FRA

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.

Trump Signs $2.3T Omnibus Spending Bill (UPDATED)

Congress passed the $2.3 trillion “Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021” (H.R. 133), an omnibus spending bill that includes a $900 billion COVID-19 emergency relief package as well as government appropriations for fiscal year 2021, tax extenders and other provisions. While many in the rail industry expressed appreciation—stressing that additional transit aid, for instance, will be needed—outgoing President Donald Trump did not. He refused to approve the bill—calling for higher direct relief checks to Americans and other changes—but he finally signed it into law late Dec. 27, averting a government shutdown Dec. 29.

The final rule requires each state to develop and implement (or update) an action plan that identifies high-risk crossings and strategies for improving crossing safety.

FRA Issues Final Rule for State Grade Crossing Plans

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has released a final rule requiring 40 states and the District of Columbia to implement highway/rail grade crossing action plans. The remaining ten states already have plans, as required by the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA), and must now update those plans.