On October 29, 2012, roughly 50 million people living on the Eastern seaboard faced down one of the worst natural disasters in memory – Hurricane Sandy. The storm was also by far the worst disaster ever to hit public transportation in a region that accounts for well over a third of all the daily transit riders in the nation. In fact, at the height of the storm, approximately 40 percent of our nation’s transit riders were at a standstill from Washington, DC to Boston.
President Obama directed DOT to waste no time in coordinating a response to the disaster. And that’s exactly what we did, working closely with our partners at the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the area’s transit providers. While touring some of the most storm-ravaged areas, Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff and I, along with Governors Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo, the Congressional delegations, and Mayor Bloomberg, saw first-hand just how much work was needed to return to normal.
In order to help these communities rebuild, DOT is announcing a third round of emergency aid, totaling $1.42 billion.