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Metro Gains Access To Federal Funds To Prepare For Natural Disasters

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The damage Hurricane Sandy did to public transit systems is still being repaired — more than a year after the storm. Now the federal government has announced a new program to prevent a repeat of what it calls the worst transit disaster in U.S. history.

The Federal Transit Administration says public transit agencies in areas hit by Sandy will be able to apply for funds from a pool of $3 billion to defend against the next severe storm. Peter Rogoff, the FTA's administrator, says transit systems will have to show a plan to prevent future damage.

"We want to invest these disaster relief dollars smarter to lower the burden on the taxpayer and make sure we are not funding the restoration of the same infrastructure a second, third, or a fourth time," he says.

Metro and other transit systems in D.C., Maryland and Virginia are eligible to apply.

"We welcome the Administration’s leadership in investing in the resiliency of transit systems," said WMATA Public Information Officer Morgan Dye in an email. "WMATA will review this new program to determine if there are opportunities that would add to our crucial PRIIA safety investments by making the system better able to withstand extreme weather events."

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