U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg Recommends Nearly $4.5 Billion To Move New and Expanded Public Transit Services

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced the Department is recommending $4.45 billion both to advance seven new rail and bus rapid transit (BRT) projects for first-time funding and to continue funding for eight projects with existing construction grants in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. These projects, which require a local match, competed for funding through the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program and Expedited Project Delivery (EPD) Pilot Program. The transit projects create and sustain construction and operations-related jobs and help communities provide better, more frequent transit service.

In addition to recommending projects for FY 23 appropriations, FTA’s FY 2023 Annual Report on Funding Recommendations identifies projects that will receive funding through the CIG and EPD Pilot Programs for Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023 under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, as well as funding provided in Fiscal Year 2022 through the Consolidated Appropriations Act. Through this combination of FY 2022 and FY 2023 funding, FTA can accelerate payments to projects, completing the Federal commitment for 25 projects. This will not only result in lower financing costs incurred on projects but will also help meet demand by freeing up funds for additional new projects. In the last year alone, there has been a 150% increase in the number of projects entering the programs.

This announcement, consistent with the President’s FY 2023 budget, includes first-time funding recommendations for seven transit projects in six states, including:

  • In California, the East San Fernando Valley Corridor Phase 1 light rail project is recommended for EPD Pilot Program funding. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority proposes to construct a 6.7-mile light rail project with 11 stations, nine traction power substations, an overhead contact system, new vehicles, and a maintenance and storage facility. (First-time funding recommendation for $250 million)
  • In California, the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) Silicon Valley Phase II heavy rail project is recommended for EPD Pilot Program funding. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority proposes to extend BART service six miles from the Berryessa Station through downtown San Jose to Santa Clara. The project includes four stations, five miles of subway tunnels, new heavy rail vehicles, two mid-tunnel ventilation and egress facilities, and a storage yard and maintenance facility. The project is being implemented by VTA in partnership with BART. (First-time funding recommendation for $200 million)
  • In New York/New Jersey, the Hudson Tunnels commuter rail project is recommended for CIG funding. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in cooperation with the Gateway Development Commission, New Jersey Transit Corporation, and Amtrak, propose the construction of a new two-track heavy rail tunnel along the Northeast Corridor between New Jersey and Manhattan’s Penn Station. The project includes the Hudson Yards right-of-way preservation project, a new Hudson Tunnel, and the rehabilitation and modernization of the existing North River tunnel. The project is part of the Northeast Corridor Gateway Program, a series of strategic rail infrastructure investments designed to improve current service and create new capacity. These funds will not be allocated to the Hudson Tunnel project until the project sponsor meets statutory requirements for receipt of Federal funds. (First-time funding recommendation for $100 million)
  • In New York, the Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 heavy rail project is recommended for CIG funding. The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) proposes to extend heavy rail subway service 1.5 miles along the East Side of Manhattan. The project is the second of four planned sections of the Second Avenue Subway and connects the northern end of Phase 1 at 96th Street to the overcrowded Lexington Avenue Line at 125th Street. The project includes three new stations and signal and communications systems. (First-time funding recommendation for $400 million)
  • In Tennessee, the Memphis Innovation Corridor Bus Rapid Transit project is recommended for CIG funding. The Memphis Area Transit Authority proposes an eight-mile BRT line connecting downtown, the Memphis Medical District, and the University of Memphis. The project includes one mile of exclusive bus lanes, off-vehicle fare collection, transit signal priority, and streetscape and pedestrian improvements. The project will link activity centers from downtown to the University of Memphis and provide convenient and reliable access to jobs, education, health services, and civic centers. (First-time funding recommendation for $46 million)
  • In Texas, the Advanced Rapid Transit North South Corridor Bus Rapid Transit project is recommended for CIG funding. VIA Metropolitan Transit proposes an 11.7-mile BRT line from the San Antonio International Airport through downtown San Antonio, to Steves Avenue in the south connecting to San Antonio International Airport, San Antonio College, VIA Metro Center, Downtown San Antonio and dense commercial and residential areas. (First-time funding recommendation for $158 million)
  • In Washington, the Seattle RapidRide J Line Bus Rapid Transit project is recommended for CIG funding. King County Metro (Metro) proposes a 5.2-mile BRT line connecting the University District neighborhood to downtown Seattle as part of Seattle’s growing RapidRide BRT system. The project features real-time arrival information, off-board fare collection, 2.3 miles of exclusive BRT lanes, and transit signal priority. The corridor includes major destinations including the University of Washington, South Lake Union, Seattle’s central business district, and the International District, with intermodal connections to light rail, monorail, commuter rail, Washington State Ferries, and the Seattle Streetcar. (First-time funding recommendation for $60.1 million)

The President’s FY 2023 budget also includes proposed funding for eight projects with existing construction grant agreements, including:

In California:

  • $813 million recommended for the existing Los Angeles Westside Subway Sections 1-3 rail projects.
  • $241 million recommended for the existing San Diego Mid-Coast Light Rail transit project.

In Minnesota:

  • $250 million recommended for the existing Minneapolis Southwest Light Rail Transit project.

In New Jersey:

  • $339.5 million recommended for the existing Secaucus Portal North Bridge rail project.

In Washington:

  • $318 million recommended for the existing Seattle Federal Way Link Light Rail extension project.
  • $250 million recommended for the existing Seattle Lynwood Link Light Rail extension project.

The CIG Program and EPD Pilot Program are the Federal government’s primary grant programs supporting transit capital projects that are locally planned, implemented, and operated. The programs provide funding for investments such as new and expanded subway systems, commuter rail, light rail, streetcars, bus rapid transit, and ferries, as well as corridor-based BRT investments.

FTA’s Annual Report on Funding Recommendations for the Fiscal Year 2023 CIG and EPD Pilot Programs, including links to individual project profiles, is available on FTA’s website.

The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, enacted as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, is the Biden-Harris Administration’s plan for building a better America with a historic investment in our nation’s infrastructure and competitiveness. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will rebuild America’s roads, bridges and rails, upgrade and expand public transit, modernize the nation’s ports and airports, improve safety, tackle the climate crisis, advance environmental justice, and invest in communities that have too often been left behind. It will drive the creation of good-paying union jobs and grow the economy sustainably and equitably to help everyone get ahead for decades to come.

The CIG and EPD Pilot programs, which help communities around the country compete for funding to carry out transformational projects, have received significant increases in funding for FY 2022. The CIG and EPD Pilot programs could receive as much as $23 billion, in total through FY 26 under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, more than doubling previously available grant funding.

-via Press Release

This article was posted on: March 29, 2022