Funds will primarily be used for operations and payroll to prevent service cuts, protect employees from layoffs, strengthen the economy and ensure safety, the city said.
“Our transit employees have worked throughout the pandemic to support San Marcos and connect our community with critical needs and services,” City Manager Bert Lumbreras said in the release. “We are grateful to receive this federal funding which will help ensure that our necessary transit operations continue to operate in a seamless and efficient manner.”
There are 22 cities in Texas receiving funds through the $30.5 billion American Rescue Plan Act signed by President Joe Biden on March 11, and allocations were based on operating expenses reported to the National Transit Database in 2018.
“Transportation workers are serving on the front lines of this pandemic delivering the vaccine, getting people to essential jobs, and providing goods and services to people who need them,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said while announcing the funding allocations.
As a result of the funding, routes for the SMTX The Bus system will continue to be free until further notice.
The city also noted masks are still required for riders, and passengers are encouraged to leave an empty seat between each other to maintain social distancing.