MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith announced Saturday that the Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded Minnesota over $306 million for public transit infrastructure funding in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These funds may be used for the operating expenses of transit agencies related to the response to COVID-19 — including reimbursement for operating costs to maintain service, lost revenue, the purchase of personal protective equipment, and paying the administrative leave of operations personnel due to reductions in service.

“The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on public transit infrastructure across Minnesota’s urban and rural areas and tribal communities,” Sen. Klobuchar said. “This critical investment in our public transit infrastructure will help continue transit services, prevent widespread layoffs of transit workers, and support agency operations during this crisis.”

This investment will help Minnesota transit agencies prevent layoffs and purchase personal protective equipment to keep workers safe, according to Sen. Smith. It will also help transit continue to operate so Minnesotans can use it to commute, and for essential needs and services.