Posts Tagged ‘Capital Investment Grants’

FTA allocates $281 million in funding for five transit projects

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a total of $281 million in additional Fiscal Year 2018 federal funding allocations to five transit projects in Arizona, California, Minnesota and Texas. Funding will be provided through FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program.

“These significant investments in the public transit systems in five communities across the country will improve mobility for riders who depend upon public transit every day,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

FTA has advanced funding for 17 new CIG projects throughout the nation under this administration since January 20, 2017, totaling approximately $4.8 billion in funding commitments. The present administration will have executed 13 CIG funding agreements by Dec. 31, 2018, for $3.3 billion in CIG funding, compared to 10 projects for $1.08 billion during the corresponding period (Jan. 20, 2009 – Dec. 2010) for the previous administration. In addition, with the allocations announced today, the present administration is committing to execute an additional four agreements for $1.5 billion in CIG funding if those projects continue to meet the CIG program requirements.

The projects included as part of the announcement are the Tempe Streetcar project in Arizona; the Los Angeles Westside Purple Line Section 3 project and San Diego Mid-Coast Light Rail project in California; the Minneapolis Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in Minnesota; and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Red and Blue Line Platform Extensions project in Texas.

FTA indicated its intent to fund the projects through an updated allocation notice for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 CIG funding appropriated by Congress. FTA is allocating approximately $281 million in appropriated FY 2018 CIG funding among the five projects, which either have a construction grant agreement or are nearing completion of all statutory and readiness requirements. All five projects have either completed or are in process of completing the rigorous CIG program steps as outlined in the law.

“FTA continues to evaluate and advance projects in the CIG program, considering each project on its individual merits while demonstrating good governance consistent with discretion afforded in federal law,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams.

The CIG Program provides funding for major transit infrastructure capital investments nationwide. Projects accepted into the program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process according to requirements in law to be eligible for consideration to receive program funds.

New FY 2018 CIG Allocations

Tempe, AZ: Tempe Streetcar

The Tempe Streetcar is a three-mile streetcar with 14 stations and six vehicles that will connect downtown Tempe and Arizona State University. It also will connect with existing light rail serving Phoenix, Mesa and the airport. The total project cost is $201.9 million with $75 million in funding requested through the CIG Program. Upon final FTA approval of a construction grant agreement, the project will receive $25 million in FY 2018 CIG funds to complete the CIG funding request.

Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles Westside Purple Line Section 3 Project

The Los Angeles Westside Purple Line Section 3 project is a 2.6-mile heavy rail extension from Century City to Westwood and the Veterans Affairs hospital that includes two stations and 16 vehicles. The total project cost is $3.7 billion with $1.3 billion in funding requested through the CIG Program. Upon final FTA approval of a construction grant agreement, the project will receive $100 million in FY 2018 CIG funds.

San Diego, CA: San Diego Mid-Coast Corridor Light Rail Project

The San Diego Mid-Coast Corridor Light Rail project is a 10.92-mile light rail extension from downtown San Diego to the growing University City area. The extension will improve access to employment hubs and numerous educational and medical facilities north of downtown. FTA announced a $1.04 billion grant agreement for the $2.17 billion project in September 2016. The project will receive an additional $80 million in FY 2018 CIG funds.

Minneapolis, MN: Minneapolis Orange Line BRT Project

The Minneapolis Orange Line BRT project is a 17-mile BRT along Interstate 35 linking job centers including downtown, Best Buy Headquarters, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Target Corporation, and Southtown Shopping Center. The total project cost is $150.7 million with $74.08 million requested through the CIG Program. Upon final FTA approval of a construction grant agreement, the project will receive $74.08 million in FY 2018 CIG funds to complete the CIG funding request.

Dallas, TX: Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Red and Blue Line Platform Extensions Project

The DART Red and Blue Line Platform Extensions project will extend and modify platforms along the existing Red and Blue Lines to accommodate three-car trains with level boarding. The total project cost is $128.7 million with $60.76 million requested through the CIG Program. Upon final FTA approval of a construction grant agreement, the project will receive $2 million in FY 2018 CIG funds to complete the CIG funding request.

To date, FTA has allocated $1.86 billion of the $2.62 billion in FY 2018 CIG funds appropriated for projects by Congress. FTA will continue to consider additional FY 2018 CIG allocations, based on the merits of individual projects.

Bipartisan Congress votes to rescue transportation funding from Trump’s chopping block

May 4, 2017

WASHINGTON—In the strongest bi-partisan moves since President Trump’s election, Congress passed a spending agreement called an omnibus that is in stark contrast to President Trump’s 2018 budget – in which he proposed that transportation funds be slashed by the billions.

In the just-passed bill, Congress secured and even increased transportation funding, preventing the loss of tens of thousands of jobs, the elimination of long-distance train service, and a freeze on railway, road and bridge infrastructure upgrades.

One important spending increase was an additional $570,000 for the National Mediation Board; something SMART TD has been seeking to reduce the backlog of arbitration cases.

For our California members, the omnibus included $100 million in funding for the Caltrain electrification project. This means that construction—previously placed on hold by the Department of Transportation will move forward, with federal funds for Caltrain guaranteed until the end of FY2017.

For our Great Lakes pilot and flight attendant members the Essential Air Service (EAS) program for rural communities was fully funded, something President Trump’s budget also proposed to eliminate.

For our bus membership, federal funding for the Federal Transit Administration—slated by the administration for a major decrease—was increased by $236 million and $2.4 billion was included for transit Capital Investment Grants.

In addition, the omnibus spending provides a permanent solution to guarantee health care for nearly 22,000 retired union mine workers who have been impacted by the growing decline of coal production.

“This proposal, which had widespread support on both sides of the political aisle sends a clear message to the White House that killing transportation initiatives and slashing transportation funding is not supported by Congress – and is not in the best interest of transportation workers and our nation,” stated John Risch, SMART TD national legislative director.

Although this vote is a victory, we must remain vigilant and continue to contact our representatives to make it clear that investments in transportation are vital to our nation.

Click here to visit the SMART TD Legislative Action Center to contact your elected officials about the rail, bus and air transportation issues that affect us.