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U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Recommends $3.5 Billion to Expand Transit Options that Improve Access to Jobs and Opportunities

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today highlighted $3.5 billion recommended in President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget to advance the construction or completion of 31 rail, bus rapid transit and streetcar projects in 18 states. These projects, competitively funded through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program, would create thousands of construction and operations-related jobs and help communities expand transportation choices that offer new ladders of opportunity for residents.

“Since 2009, the Obama Administration has funded nearly 100 new and expanded mass transit projects in numerous cities and metropolitan areas across the country,” said Secretary Foxx. “These projects transform communities, improving mobility and access to jobs, education and other important opportunities for millions of people. Public transit is an important ally in the effort to ensure that hard-working Americans are offered a chance to succeed in the 21st century economy.”

The President’s budget includes first-time funding recommendations for 15 transit projects. These include:

  • The Downtown Riverfront Streetcar Project in Sacramento, California, which would connect the urban cores of Sacramento and West Sacramento, serving major destinations in both cities, improving transit options for residents and encouraging transit-oriented development along the route;

  • The Red and Purple Line Modernization Project Phase One in Chicago, Illinois, which would reconstruct four Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) stations and track in order to relieve crowding and congestion in one of the transit system’s busiest corridors; and

  • The Red Line Bus Rapid Transit Project in Indianapolis, Indiana, which would provide fast, reliable bus service for residents in a key corridor serving downtown. Indianapolis was one of seven cities selected in 2015 to be part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s LadderSTEP pilot program, an initiative designed to help foster sustainable economic development related to planned transportation projects.

“FTA is proud to partner with communities across the country to bring more transportation options to residents and help accommodate our nation’s growing population,” said FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan. “These investments in public transportation will improve the mobility and quality of life for thousands of residents, provide an alternative to traffic congestion, and spur more economically vibrant communities.”

FTA’s highly competitive CIG Program is the federal government’s primary grant program for funding major transit capital investments that are locally planned, implemented and operated. It provides funding for investments such as new and expanded heavy rail, commuter rail, light rail, bus rapid transit and streetcar projects. 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.

Funding recommendations for Fiscal Year 2017 include:

  • $1.4 billion for 10 New Starts projects already under construction in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Denver, Orlando, Honolulu, Boston, Charlotte and Portland, with additional funds recommended to accelerate completion of these projects;

  • $950 million for seven New Starts projects not yet under construction in Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Ana, National Capital Area in Maryland, Minneapolis, Fort Worth and Seattle;

  • $458 million for 10 Small Starts projects not yet under construction in Tempe, Sacramento, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Grand Rapids, Kansas City (Missouri), Albuquerque, Everett and Seattle, Washington;

  • $599 million for four Core Capacity projects to improve capacity on existing, heavily used transit lines in the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, New York City and Dallas; and

  • $75 million for the Expedited Project Delivery for Capital Investment Grants Pilot Program — a new pilot program outlined in FAST that allows FTA to select up to eight projects seeking 25 percent or less in Federal funding and using a public-private partnership approach. 

FTA’s Annual Report on Funding Recommendations for the Fiscal Year 2017 CIG Program, including links to individual project profiles, is available on FTA’s website.

In addition to the Fiscal Year 2017 funding recommendations announced today, FTA also announced Fiscal Year 2016 apportionments and allocations, which include ongoing funding for existing CIG projects. The latest Apportionment Tables are now available on FTA’s website.