Federal Judge Halts Mask Mandate for Transportation, DOJ Appeals (UPDATED)

A Florida judge on April 18 struck down a federal mandate requiring mask use on public transportation and at transportation hubs. While railroads were deciding whether to keep the mandate in place until May 3 or make mask-wearing optional, the Department of Justice (DOJ) on April 20 filed an appeal. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is weighing in.

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.

“President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fix our outdated infrastructure and invest in major projects for the future of our economy,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “Until now, we had limited ability to make awards beyond a certain level, or to support projects with funding from multiple federal grant programs.”

USDOT to Provide $2.9B for Infrastructure Projects

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) reported on March 23 that is offering a total of $2.9 billion through three discretionary grant programs supporting major infrastructure projects; it has issued a combined Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) that will make it easier to apply to one or more programs with a single application and common set of criteria.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg

USDOT Releases Supply Chain Resiliency Action Plan (Updated)

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Feb. 24 issued a report laying out steps the federal government, in partnership with Congress, states and private companies, can take to help boost supply chain resiliency across freight transportation modes, including rail.

America’s Green Gateway Phase 1: Pier B Early Rail Enhancements Project at the Port of Long Beach, Calif., was awarded $52.3 million for a new locomotive facility and extension of the east and west rail yards.

USDOT Awards $241MM for Port Improvement Projects

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will distribute more than $241 million in grants to 25 port facility improvement projects under the Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP); six are rail-related and will receive a total of $86.22 million.