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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

APTA: Appropriations bill would help transit


The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) commended Congress for negotiating a fiscal-year 2017 omnibus appropriations bill that includes support for public transportation programs.

The legislation would provide discretionary funding for the federal government through Sept. 30. The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are expected to vote on the measure this week, according to an APTA press release.

"This legislative action shows that Congress understands the value of public transportation and how it plays a critical role in the economy and in the lives of millions of Americans in communities of all sizes," said APTA Acting President and Chief Executive Officer Richard White. "If passed into law, these investment in public transportation will positively impact direct and indirect jobs all around the country."

The bill would provide $12.4 billion in funding for the Federal Transit Administration, $657 million above the FY 2016 enacted level. Transit formula grants total $9.7 million. About $2.4 billion would go toward "New Starts" funding, including $1.5 billion for current Full Funding Grant Agreement transit projects, according to an APTA legislative summary.

Amtrak would receive a $75 million increase to $1.495 billion in FY2017.

Also included in the measure is $199 million for positive train control funding authorized under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act for FY2017.

Additionally, the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements grant program would be funded at $68 million; the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair grant program, $25 million; the Restoration and Enhancement Grants,  $5 million; and the Transit Security Grant program, $88 million.

The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program would be funded at $500 million.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/2/2017