Transpo Secretary unveils once-in-a-generation investment in light rail and other forms of transportation

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s announcement follows President Biden’s FY 2022 budget.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has announced the recommendation of $2.5 billion to advance the construction or completion of 25 rail, bus rapid transit (BRT) and streetcar projects in 12 states, as well as other projects that may become ready for funding in FY 2022.

These projects, competitively funded through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program, will create hundreds of construction and operations-related jobs and help communities expand transportation options that improve access and mobility for residents.

“Across the country, communities are seeking to expand public transit as a way to create economic opportunity, improve safety, advance equity, reduce congestion and pollution, and lower the cost of living for their residents,” said Buttigieg. “These capital projects will improve life in 25 communities and are the start of what we hope will be a once-in-a-generation investment to modernize and expand public transit across the country.”

FTA’s FY 2022 Annual Report on Funding Recommendations includes $1.56 billion for 17 CIG projects with existing grant agreements, and $461.1 million for eight new CIG projects estimated to be ready for grants in FY 2022. An additional $427.2 million is recommended for other CIG and Expedited Project Delivery (EPD) Pilot Program projects that may become ready for funding during FY 2022.

“FTA is proud to work with communities across the country to bring more environmentally friendly public transportation options to residents,” said FTA Deputy Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “These investments support President Biden’s commitment to combat climate change while also improving safety, racial equity, and quality of life for thousands of Americans whose lives will be touched by these projects.”

This announcement is consistent with the President’s FY 2022 budget, which includes first-time funding recommendations for eight transit projects in five states. These include:

  • In Phoenix, Ariz., the Northwest Extension Phase II project would extend Valley Metro’s light-rail system 1.5 miles from the existing end-of-line station in northwest Phoenix to the Metrocenter Mall, improving access to the region’s light-rail system for residents in various communities in north and west Phoenix, Glendale, and Peoria, and support transit-oriented land-use planning in the corridor, including the planned redevelopment of the Metrocenter Mall site.

The CIG Program is the federal government’s primary grant program for supporting transit capital projects that are locally planned, implemented and operated. It provides funding for investments such as new and expanded heavy rail, commuter rail, light rail, streetcars, bus rapid transit, and ferries, as well as corridor-based BRT investments that emulate the features of rail. The program includes funding for three categories of eligible projects, as defined by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act: New Starts, Small Starts and Core Capacity.

FTA’s Annual Report on Funding Recommendations for the FY 2022 CIG Program, including links to individual project profiles, is available on FTA’s website.

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