LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — More than $1 billion in federal coronavirus relief grants were awarded Tuesday to Los Angeles County transit services.

The lion’s share of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act went to Metro, which will receive $861.9 million. Metrolink — whose rail lines stretch from Ventura County, across Los Angeles County, and into Orange County, and also reach into the Inland Empire – will receive $170.6 million.

The funds are being granted to support expenses for continued transit operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, public safety and maintenance.

“This historic $25 billion in grand funding will ensure our nation’s public transportation systems can continue to provide services to the millioins of Americans who continue to depend on them,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in a statement.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 01: A man wears a face mask and gloves while waiting to ride a Los Angeles Metro Rail train amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 1, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. As of last week, L.A. Metro ridership was down an estimated 81 percent on rail and 68 percent on buses amid the spread of COVID-19. L.A. Metro’s trains and buses are cleaned daily and the agency is now encouraging riders to social distance and only board for ‘essential’ trips. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Earlier this month, the CEO of the MTA joined 27 other transit agency leaders in calling on the federal government to provide $36 billion in nationwide support due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While our expenses are going up, our revenue is falling,” Metro CEO Phillip Washington said on July 14. “We appreciate the CARES Act funding, but we need more in order to keep our county and the city of Los Angeles moving. We have our work cut out for us and we need help from Congress.”

Los Angeles Metro officials are anticipating a shortfall of up to $1.8 billion over the next two fiscal years due to the pandemic.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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