Portal North—part of the massive Gateway Program, which will eventually double rail capacity between Newark, N.J., and New York—will replace the 110-year-old Portal Bridge, a mechanical-trouble-plagued swing bridge built by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1910 as part of its New York Improvements project.

Portal North Builder Gets Official ‘Go’ From NJT

New Jersey Transit has issued a “Notice to Proceed” to Skanska/Traylor Bros PNB Joint Venture (STJV) for construction of Portal North Bridge, which is slated to take approximately five and a half years to complete.

USDOT: $20B for FY22 Transit Investment

More than $20 billion in Fiscal Year 2022 funding is available to transit agencies and communities—58% more than in FY 2021 thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, according to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), which on April 6 released full-year apportionment tables for each of its 30 programs.

An ACS64-led Amtrak Northeast Regional train prepares to depart Penn Station New York, bound for Washington, D.C. William C. Vantuono photo

Biden FY23 Budget Request: $105B for USDOT

President Joe Biden on March 28 submitted to Congress a $5.79 trillion budget plan for fiscal year 2023 that calls for $105 billion to be distributed to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). With an additional $37 billion in guaranteed advance appropriations provided under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL; also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA), the USDOT’s total budget would be $142 billion. Included in the budget for USDOT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is funding for four new rail-related projects; the Gateway Program’s Hudson Tunnel project in New York and New Jersey, and the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) Silicon Valley Phase II rail project in California are among them.

“This is how we cut ribbons at the T. With a ceremonial trolley ribbon breaking, the new Lechmere Station & entire Union Branch of the #GreenLineExtension is now open! Serving Cambridge & Somerville, this #BuildingABetterT project provides new access to reliable public transit.” —MBTA, via Twitter on March 21, 12:02 p.m. EDT.

First Look: MBTA Marks Start of GLX Service (UPDATED)

The first phase of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) long-awaited $2.3 billion Green Line Extension (GLX) debuted on March 21.

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been awarded a $769.2 million ARP Additional Assistance grant from the Federal Transit Administration to cover expenses related to operations, cleaning and sanitization, and employee retention.

FTA: $2.2B in ARP Additional Assistance Grants to 35 Agencies

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will distribute $2.2 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) Additional Assistance grants to 35 transit agencies in 18 states; New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is receiving the most, $769.2 million.

“COVID-19 has posed a serious challenge to public transit, especially commuter railroads,” Caltrain Board of Directors Chair Steve Heminger said. Support from the ARP Additional Assistance Grant Program “ensures that, as the Bay Area continues to reopen and riders return to the system, Caltrain will be ready to get them where they need to go.”

For Caltrain, $38.8MM ARP Additional Assistance Grant

Caltrain has been awarded $38.8 million from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Additional Assistance Grant Program.

“The pandemic has made clear our operating funding model of relying so heavily on riders is outdated and hampers our efforts to provide equitable service, especially for low-income riders and marginalized communities,” BART General Manager Bob Powers said. “Increased federal funding allows BART to continue to invest in service improvements and safety enhancement as we welcome riders back to transit.”

BART, WMATA Awarded $390MM in ARP Additional Assistance Grants

San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will receive $270 million and $120 million, respectively, from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Additional Assistance Grant Program; the funding is awarded to transit systems demonstrating additional pandemic-associated needs.

At BART’s Warm Springs/South Freemont Station, riders can now use a new 250-foot-long steel truss bridge to reach the Freemont Innovation District.

Transit Briefs: BART, FTA

California’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has opened a $41 million pedestrian bridge at the Warm Springs/South Fremont Station. Also, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is seeking nominations for the Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS).

New Jersey Transit is ordering 25 Multilevel III commuter cars from Alstom.

NJT Ordering 25 Multilevels, Names New Rail Ops Leader

New Jersey Transit will exercise an option with Alstom for 25 additional Multilevel III commuter railcars, following Board approval on Feb. 9. Also, James Sincaglia has assumed the role of Senior Vice President and General Manager of Rail Operations at the agency, after serving in an acting capacity.

CTA employs some 10,600 workers, who provided nearly 200 million trips in 2020.

For CTA, $912.1MM ARP Grant

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has been awarded a $912.1 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for COVID-19 response under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021.