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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Report: FTA funding delay impacts transit construction plans


The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has not yet distributed $1.38 billion in federal funding that's been designated for transit-rail and bus projects, causing delays in transit agencies' construction plans, according to a report from Transportation for America.

The organization reported this week that the FTA has distributed about $25 million of $1.4 billion in transit-related grants that were included in the 2018 appropriations bill signed in March by President Trump.

That leaves about $1.38 million for the FTA to distribute for 17 projects that involve building or expanding transit systems, the organization said in a press release.

Many of those projects are ready for construction and are waiting for the FTA to obligate the funds to proceed. In this case, "obligating" the funds means having the FTA's acting administrator sign a grant contract for a project that's been in the federal pipeline for years, said Transportation for America officials.

All of the communities involved have raised and committed local funding to the projects, they said.

"These funding delays have very real ramifications by increasing project costs, halting construction in places with small fair-weather windows, and potentially jeopardizing projects altogether," said the group's officials.

Communities and/or the transit-rail projects waiting for funding include Dallas, for Dallas Area Rapid Transit's Red and Blue Line platform extensions; Los Angeles, for the Purple Line Extension; Minneapolis, for the Blue Line and Green Line light-rail extensions; New York City, for Canarsie Line improvements; Orange County, California, for streetcar construction; Sacramento, California, for the Riverfront Streetcar construction; Seattle, for its Lynwood light-rail extension; the South Shore Line's (Indiana/Illinois) commuter-rail double tracking; and Tempe, Arizona, for streetcar construction.

Transportation for America describes itself as an alliance of elected, business and civic leaders that aims to ensure states and the federal government invest in locally driven transportation solutions.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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