California Construction News staff writer
The federal government will fund 18 large transit projects in 11 states were recommended last week to receive $4.45 billion for construction by U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. These large rail and bus rapid transit (BRT) projects would receive federal support in President Biden’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Budget Request to Congress. Nine of those projects would receive funding recommendations for the first time and several are already under construction or far along in the planning process.
Also, the FTA has allocated $1.1 billion in FY 2022 and 2023 funding to 31 transit projects nationwide.
In California, $14 million was announced for the Monterey-Salinas Transit SURF! Highway 1 Busway and Bus Rapid Transit project, connecting the cities of Marina, Sand City, and Seaside and including a dedicated busway to reduce congestion, improve on-time performance, and expand transit ridership.
The FY 2024 budget also includes proposed funding for four projects with existing construction grant agreements. That includes $643 million is recommended for two California projects: the Los Angeles Westside Subway Section 2 and Section 3 rail projects. The Westside Subway provides a critical connection for the region’s second-largest job center and connects downtown Los Angeles with the Westside.
“Transit connects people to jobs, schools, loved ones and more,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We’re proud to deliver this funding to expand transit across the country, which will create good-paying construction jobs and provide better options for people to get where they need to go.”
Approved projects will “improve how people travel in their communities, create and sustain jobs in construction and operations, and help communities provide better, more frequent transit service.”
The Fiscal Year 2024 Annual Report on Funding Recommendations accompanies President Biden’s FY 2024 Budget Request. Building on the President’s strong record of fiscal responsibility, the Budget more than fully pays for its investments—reducing deficits by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade by asking the wealthy and big corporations to pay their fair share.
All projects will require a local funding match. The report allocates $2.85 billion in annual appropriations requested from Congress and $1.6 billion in FY 2024 funding provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Federal support will begin to flow to project sponsors only after FTA signs a grant agreement. Today’s report details the FY 2024 funding recommended for each project once project sponsors meet the requirements in law.
“Transit is a great equalizer for our nation,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “For the men and women who will use these systems, this investment will open doors to opportunities they may otherwise never have had. For the communities where they’ll be built, every dollar we provide will result in five dollars, or even more, of economic growth.”
The CIG Program and EPD Pilot Program are the Federal government’s primary grant programs supporting new large transit capital projects that are locally planned, implemented, and operated. This includes investments such as new and expanded subway systems, commuter rail, light rail, streetcars, and bus rapid transit.
The FY 2024 budget request also includes proposed funding for five projects in the CIG/EPD pipeline, which continues funding recommendations for projects that received partial funding in prior budgets:
- $500 million recommended for the BART Silicon Valley Phase II Project will extend BART service six miles through downtown San Jose to Santa Clara and will enhance connectivity of regional transit services, promote economic development, and improve mobility.
- $167 million recommended for the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor Phase I Project through FTA’s Expedited Project Delivery Program. This light rail transit system would improve mobility in eastern San Fernando Valley by providing an improved north-south transit connection.