The proposed 18-mile Glassboro-Camden Line would operate diesel light rail vehicles—like those found on New Jersey Transit’s River LINE—along Conrail track. (Rendering from GCL, Twitter.)

South Jersey Light Rail Project Advances

An Environmental Impact Study (EIS) for an 18-mile Glassboro-Camden light rail line has been completed for submission to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Pete Buttigieg, former Presidential candidate and South Bend, Ind., Mayor, becomes the 19th Transportation Secretary.

Buttigieg Confirmed as SECDOT

The Senate confirmed today, by a vote of 86-13, Pete Buttigieg as the 19th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

RTD’s staffing reductions due to the pandemic had included 309 represented employees and 90 salaried employees.

Denver RTD: $203.4MM in Relief Prompts Frontline Worker Recall

The Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) is recalling all full-time union employees and working to bring back all 137 part-time operators, the agency reported.

USDOT Appointments Announced

The Biden Administration has appointed 39 key members of the U.S. Department of Transportation, with more to come. Among them are Amit Bose, Deputy Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and Nuria Fernandez, Deputy Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Both have held the positions previously.

The City of Portland, Ore., will receive $439,950 to replace Portland Streetcars’ cloth seat coverings with “easy-to-sanitize” vinyl; educate riders with new message boards at stops; and hire public health-trained staff to ensure vehicles are properly sanitized and the system is adhering to public health guidelines.

FTA Awards Grants to Help Transit Tackle COVID-19

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is distributing $15.8 million to 37 transit projects through its new Public Transportation COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program.

Five stations are planned for SEPTA’s 3.5-mile King of Prussia rail extension, including the First and Moore/Valley Forge Station (rendering above).

SEPTA Advancing King of Prussia Rail Extension

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has issued a combined Final Environmental Impact Statement/Record of Decision (FEIS/ROD) permitting Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) to continue design and construction of the 3.5-mile, five-station King of Prussia (Pa.) Rail extension of the Norristown High Speed Line (NHSL).

Receiving CARSI grants are: Metrolink operator Southern California Regional Rail Authority ($14,771,250); Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority ($1,000,000); New York State Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transportation Authority and MTA Metro-North Railroad ($19,728,000); Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority ($3,335,000); and Washington state’s Sound Transit ($1,421,500).

USDOT Awards $40.26MM for Commuter Rail Grade Crossing Improvements

Five commuter rail agencies will receive a total of $40.26 million in grants for highway/rail grade crossing improvements from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The awards are part of round one of the Commuter Authority Rail Safety Improvement (CARSI) Grants Program.

The new $100 million funding allocation will go toward the $6.86 billion final phase of VTA's BART Silicon Valley project, which will extend operations 6.5 miles from downtown San José to Santa Clara.

BART Silicon Valley Phase 2 Advancing With $100MM FTA Pledge

California’s Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) has been allocated $100 million from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for phase 2 of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Silicon Valley project. The $6.86 billion final phase will extend BART operations 6.5 miles from downtown San José to Santa Clara and include four new stations.

The FTA will allocate $14 billion—via the recently signed $2.3 trillion omnibus spending bill—to the nation’s public transportation systems that “continue to face challenges due to COVID-19,” FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams said.

FTA to Allocate $14B in COVID Relief for Public Transportation

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) reported that it will allocate $14 billion to public transportation systems under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA) (H.R. 133). CRRSAA directs recipients to prioritize payroll and operational needs.

The FTA will provide just over $766 million for the Portal North Bridge Project, with the Federal Highway Administration providing roughly $57 million. NJ Transit and Amtrak will provide the balance of funding, about $977 million, and share operating and maintenance.

FTA Commits $766.5MM to Portal North Bridge

New Jersey Transit has received a $766.5 million grant agreement from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for the $1.888 billion two-track, fixed-span Portal North Bridge Project in Hudson County.