FRA Offering $26.3MM in FAST Funding: UPDATE

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Amtrak’s state-supported Downeaster.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has extended the deadline and increased available money originally announced Nov. 6 when it issued a NOFO (Notice of Funding Opportunity) for $24 million in Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019 Restoration and Enhancement Grants for “initiating, restoring, or enhancing intercity passenger rail service. The funding is made available through the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

FRA has extended the application deadline for the Restoration and Enhancement Grants Program NOFO by one month, to Feb. 5, 2020 at 5:00 EST, and has also made available an additional $1.92 million from the Fiscal Year 2020 Appropriations Act, bringing the total now available for funding to $26.3 million.

The program provides operating assistance for staffing, fuel, electricity, station expenses, rolling stock lease payments, routine planned maintenance, host railroad access costs, train yard operation and administrative costs. States (individually or collectively), cities and other government entities are eligible to apply, as are Amtrak and other intercity passenger rail companies. The statute requires FRA to prioritize several application types, including those supporting projects that “foster economic development, expand transportation options in underserved communities, and restore former Amtrak routes.”

“We’re encouraging applicants to leverage federal Restoration and Enhancement grants to support large-scale, intercity passenger rail improvements,” said FRA Administrator Ronald Batory.

For more information, visit FRA’s Restoration and Enhancement Grants Program webpage.

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