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CHAMPAIGN — A federal grant in the amount of $12 million will help keep the buses running and nearly 375 MTD employees working.

But even that won’t be enough to offset revenue the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District expects to lose during the coronavirus pandemic, Managing Director Karl Gnadt said.

“It is absolutely a tremendous help, but the real financial impact hasn’t even started yet,” Gnadt said Monday. “What we’re seeing now is a loss to the passenger revenues.

“But our state funding is based on state sales tax receipts. We can’t even begin to calculate what the long-term whack we’ll see to those funds will be.”

Because of that, Gnadt said the MTD is advocating for another round of federal relief that includes more funding for states and municipalities.

The $12 million grant was part of the $2 trillion CARES Act approved in March. Gnadt said the funding was about three times what it normally receives from the federal government.

The funding won’t require a local match, according to U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, who announced the grant.



Ben Zigterman is a reporter covering business at The News-Gazette. His email is bzigterman@, and you can follow him on Twitter (@bzigterman).