

The grants are funded by the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan.