MTA

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 emergency relief—the “second largest in history only to the CARES Act” ($1.8 billion)—“is an important first step that Democrats look forward to building on under the new Biden-Harris Administration to meet the remaining needs of the American people during this historic health and economic crisis,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in an announcement late Dec. 20.

Congress: $900B COVID Relief Agreement; $15B For Rail

Congress reached an agreement Dec. 20 on a nearly $900 billion pandemic relief package, and approved a one-day stop-gap bill to avoid a government shutdown and allow time for a vote, expected Dec. 21. It’s anticipated that the package will be combined with a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill that will fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year. The bill includes $14 billion for transit and $1 billion for Amtrak.

For New York MTA, a ‘Fiscal Tsunami’

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority outlined a “worst-case” 2021 spending plan at its Nov. 18 Board meeting. Proposed are service reductions of 40% across subways and buses, and of 50% across Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Metro-North Railroad (MNR), with layoffs of nearly 9,400. Also on continued pause: MTA’s $51.5 billion capital plan. The moves could go forward in absence of $12 billion in federal aid, MTA said.

MTA, Transit Innovation Partnership Debut COVID-19 Response Challenge

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and Transit Innovation Partnership launched a new “COVID-19 Response Challenge” in an effort to engage the private tech industry and rapidly evaluate and deploy innovative technologies that make public transit safer, healthier and more responsive to customer and workforce needs in light of the global pandemic.

Report: MTA Broke by August

According to a report on Bloomberg.com, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will run out of money in August if the U.S. Senate does not approve the economic stimulus measure that would provide about $3.9 billion to the agency, Chairman Patrick Foye said.