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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Federal spending package would preserve transit, cut TIGER dollars


The U.S. House last night narrowly approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill that would keep most federal agencies operating through summer 2015. And with current federal funding scheduled to run out at midnight last night, the Senate approved a two-day extension in order to avoid another government shutdown.

Earlier in the week, House and Senate negotiators reached an agreement on a spending plan that would freeze highway spending at $40 billion and cut Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program dollars, but avoid big cuts to transit projects that had been part of the House's earlier proposal, the Transportation For America reported in its T4America blog.

According to the blog, key provisions included in the spending agreement called for:
• TIGER funding to be cut from $600 million in fiscal-year 2014 to $500 million in FY2015, which was $400 million better than the House's original proposal. The compromise also dropped a House plan to limit TIGER grants to highway, bridge and port projects.
• TIGER planning grants to be eliminated for FY2015.
• Transit formula dollars to be frozen at current levels of $9 billion; capital investments grants would be set at $2.1 billion, including $172 million for Small Starts projects.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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