US-based commuter rail service Caltrain has secured $38.8m in additional federal grants through the American Rescue Plan (ARPA).

The financial aid is aimed at keeping the company’s operations running while it continues to work on electrification.

Caltrain Board of Directors Chair Steve Heminger said: “Covid-19 has posed a serious challenge to public transit, especially commuter railroads. We are incredibly grateful to President Biden, Secretary Buttigieg and our entire federal delegation led by Speaker Pelosi for continuing to support public transit.

“This federal support ensures that, as the Bay Area continues to reopen and riders return to the system, Caltrain will be ready to get them where they need to go.”

Due to the pandemic, the rail service has faced several financial challenges.

During the early days of the pandemic, ridership fell to 5% and remained at nearly 20% of previous levels, leading to loss in fare revenue.

This impacted the firm negatively as more than 70% of the operating funds came from fares before the pandemic.

Caltrain succeeded in keeping its services throughout the pandemic due to the funds received from the Federal Government through ARPA, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act.

These grants will also help balance expected deficits through FY2023.

Caltrain is owned and managed by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board.

It offers passenger rail service from San Francisco to San Jose, with commute service to Gilroy.