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President's FY2007 budget would provide $1.5 billion for transit-rail projects


President Bush’s proposed fiscal-year 2007 budget would appropriate $1.5 billion for 23 existing and five new transit-rail projects.

The proposed funding is part of the annual New Starts report, which recommends $572 million for 16 projects that already have obtained Full Funding Grant Agreements (FFGA) and $303 million for new projects.

In FY2007, the Federal Transit Administration might award FFGAs for the Regional Transportation District of Denver’s (RTD) 12-mile West Corridor light-rail line; Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s 21-mile light-rail extension; Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon’s eight-mile Portland Mall light-rail extension and 14.7-mile Wilsonville-to-Beaverton commuter-rail line; and Utah Transit Authority’s 43-mile Weber County commuter-rail line.

The report also recommends funds for projects that have pending FFGAs in FY2006: MTA Long Island Rail Road’s 3.5-mile East Side Access project, which would provide direct service to Grand Central Terminal; and the Port Authority of Allegheny County’s 1.5-mile North Shore Connector, which would extend light-rail service from downtown Pittsburgh across the Allegheny River to the city’s North Shore.

The Administration proposes to continue funding projects that already have FFGAs, such as Valley Metro’s Central Phoenix East Valley light-rail line; Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Metro Gold Line east side extension; Denver RTD’s Southeast Corridor light-rail line; Chicago Transit Authority’s Brown Line capacity expansion project; Charlotte Area Transit System’s South Corridor light-rail line; New Jersey Transit’s Hudson-Bergen light-rail line; and Sound Transit’s Central Link light-rail line.

Other projects that might receive federal funding include:
• MTA New York City Transit’s $4.9 billion Second Avenue Subway project, which would extend Broadway subway service 2.3 miles between Brooklyn, lower Manhattan, West Midtown and East Harlem;
• the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation’s $1.8 billion Dulles Corridor Metrorail project, which would extend Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority service 11.6 miles from East Falls Church to Reston, Va.;
• Hampton Roads Transit’s 7.4-mile light-rail line in Norfolk, Va.; and
• Sound Transit’s 3.1-mile University Link light-rail extension to the University of Washington.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/8/2006