On an annual basis, the City of Davis/Unitrans prepares a Program of Projects (POP) that forms the basis for grant applications submitted to FTA for annual transit funding allocated to the City by FTA. In response to the impact of COVID-19 on transit operators throughout the nation, the federal government through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act appropriated $10,308,599 to the City of Davis to support transit operations and help backfill local and state revenue losses to prevent significant transit service reductions and impacts. In spring 2020, the Unitrans Advisory Committee and City Council approved a POP that set aside a portion of Davis area CARES Act funds to the Yolo County Transportation District (YCTD) for Yolobus operations within the City of Davis and set aside CARES funding for Unitrans to help meet both FY 2020 and FY 2021 operating expenses. The remaining over $4 million balance of CARES Act funding however remains unallocated and as a result is at risk of being reallocated away from the City.
City of Davis and Unitrans staff recommend allocating the remaining $4,077,503 in FTA CARES Act funding to support Unitrans transit operations for the next three fiscal years. By allocating the funding to support fiscal years 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23, the City and Unitrans can mitigate financial losses due to declines in local, state, and federal funding and as a result, mitigate service level uncertainty that may impact public transit service in the city. Allocation of FTA CARES Act funding may also provide the City with more flexibility to mitigate financial impacts to other transit providers that the City supports including Davis Community Transit, the Yolo County Transportation District (Yolobus), and also public works transportation priorities.
The proposal updates the CARES Act funding allocation for FY2020-21 from the approved spring 2020 Program of Projects from $820,000 to $1,151,201 and provides funding for Unitrans operations for FY2021-22 ($1,594,891) and FY2022-23 ($1,331,411).
FTA regulatory guidance requires the City and Unitrans to make the proposed POP available for public review and comment prior to its approval by the City Council. The proposed POP was published in the Davis Enterprise and on the Unitrans web site (unitrans.ucdavis.edu) on October 7, 2020, with information on how to ask questions and comment on the proposed POP. The review and comment period will remain open through October 22, 2020. Click here for the full POP.
A public hearing on the proposed POP will be held via Zoom at the Unitrans Advisory Committee meeting on Thursday, October 22 at 4:00 PM. If approved, the Committee’s recommendation and all comments received through the public review period, will be forwarded to the Davis City Council for its Tuesday, November 10, 2020 or November 17, 2020 meeting. Click here for meeting details.