FTA Allocates $544.3MM to Seven Transit Projects

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will allocate $544.3 million to seven transit infrastructure projects—five rail-specific— through the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program. This discretionary grant program funds capital investments in rapid transit, commuter rail, light rail, streetcars and bus rapid transit (BRT).

Two of the projects receiving an allocation have an existing Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA). The remaining five, FTA said, are “advancing toward readiness to receive a construction grant agreement under the CIG Program.” Those projects must meet additional requirements before a grant can be awarded.

The Transbay Corridor Core Capacity Project (San Francisco, Calif.) and the Minneapolis (Minn.) Southwest Light Rail Project, which both received FFGAs in September, have been allotted $250.7 million and $100 million, respectively.  

The Transbay project’s aim is to improve capacity on the existing Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) rapid transit system. (The project also recently received a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) grant from FTA.) The Minneapolis New Starts project will extend the Metro Green Line 14.5 miles from the existing Target Field station in downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie in Hennepin County. It will include 16 stations serving Minnetonka, Hopkins and St. Louis Park, Minn.

The other projects to which FTA is designating funding are:

• Phoenix (Arizona) Northwest Extension Phase II Project, $49.4 million (FY2021). This New Starts project is in the Engineering phase of the CIG program. It will extend the Valley Metro light rail system 1.5 miles from the existing terminus in Northwest Phoenix to the Metrocenter Mall. (The project also recently received a FTA TOD grant.)

• Gary (Ind.) Double Track Northwest Indiana Project, $49.4 million (FY2021). Also in the Engineering phase of the CIG program, this New Starts project will construct 26.6 miles of new second track on the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) South Shore commuter rail line between Gary and Michigan City, including two miles of new right-of-way.

• Kansas City (Mo.) Streetcar Main Street Extension Project, $49.2 million. This New Starts project is expected to receive a FFGA in January. In the Engineering phase of the CIG program, it will extend the existing Kansas City Downtown Streetcar from the current streetcar terminus at Union Station 3.5 miles to the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

• Wake BRT New Bern Avenue Project (Raleigh, N.C.), $35 million. This 5-mile BRT line, to be constructed by the city of Raleigh, is expected to improve access and mobility along the New Bern Avenue corridor, connecting the Raleigh central business district and communities eastward to North New Hope Road. 

Ogden/Weber State University (Utah) BRT Project, $10.6 million. Utah Transit Authority will build this 5.3-mile BRT line, connecting the Ogden FrontRunner commuter rail station with Weber State University and McKay-Dee Hospital.

“These transit infrastructure investments will help communities improve access and mobility to transit service as they address the impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency and continue their economic recovery,” FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams said.

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