New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority

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.

MTA Construction & Development and MTA Long Island Rail Road contractors eliminated five railroad crossings in 2020. Pictured is the School Street undergrade crossing project on the border of Westbury and New Cassel, N.Y.

LIRR Expansion Project Moving Forward

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) reported that five railroad crossings were eliminated and bridge and station upgrade work continued in 2020, as part of its LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) Expansion Project. The project will add a third, 9.8-mile track from Floral Park to Hicksville, N.Y., to reduce train congestion and delays.

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.