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Rail News: Passenger Rail

USDOT/FTA provide 50 ARRA grants exceeding $1 billion


On Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Federal Transit Administration announced they issued 50 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grants totaling $1.2 billion. The proceeds will help state and local transit systems fund the purchase of new vehicles, implement safety and security initiatives, and construct or rehabilitate various infrastructure.

Transit-rail-related grants include:
• $264 million to the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, some of which will be used to complete rail improvements, and another $393 million to rehabilitate five rail stations, enhance transit and acquire communication equipment;
• $78.4 million to Dallas Area Rapid Transit for the NW/SE light-rail line;
• $73 million to the San Diego Association of Governments for the construction of a multi-modal transit center, rail electrification work, track improvements and a bridge replacement, as well as the design and construction of the trolley wayside and trackway modifications, including stations to support new Blue Line low-floor vehicle operations;
• $55.4 million to the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority for 18 40-foot replacement vehicles, preventative maintenance work, rail station/stops and transit enhancements;
• $21.9 million to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority for safety and capacity improvements, and a positive train control system on the Metrolink system; and
• $15.2 million to the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) to replace two 25-year old elevators at the MARC BWI Station, improve the heating system at the MARC Penn Station, demolish structures at the MARC West Baltimore Station, improve the MARC Martins Maintenance Facility, add two new traction power substations on the northern end of the MTA light-rail system, and replace existing public-address systems with audible/visual real-time information systems at all MTA-owned MARC train stations.

In a separate allocation, the USDOT also announced it issued $298.7 million in ARRA funds to New Jersey Transit, including $130 million for the Mass Transit Tunnel project. NJ Transit will use the proceeds to fund various projects, such as $30 million for the Lower Hack drawbridge rehabilitation, $25 million for Morristown Line bi-directional signal improvements, $24 million for a River Line cab signal system and $15 million for Plauderville Station high-level platforms.

Since President Obama signed ARRA into law on Feb. 17, the USDOT has issued grants totaling more than $4.2 billion. The department has made $48.1 billion available for transit, highway, road, bridge and airport projects, of which $23.9 billion already has been obligated to fund about 7,500 approved projects in 55 states and U.S. territories.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/17/2009