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RTA frontline workers to receive up to $2,000 in hazard pay


NEW ORLEANS –The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) announced that all frontline employees will receive up to $2,000 in COVID-19 hazard payments over two installments which covers hours worked from March through June and July through December. These payments are in addition to the employees regular pay and the 80 additional hours of paid leave which was provided earlier this year to employees for COVID-19 related absences.

“The RTA Board of Commissioners remains committed to the health and safety of our riders and frontline staff. The men and women on the ground are critical to keeping transit operational in the midst of this historic pandemic,” said Flozell Daniels. Jr., Chair, RTA Board of Commissioners. “This investment is one of many decisions by the board to strategically support dedicated front line staff, take care of our riding public with reliable, equitable transit service that has class-leading safety mechanisms in place, and carefully manage financial resources.”

The hazard pay for RTA frontline staff will be funded by anticipated cost savings resulting from the termination of the Transdev Operations and Maintenance contract and CARES Act funding. The agency received $43 million in the first relief package of the CARES Act which assisted the agency in maintaining operations, sourcing PPE, and implementing additional safety precautions to keep riders and frontline staff safe. This announcement comes on the heels of the Governor John Bel Edwards signing Act 12 of the 2020 First Extraordinary Session of the Louisiana Legislature which provides up to $250 in hazard pay for essential employees earlier this month.

“RTA has maintained operations throughout this pandemic in large part due to the commitment and dedication of our frontline workers,” said Alex Wiggins, CEO, New Orleans Regional Transit Authority. “During this critical time, in order to continue providing essential transit services to the city, it is imperative to provide our frontline staff with the necessary hazard pay compensatory to working in uncertain circumstances.”

"We must support our frontline workers who are doing the hard work under adverse circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to thank RTA for helping utilize the CARES Act funds for their people at this most critical time," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

At the insistence of the RTA Board of Commissioners and with the full support of the senior staff, the RTA has aimed to maintain full employment throughout the COVID-19 crisis, despite declining ridership and revenue. Employees who were initially furloughed by Transdev due to declining ridership were immediately called back to work and provided back-pay for lost wages once the RTA confirmed receipt of CARES Act funding.


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