FRA announces new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Program for intercity passenger rail service

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
image description
Amtrak will perform extensive track maintenance in NEC this summer.
David C. Lester

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has established the new Corridor Identification and Development (ID) Program.

This is the first step in an unprecedented undertaking to transform America’s passenger rail network through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The Corridor ID Program will establish a pipeline of projects ready for funding – allowing them to be implemented faster and with greater coordination than ever before. The program will serve as a key vehicle for directing federal investments and technical assistance toward new or improved intercity passenger rail services across the nation. 

“Americans deserve what people in many other countries currently benefit from: a world-class rail system that allows you to get where you need to go quickly and affordably, while reducing  traffic and pollution on our roads,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “In launching the Corridor Identification and Development Program, which was made possible thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are taking a major step to transform America’s passenger rail network and connect our smallest towns and our biggest cities with great train service.”

“The Corridor ID Program will help expand intercity passenger rail service beyond the Northeast Corridor,” FRA Administrator Amit Bose said. “This is just one of many ways the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is bringing about the next great rail revolution.”

President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law on Nov. 15, 2021 – which made the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak, including $1.8 billion for the Corridor ID program. The law directed the Secretary of Transportation to establish the Corridor ID Program within 180 days, giving public entities a formal mechanism to partner with FRA to develop proposals that will expand, enhance, or restore passenger rail service in their communities. Within a year, FRA will submit an annual report to Congress on the program and its project pipeline.

In February, FRA published a Request for Information to inform the program’s key components. That solicitation attracted hundreds of responses from a diverse range of stakeholders, which helped inform the Corridor ID program.

Following the establishment of the Corridor ID Program, FRA will be soliciting formal proposals for the program within this calendar year. FRA will select corridors for participation in the program based on readiness to commence development and statutory criteria. For each selected proposal, FRA will work with the entity that submitted the proposal, the relevant states, and, as appropriate, Amtrak to prepare or update a service development plan. 

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is an opportunity to build a better America, and the Corridor ID Program will strengthen the partnerships and project pipeline necessary to reshape America’s passenger rail network for generations to come,” said Bose.

The notice establishing the Corridor Identification and Development program is published in the Federal Register. Click here to view the notice. 

For brief news updates and commentary, please follow me on Twitter @davidclesterRTS

Tags: , , , , ,

Media