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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Biden budget would spark 'second great rail revolution'


President Joe Biden last week presented to Congress his fiscal-year 2022 discretionary budget request, including $25.6 billion for the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).

The amount proposed for USDOT represents a 1.3% increase over FY2021 enacted funding. The budget proposal "sparks the second great rail revolution" by including $625 million for a new competitive grant program to invest in passenger rail as a competitive, low-carbon option for intercity travel, according to the president's request.

In addition, the budget calls for $375 million for Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) grants "to improve safety, throughput and reliability of the nation's rail network," according to the budget document.

Also included in the president’s request are:
• $2.7 billion for Amtrak, a 35% increase from the FY 2021 enacted level, to provide improvements and expansion on the Northeast Corridor and throughout the nation’s passenger rail network;
• $2.5 billion for the Capital Investment Grant program, a 23% increase from the 2021 enacted level, to improve accessibility to high-quality transit; and
• $1 billion for the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program, formerly known as the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) transportation grant program.

The majority of surface transportation funding for public transit and highways is considered mandatory spending and is not identified in this part of the president’s budget. The president’s mandatory budget will be submitted at a later date.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/19/2021