More than 300 public transportation projects across the country will benefit from nearly $1 billion in federal grants to repair, rebuild and modernize the nation’s transit infrastructure.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Monday (Oct. 17) that transit providers in urban, suburban and rural areas would share in $928.5 million in federal funds.
|Washington State will receive nearly $18 million to replace facilities for Island Transit.|
LaHood said the selected projects would put people to work renovating and building much-needed transit facilities, manufacturing clean-fuel buses, and helping communities plan for their future transit needs.
“Investing in America’s transit systems, rails, roads, ports, and airports will generate tens of thousands of construction-related jobs and put more money in the pockets of working Americans,” said LaHood.
Jobs Bill Pushed
LaHood also used the occasion to make a pitch for President Obama’s $447 billion American Jobs Act, which the president sent to Congress on Sept. 12 with a call for swift passage. Obama called the bill a “common-sense” blueprint for economic recovery.
The package includes $60 billion in investments for infrastructure and establishes a bipartisan National Infrastructure Bank, with the goal of modernizing roads, rail, airports and waterways while employing hundreds of thousands of workers.
LaHood urged Congress to pass the measure, “so we can continue to invest in critically needed projects like these, to repair and rebuild our nation’s transportation system.”
The grants announced Monday were made available through the Federal Transit Administration’s fiscal year 2011 Alternatives Analysis, Bus Livability, and State of Good Repair Programs.
The money will go toward replacing or refurbishing aging buses, building or improving bus terminals, garages, and other transit facilities, installing bus-related equipment, and conducting studies to help communities select the best transit options to meet future transportation needs.
|Dallas Area Rapid Transit will receive $12 million for new vehicles.|
The Federal Transit Administration and DOT called the grant selection process “highly competitive,” with the recipients chosen from 839 project applications representing $4.9 billion in funding requests.
New York ($164 million), California ($126 million), Pennsylvania ($67 million), Texas ($57 million), Illinois ($53 million), Washington State ($49 million) and Michigan ($46.6 million) led the recipients by state.
Among the projects selected:
• The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments will receive $2 million to study a possible second phase of the planned Woodward Avenue corridor transit project in Detroit and the best mode of transit to pursue.
• Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (Sound Transit) will receive $5.4 million to replace buses in its Seattle-area fleet that are beyond their useful lives with hybrid-diesel buses.
• The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will receive $5 million to restore Philadelphia’s historic 33rd Street and Dauphin Street bus facility, a 110-year-old facility that is in a state of disrepair.