U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that the Federal Transit Administration achieved a crucial milestone: it beat the September 1 deadline to provide all states and local communities 50 percent of their Recovery Act transit formula dollars. In fact, FTA provided nearly 90 percent of its $7.5-billion transit stimulus money to states and local communities. FTA is managing an additional $900 million in discretionary funds for New Starts projects, the Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction and Tribal Transit programs and oversight for a total of $8.4 billion.
"This money will not only
create jobs, it will also allow people to get to and from those jobs safely,
reliably, and comfortably," LaHood said. "As we put America back to work, we
will also be creating a cleaner environment and reducing our nation’s
dependence on foreign oil."
Since President Obama
signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17,
grants totaling more than $6.7 billion have been made available for transit
improvements throughout the country. The majority of these grants will be used
to purchase new vehicles, increase safety and security initiatives and construct,
rehabilitate, and maintain the various transit systems.
"These funds come at a
critical time for the economy and the transit industry," said Federal Transit
Administrator Peter Rogoff. "Our nation’s transit providers are putting this
money to work to maintain, expand, and improve service. As transit ridership
continues to grow, Americans will enjoy public transportation that is cleaner,
faster, and more reliable as a result of this effort."