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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

USDOT commits $135 million to Sacramento light-rail expansion


Yesterday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood joined other federal, state and Sacramento, Calif., officials in a signing ceremony to commit $135 million to extend the Sacramento Regional Transit District's (SacRT) light-rail Blue Line by 4.3 miles.

The project is designed to link downtown Sacramento to the South Sacramento County corridor, offering commuters an alternative to driving on congested Highway 99. The project also will provide a new transit service to Cosumnes River College, one of the area's largest employers, U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) officials said in a prepared statement.

"The Blue Line light-rail extension will help thousands of Cosumnes students spend less at the pump, and will spur retail and residential development at the new Morrison Creek Station and beyond," said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff, who also attended the signing ceremony.

Ridership on SacRT's existing light-rail system rose 7.4 percent between fiscal years 2011 and 2012. Meanwhile, the area's population is projected to grow steadily over the next five years.

The project will extend the light-rail line from Meadowview Road to the college, and will include new stations at Morrison Creek, Franklin Boulevard, Center Parkway and the college.

The Federal Transit Administration is funding half of the $270 million project cost through the New Starts program. The USDOT provided an additional $7.1 million, with the remaining cost to be covered by state and local funding.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/8/2013