Biden-Harris Administration Announces $343 Million to Modernize Transit Stations, Improve Accessibility Across the Country

Written by Federal Transit Administration, Agency Communications
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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced that eight transit systems in eight states will receive a total of $343 million in federal funding to retrofit some of the nation's oldest and busiest rail transit systems to make it easier for Americans to access public transportation.

Millions of Americans, including people with disabilities and injuries, have mobility concerns that prevent them from being able to get jobs, school, healthcare, and other destinations with the same ease as other users. For many, transit could be the best transportation option for individuals who aren’t able to operate a vehicle. 

This investment, created by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, has been awarded through the All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP). Grant recipients will use the funding to make rail stations more accessible and in line with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards by installing elevators, renovating platforms for level boarding, improving signage and enhancing visual and audio systems. These projects will also create good-paying jobs in these communities.  

“We are not only modernizing our nation’s infrastructure, we are doing so in a way that makes it more accessible for older Americans, people with disabilities, and all transit users,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This initiative, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is retrofitting old rail stations with elevators, ramps, and more, to make sure that our public transportation is more accessible for millions of Americans going about their daily lives.” 

Inaccessibility is a significant hurdle for riders using rail systems built before 1990, known as legacy systems. More than 900 transit legacy stations are not fully accessible today. 

“Since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, great strides have been made in improving accessibility, but there is still a lot of work to accomplish,” said FTA Acting Administrator Veronica Vanterpool. “By modernizing rail systems across the country, the ASAP program provides funding to address these overdue improvements. We want to ensure that all customers can use transit systems with ease and reliability, including people with disabilities, those using mobility devices, and other users needing more accessible spaces.”

Some of the selected ASAP projects include:  

  • The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority in Ohio will receive $16 million to rehabilitate eight stations to make the entire Blue Line accessible for people with disabilities. Station upgrades will include replacing the 40-year-old platforms with new concrete platforms with tactile warning panels, installing redesigned ramps, elevating a platform section to access trains, and improving parking stalls with curb ramps to access the stations.
  • The Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City will receive $156.5 million to improve accessibility at the Wakefield-241st Street, Kingsbridge Road, 167th Street, 145th Street, and 110th Street stations. Modernization work will include installing elevators, updating platforms to reduce gaps, adding tactile platform edge warning strips, making stairway repairs, improving signage, and enhancing visual and audio announcement systems.
  • The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will receive approximately $4.7 million to construct platforms, wheelchair ramps, and make other accessibility improvements at five Muni light rail stops on the J-Church line and three Muni stops on the M-Ocean View line. These improvements will reduce gaps between the platform and railcar, improving accessibility for thousands of mobility-impaired residents who are currently unable to use the system.

Projects were selected for funding based on criteria described in the Notice of Funding Opportunity. This program was created under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides a total of $1.75 billion in funding for ASAP through FY 2026. In December 2022, FTA announced $686 million in FY 2022 and 2023 funding to 15 projects in 9 states through the ASAP program.

In response to the Notice of Funding of Opportunity, FTA received nearly $1.1 billion in funding requests for the $343 million available this year, demonstrating the high demand for the program.

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