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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GET CEO Accepts Position as Chair of COVID-19 Crisis Relief Task Force for California Transit Association
Bakersfield, CA — The Golden Empire Transit District (GET) announced today that Karen King, CEO has accepted the position as Chair of the COVID-19 Transit Crisis Relief Task Force for California Transit Association.
The COVI-19 task force will consist of Executive Committee members, Federal Legislative Committee members and State Legislative Committee members. It’s mission will be to crunch the numbers on the incoming impact data, help refine the size and scope of the relief funding advocacy efforts, and, to begin work on shaping a specific recommendation allocation mechanism (i.e. should they work to obtain new State relief and/or Federal funds for public transit agencies).
This committee is working to ensure that the federal government includes emergency aid to public transportation agencies and Amtrak to help offset the additional costs and lost revenue related to COVID-19.
The bill requires the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to apportion these funds (using FY 2020 apportionment formulas) within seven days of the date of enactment.
The bill also states that grant recipients should make every effort to appropriately adjust operations in response to reduced demand as a result of COVID-19.
Notwithstanding transit law limitations, these funds are expressly available for operating expenses to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19, including reimbursement for operating costs, lost revenue, the purchase of personal protective equipment, and applicable preventive maintenance (e.g., vehicle cleaning). These operating expenses are not required to be part of state-wide or metropolitan transportation improvement programs or state-wide or long-range transportation plans.
GET was formed in July 1973 and is the primary public transportation provider for the Bakersfield Urbanized Area. It is the largest public transit system within a 110-mile radius. The District’s legal boundary includes Bakersfield city limits as well as adjacent unincorporated areas. GET has a fleet of 88 compressed natural gas buses equipped with wheelchair lifts and bike racks. GET serves 16 routes, operating 7 days a week and transporting more than 6 million passengers each year with its fixed-route buses. In addition, GET operates 25 compressed natural gas GET-A-Lift buses and 7 microtransit RYDE shuttles. For more information, visit www.getbus.org or call 869.2GET (2438)