Appendix A Listing 1

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Greensboro Corridor

Atlanta, Georgia

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is studying the feasibility of commuter rail between Greensboro and Atlanta. The corridor under study extends about 70 miles from Greensboro, Georgia to downtown Atlanta.

Status

Section 3035(rr) of ISTEA directed FTA to enter into a multiyear grant with the ARC for this study. To date, no funds have been appropriated for this study.


In late 1995, the Georgia Department of Transportation completed a study of 12 potential commuter rail corridors around Atlanta. The study concluded that the Atlanta-Greensboro corridor was feasible for commuter rail service as far as Madison, Georgia, but that other lines were more attractive and should be advanced as part of the first phase of a two-phase implementation program. The Atlanta-Madison corridor is included in Phase 2.

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Pedestrian Crossover

Altoona, Pennsylvania

(November 1, 1995)

Description

This proposed project is a pedestrian crossover at 14th Street in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Status

Section 3035(ddd) of ISTEA directed FTA to sign a multiyear grant agreement for $3.2 million with the City of Altoona for construction of the pedestrian crossover. No funds have yet been appropriated for this proposed project.


The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has committed to funding this project with highway funds. Design work is expected to commence by the end of 1995.

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North Line Extension

Atlanta, Georgia

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is constructing a 1.9-mile, two-station extension of the North Line from just north of the Dunwoody Station to North Springs. The extension will connect with the North Line segment from Buckhead to Dunwoody, which is scheduled to open in June, 1996. The extension will serve the rapidly growing area north of Atlanta, including Perimeter Center and north Fulton County. The 1.9-mile extension and 28 rail vehicles are estimated to cost $381.3 million. Daily ridership on the rail extension in the year 2005 is estimated at 33,000 riders, including 11,000 new riders.

Status

Section 3035 (tt) of ISTEA directed FTA to negotiate and sign a multi-year grant agreement for North Line extension from Medical Center to North Springs. FTA awarded $92.17 million for final design and construction of the segment from Medical Center through the Dunwoody Station in FY1991 and 1992. An additional $317,600 was awarded in FY 1995. For the Dunwoody to North Springs segment, FTA awarded a grant for the final design and real estate acquisition in 1993. In December 1994, MARTA and FTA entered into a full funding grant agreement. Through fiscal year 1996, Congress has appropriated $81.36 million toward the $305.01 million Section 5309 share, which includes reobligations of $10.0 million from pre-ISTEA projects.

Source of Funds Total Funding
($million)
Description
Federal:
Section 5309 New Start
FFGA Amount
$305.01 $81.36 million appropriated through FY 1996
Local:
Regional Sales Tax
$76.30 N/A
TOTAL $381.31

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Buckhead People Mover

Atlanta, Georgia

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), together with other interested parties, has studied the feasibility of constructing a people mover or similar circulator system in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, Georgia.

Status

Section 3035(s) of ISTEA directed FTA to enter into a multiyear grant agreement with ARC for $200,000 to complete a conceptual engineering study of the proposed system. The study was completed in 1994. The study recommended initial development of a bus circulator on a combination of surface streets and dedicated busway in the Buckhead area. The project would be designed so that it could be converted to a higher volume, fixed guideway people mover system in the future, should demand grow sufficiently. A further recommendation of the study was the enactment of a special taxing district in the service area in order to share capital and operating costs of the system. To date, no action has been taken by the public or private sectors to implement the study's recommendations.


Capital costs for the bus circulator system were estimated at $20.4 million (1993). Operating and maintenance costs were estimated at $6.7 million per year (1993). Average daily ridership was estimated at 13,000.

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Austin - Northwest/North Central Corridor

Austin, Texas

(November 1, 1995)

Description

Capital Metro has been studying bus and rail transit alternatives in the Northwest/North Central Corridor of Austin.

Status

During 1995, the Northwest/North Central Corridor study was incorporated into a new regional planning study. The study includes the northwest/northcentral area, access to the new Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, currently being constructed by the City of Austin with the assistance of the Federal Aviation Administration, and connections to employment and activity centers throughout the metropolitan area. The study area also includes central, east and south Austin, the University of Texas main campus, the State Capitol complex, and downtown.


FTA is working with Capital Metro to prepare timeframes for completion of federal planning and project development requirements. Congress has not authorized or appropriated any funds for this new regional plan.

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Baltimore Central LRT Extensions

Baltimore, Maryland

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Mass Transit Administration (MTA) of Maryland is building three extensions of the central light rail transit (LRT) system in metropolitan Baltimore with FTA support. The extensions are: a 2-mile, 2-station branch off the LRT main line in Lithicum directly into the Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) Airport terminal; a 5-mile, 5-station extension from Timonium to Hunt Valley; and a quarter-mile, one-station spur off the main line into Pennsylvania Station where Amtrak northeast corridor trains and MARC commuter trains stop. The project is estimated to cost about $106.3 million (escalated dollars).

Status

ISTEA directed FTA to enter into a full funding grant agreement (FFGA) with MTA for the three LRT extensions, and MTA and FTA signed a FFGA in November 1994. The FFGA requires that, contingent upon appropriations, FTA provide MTA with $22.6 million in FY 1996 and $15.1 million in FY 1997 New Start funds. A total of $15.2M was appropriated in FY 1996, to which was added an additional $12.3 million in prior year funds reallocated from other New Starts.


The project is being implemented using the design-build method, and is one of the projects participating in the FTA Turnkey Demonstration Program. ISTEA initiated this program to determine if the turnkey (design/build) approach will reduce implementation time and cost. All three extensions are under construction at varying stages. Construction is expected to be complete by February 1997 on all three extensions. Revenue operation for all three extensions is scheduled for May 1997.

Source of Funds Total Funding
($million)
Description
Federal:
Section 5309 New Start
FFGA Amount
$84.90 $74.64 million provided through FY 1996
Local: $21.44 N/A
TOTAL $106.34

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South Boston Piers Transitway - Phase II

Boston, Massachusetts

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is building Phase I of an underground transitway connecting the MBTA's existing transit system with the South Boston Piers area, located on the fringe of downtown. Electric powered trackless trolleys will operate in the transitway tunnel and on limited surface routes in the eastern end of the Piers area. Phase I will connect South Station -- which is the terminus of the MBTA's south side commuter rail operations, the terminus of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor service, a major bus station, and a station on the MBTA's Red Line -- to the World Trade Center in the Piers area (see separate profile). Phase II would extend the transitway from South Station to Boylston Station on the Green Line, a distance of approximately one-half mile. Phase II is estimated to cost $300 million (escalated dollars).

Status

Section 3035(j) of ISTEA directed FTA to enter into a multiyear grant agreement with the MBTA for $278 million to carry out construction of the South Station to the World Trade Center segment of the transitway.


In February 1993, the MBTA completed alternatives analysis and selected a 1.5-mile underground transit tunnel from Boylston Station to the World Trade Center combined with surface bus operations as the locally preferred alternative. The final environmental impact statement was completed in December 1993.


In 1994, FTA signed a full funding grant agreement for $330.73 million (includes a contingent commitment for $53 million) with the MBTA for Phase I. Congress has not authorized or appropriated funds for Phase II.


It is not expected that the State would proceed with Phase II construction until at least the year 2000, when Phase I opens for service. Phase II is scheduled to open in 2008.

Justification

Mobility Improvements - The MBTA analyzed two growth and development scenarios. The high growth scenario is based on development projections prepared for the Central Artery/Tunnel Project for the year 2010, while the lower growth scenario assumes that development projected for the year 2000 will not occur until 2010. In the lower growth scenario, Phase II is expected to save 2643 hours of travel time per day in 2010. The savings are projected to be 3734 hours per day in the high growth scenario.


Cost Effectiveness - The cost effectiveness index for the Full-Build alternative (Phases I and II combined) is $10 in the lower growth scenario and $7 in the high growth scenario (1993 dollars, 2010 ridership). Information on Phase II alone is not available.


Environmental Benefits - Metropolitan Boston is a "moderate" nonattainment area for carbon monoxide and a "serious" nonattainment area for ozone. Phase II is expected to reduce regional vehicle miles traveled by 25,000 per day in the lower growth scenario and 31,390 per day in the high growth scenario when compared to the No-Build alternative.


Operating Efficiencies - The systemwide operating cost per passenger for the Full-Build alternative is $2.56 for the low growth scenario and $2.31 for the high growth scenario.

Local
Financial
Commitment

The MBTA is proposing a Section 5309 New Start funding share of 80 percent, with the local share to come from State bonds.


The capital financing plan is rated "medium". The bonding mechanism is in place and the 20 percent local share is relatively small compared with the available bonding capacity. The MBTA has obtained the state funding needed for Phase I and it may be assumed that the financing for Phase II will be forthcoming.


The stability and reliability of MBTA operating funds are also rated "medium". The state has strongly supported the operation and enhancement of the MBTA system. The MBTA system is being adequately maintained and replaced through continuing reinvestment. In 1995, the average age of the MBTA's bus fleet is 11 years, substantially above the national average. The average age of the rail transit fleet is 14 years, and commuter rail equipment averages 8.2 years of age.

Other Factors

Parking Policy - Boston has established a cap on the number of parking spaces to be provided in downtown and the South Boston Piers area to reduce air pollution. The cap will promote transit ridership through more effective pricing of parking in the metropolitan area.

Source of Funds Total Funding
($million)
Description
Federal:
Section 5309 New Start
FFGA Amount
$240.00 $0.0 million appropriated through FY 1996
Local: $0.00 N/A
State: $60.00 N/A
TOTAL $300.00

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South Boston Piers Transitway - Phase I

Boston, Massachusetts

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is developing an underground transitway connecting the MBTA's existing transit system with the South Boston Piers area. The Piers area, which is connected to Boston's central business district (CBD) by three local bridges, is slated for future development. Electric powered trackless trolleys or duel-mode vehicles will operate on the transitway and on limited surface routes in the eastern end of the Piers area. Phase I of the project, connecting South Station to the World Trade Center which is a distance of approximately one mile, is estimated to cost $413.4 million (escalated dollars). Daily transit trips to the Piers area is estimated to be 22,000 trips in the low growth scenario and 34,100 trips in the high growth scenario.

Status

Section 3035(j) of ISTEA directed FTA to enter into a multiyear grant agreement with the MBTA for $278 million. The MBTA completed alternatives analysis and selected a locally preferred alternative in February 1993. The final EIS was published in December 1993. The project has commenced with final design and construction activities. In November 1994, the FTA signed a full funding grant agreement with the MBTA for $330.73 million, which includes a contingent commitment for $53 million. The agreement covers final design and construction of Phase I. The project is expected to open for revenue service in December, 2000.

Source of Funds Total Funding
($million)
Description
Federal:
Section 5309 New Start
FFGA Amount
$330.73 $112.41 million appropriated through FY 1996
Local: $0.00 N/A
State:
Bond Funds
$82.68 N/A
TOTAL $413.41

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North Station - South Station Rail Link

Boston, Massachusetts

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is studying transit options in the corridor between North Station and South Station in downtown Boston. The alternatives include various configurations of a rail tunnel which would permit through commuter rail trains to serve both downtown stations. (Current MBTA commuter rail service is split into two completely separate services, one serving North Station and one serving South Station.) A rail tunnel would also permit Amtrak to provide through-service to communities north of Boston. The rail tunnel, electrification, and rolling stock are estimated to cost $2 to $4 billion (escalated dollars).

Status

Section 3035(ii) of ISTEA directed FTA to conduct a feasibility study of a proposed rail link between North Station and South Station in Boston. Two alignments were studied: a Congress Street alignment and an alignment following the Central Artery. The FTA completed the study in early 1995. In FY 1992, $250,000 New Start funds were used to underwrite the study. The study assessed the costs and benefits of both tunnel alternatives.


In 1993, the Central Artery Rail Link Task Force, under Massachusetts' Executive Office of Transportation and Construction (EOTC), studied a rail link in the Central Artery alignment and concluded that it would be feasible. The Task Force proposed that the Central Artery design be modified to create a "box" which would allow for the construction of a rail link at a later date when funding is available. These initial modifications are estimated to cost $100 million. Based on this study, Congress appropriated $4 million (in the FY 1993 Amtrak supplemental) to begin engineering. The MBTA is presently conducting a Major Investment Study (MIS), and a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) is being prepared.


The current study indicates that barrel tunnels along the Central Artery alignment would be a more cost effective design. This approach would reportedly reduce the needed design modification to the Central Artery highway project. The conceptual design and the Draft EIR/EIS/MIS are expected to be completed by the Summer of 1996.

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Urban Ring

Boston, Massachusetts

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is planning to conduct a Major Investment Study (MIS) of transit options for a circumferential corridor located just beyond the Boston central core. These alternatives would connect with existing commuter rail and transit lines and would generally follow the alignment of what had previously been a proposed inner belt highway. The alternatives being considered include rail service to new station stops on the existing radial system and enhanced local bus service. Initial cost estimates range from $20 million for the bus alternative to $1.4 billion (escalated dollars) for the full build alternative.

Status

An MIS will begin in the Winter of 1995/1996 and is expected to be completed early in 1998. The study will lead to the selection of a preferred alternative and a financing plan, and should produce the information FTA needs to evaluate the project as a potential candidate for discretionary funds. A local decision has been made to complete the MIS report, and at a later date complete the required environmental analysis. Several meetings of the MIS Working Group have been held.


Feasibility studies were conducted in 1989 and 1993 and will serve as the basis for the MIS. A key element of this study will be land use and development planning in the circumferential corridor.


Through FY 1995, Congress has appropriated $1.09 million for this study. A scoping meeting is scheduled for the first quarter of FY 1996 with consultant selection to be made during the second quarter.

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Burlington to Charlotte Corridor

Burlington, Vermont

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Vermont Agency on Transportation (VAOT) is considering transportation improvements in the 12-mile corridor between Burlington and Charlotte. Options considered include: do nothing, widening Shelburne Road (U.S. 7) to 4 lanes with the addition of a turning lane for 3.7 miles between Shelburne and South Burlington, hourly commuter rail service on the Vermont Railway right-of-way, express bus service serving the same stations/park and ride locations and an enhanced bus option.


The commuter rail improvements in this corridor will require upgrades to the Vermont Railway including track, signal, at grade crossing and drainage improvements. The terminus in Charlotte will be located near Ferry Road. In Burlington, the terminus would be the newly developed Main Street Landing/Union Station site. The project will include the construction of three stations, in addition to Union Station, with park-and-ride lots and integrated feeder bus service. The VAOT estimates the cost of the commuter rail alternative to be $7.7 million (in 1995 dollars).

Status

A Major Investment Study (MIS) has been completed and a public hearing on the preferred alternative has been held. The preferred alternative is a combination of highway improvements, passenger rail and enhanced bus service. The study includes a financing plan which identifies a capital local match and funding for ongoing passenger operations. The MIS identifies the total cost per passenger for the commuter rail component as $7.77 relative to the TSM option. The Environmental Assessment is currently being finalized.


Discretionary funds have been allocated in the amount of $5.58 million for rail improvements in this corridor in FY 1996 and the State of Vermont has committed the local match and STP transfer funds to make up the balance for the $7.7 million project.

Source of Funds Total Funding
($million)
Description
Federal:
Section 5309 New Start FFGA Amount
    $5.58 $5.58 million appropriated through FY 1996
    Flexible Funds $0.70 N/A
    Local: $0.00 N/A
    State:
    Bond Funds
    $1.40 N/A
    TOTAL $7.68

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    Burlington to Essex Corridor

    Burlington, Vermont

    (November 1, 1995)

    Description

    The Vermont Agency on Transportation (VAOT) is considering transportation improvements in the 8-mile corridor between Burlington and Essex.


    The commuter rail improvements in this corridor would include track, tunnel, signal, at grade crossing and drainage improvements. In Burlington, the terminus would be the newly developed Main Street Landing/Union Station site. Hourly commuter rail service would be provided on the New England Central Railway right-of-way.


    The project would include the construction of two stations, in addition to the renovation of the current Amtrak station in Essex Junction, with park-and-ride lots and integrated feeder bus service. The VAOT estimates the cost of commuter rail in the Essex-Burlington corridor to be $9 million (1995 dollars).

    Status

    A preliminary analysis of the Essex-Burlington corridor was included in the "Vermont Rail Feasibility Study" undertaken in 1993. Presently the State of Vermont, in conjunction with the Chittenden County MPO, intends to undertake an Environmental Assessment and detailed feasibility study, including operations planning, financial planning, detailed ridership projections, track and tunnel engineering and relate work. Results of these detailed analyses are expected in the spring and summer of 1996, at which time a go/no-go decision is expected.

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    Charlotte Priority Corridor

    Charlotte, North Carolina

    (November 1, 1995)

    Description

    The City of Charlotte is considering high-capacity rail and other transit alternatives in several corridors.

    Status

    Section 3035(r) of ISTEA directed FTA to sign a multiyear grant agreement with the City of Charlotte providing $0.5 million for the completion of system planning and alternatives analysis for a priority corridor. The City of Charlotte has completed a system planning study which examined alternative bus and rail technologies for each of eight different corridors in a radial pattern from the Charlotte central business district. The study recommends proceeding with more detailed planning analysis in the Airport, Pineville, and Matthews corridors. The next planning step would be a Major Investment Study (MIS) in one or more corridors to evaluate alternatives for addressing current and future transportation problems. No action has been taken to date by the city to initiate a MIS effort in the corridors.

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    Central Area Circulator

    Chicago, Illinois

    (November 1, 1995)

    Description

    The Chicago Central Area Circulator (CAC) project was planned as a multi-legged light rail transit system within downtown Chicago. The cost of constructing the entire light rail project was estimated to be $775 million (escalated dollars). Ridership was projected to be about 103,400 trips per day.

    Status

    Section 3035(e) of the ISTEA directed FTA to enter into a multiyear grant agreement with the City of Chicago for $260 million to carry out construction of the locally preferred alternative. Through FY 1996, Congress appropriated $116.23 million for preliminary engineering, final design, and construction.


    One third the capital cost of the system was proposed to come from the Section 5309 New Start program, one-third from the state, and one-third from the private sector (and the city) by means of a tax on commercial property within a special service area taxing district. However, the Illinois General Assembly and the Congress did not provide continued funding for the project in FY 1996.


    On October 24, 1995, the Executive Board of the CAC voted unanimously to recommend to the mayor and the city council the termination of the project. On October 26, 1995, city staff notified FTA that the project had been terminated. A letter confirming this decision will be sent by the city. FTA will be working with the city to close out the project.

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    Cincinnati Northeast Corridor

    Cincinnati, Ohio

    (November 1, 1995)

    Description

    The corridor extends from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport through downtown Cincinnati to Paramount's Kings Island Amusement Park in Warren County, Ohio. This 33-mile corridor paralleling I-71 generally runs in a northeasterly direction, and so is referred to as the Northeast Corridor. Alternatives being considered include No Build, TSM, light rail, busway, HOV lanes, and a highway alternative.


    The capital cost of the rail alternative, based on earlier system level planning, is $800 million.

    Status

    The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (the MPO) is conducting a Major Investment Study (MIS) for this corridor. The first phase of the public involvement and scoping process is complete and the range of alternatives has been reduced. A second round of public involvement and scoping meetings are getting underway. This phase of the study is expected to be completed in June 1997.


    For FY 1994 through 1996, Congress appropriated $3.5 million for the corridor.

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    Red Line Relocation, Dual Hub Corridor

    Cleveland, Ohio

    (November 1, 1995)

    Description

    The Dual Hub corridor connects two major employment centers, downtown Cleveland and University Circle, which are about 6 miles apart. Cleveland's existing Red Line just touches the edges of these employment centers. Between them, the Red Line follows an old industrial railroad alignment well south of the busiest transit corridor on the eastside of downtown. The LRT-like Red Line and the Shaker Heights LRT lines serve only a single station in downtown. This study is considering alternatives for relocating the eastside Red Line farther north and connecting in the Shaker Heights lines so that all lines serve the major employment sites at University Circle, then follow the busiest eastside bus route to downtown with multiple stations in the heart of downtown. A locally preferred alternative is expected to be selected by the end of 1995.

    Status

    Section 3035(t) of ISTEA directed FTA to negotiate and sign a multiyear grant agreement with Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) to complete the alternatives analysis. Through FY 1996, Congress has appropriated $8.7 million in New Start funds for the project. In July 1995, Congress rescinded $3.2 million reducing the total amount of funds available to $5.5 million.


    GCRTA is using a tiered approach to project decision making. A draft environmental impact statement (EIS) was prepared to help narrow the large number of rail alignment alternatives. In the second phase of the alternatives analysis, GCRTA has improved its travel demand models, ridership estimates, and cost estimates. This new information has been documented and made public in a report evaluating the No-Build, the best TSM alternative, and the rail alternatives surviving the evaluation of the original draft EIS. GCRTA and the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (the MPO) are expected to select a locally preferred alternative prior to the end of 1995.

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    Highland Hills Corridor

    Cleveland, Ohio

    (November 1, 1995)

    Description

    The corridor extends from the terminus of Cleveland's Blue line (at the intersection of Van Aken Boulevard and Warrensville Center Road in Shaker Heights) to Highland Hills.

    Status

    Section 3035(zz) of ISTEA directed FTA to enter into a multiyear grant agreement with the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority for $1.2 million to provide for the completion of alternatives analysis and preliminary engineering. Congress has not yet appropriated these funds. Possible transportation improvements for the corridor are being considered in the system planning phase. One alternative is the extension of the Blue Line.

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    Northeast Ohio Commuter Rail Feasibility Study

    Cleveland, Ohio

    (November 1, 1995)

    Description

    This proposal involves commuter rail service to connect urban and suburban areas of northeastern Ohio.

    Status

    Section 3035(w) of ISTEA directed FTA to sign a multiyear grant agreement with the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) in the amount of $1.6 million for a commuter rail feasibility study. The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency has received a grant for $800,000 and has begun work on Phase I of the study. In this phase, NOACA is looking at existing and proposed land use patterns and impacts, preliminary ridership estimates, preliminary cost estimates, and will select potential commuter rail corridors in the Cleveland, Ohio area for further study. The first phase of study is expected to be completed in mid-1996.


    Phase II, if funds are made available, will complete the analysis by assessing economic and environmental implications of a commuter rail system, as well as other transportation modes available to meet anticipated travel demand. Phase II would also include preliminary design, cost and integration with existing transit services.

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    North Central Corridor

    Dallas, Texas

    (November 1, 1995)

    Description

    Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) plans to build a North Central Corridor LRT extension beyond the Park Lane Station of their starter system, which is currently under construction. The project is 11.4 miles long with 6 stations, terminating in Plano. The southern 6.8 miles, from Park Lane to the Richardson Transit Center, would be double tracked. The northern 5.5 miles would be single tracked with limited station development. DART estimates that over 11,000 daily riders will use this extension in 2010. The project is estimated to cost $354.3 million (escalated dollars).

    Status

    DART completed a Major Investment Study and selected a preferred alternative in 1994. The project is included in the regionally adopted metropolitan transportation plan and transportation improvement program which are in conformance with the state implementation plan for air quality.


    The project is now in the preliminary engineering phase. A draft EIS should be ready for circulation in the Summer of 1996.


    There is no ISTEA authorization for this project. Through FY 1996, Congress has appropriated $5.4 million.

    Justification

    Mobility Improvements - The LRT extension is estimated to save 3,619 hours of travel time daily (compared with a TSM alternative). Approximately 3,800 new daily riders are expected to be attracted by the line.

    Cost Effectiveness - The cost effectiveness index is $9 per new trip.

    Environmental Benefits - Dallas/Ft. Worth is classified as a "moderate" nonattainment area for ozone. It is estimated that the project would reduce regional pollution emissions by 0.7 tons per day.

    Operating Efficiencies - Systemwide operating cost per passenger for the no-build alternative is $2.88, for the TSM alternative is $2.99, and for the LPA alternative is $2.89.

    Local
    Financial
    Commitment

    DART is requesting a 50 percent Federal share for the project, or $177.2 million. The local share would come from an existing 1 percent sales tax dedicated to DART. The agency is authorized to issue short-term notes of 5 years or less. The North Central project is part of a 20-year, $5.6 billion transit capital program adopted in 1989. For the total program, DART plans to seek $1.05 billion in Federal funds from the Section 5309, Section 5307, and CMAQ programs.


    The capital finance plan is rated "high". Overall, DART presents a sound financial plan for supporting its capital expansion program. Projected growth in sales tax proceeds appears reasonable, if slightly above recent trends. With DART's decrease in total debt issuance and overall financial stability, the debt financing component of the financial plan appears sound.


    The stability and reliability of operating funds are rated "low-medium". Projected increases in operating costs are consistent with the planned system expansion. The sales tax is projected to provide 74 percent of capital and operating revenues. The assumed growth in sales tax receipts slightly exceeds recent trends but appears reasonable. DART's financial capability is highly dependent on the growth in sales tax receipts, and the agency could experience financial difficulty if the assumed growth rates are not achieved. Farebox and other operating revenues are projected to grow more rapidly than operating costs, and much more rapidly than recent trends. In 1995, DART's bus fleet averaged 9.5 years old, which is slightly higher than the national average.

    Source of Funds Total Funding
    ($million)
    Description
    Federal:
    Section 5309 New Start
    FFGA Amount
    $177.20 $5.44 million appropriated through FY 1996
    Local: $177.20 N/A
    TOTAL $354.40

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    Woodward Corridor

    Detroit, Michigan

    (November 1, 1995)

    Description

    The Woodward Corridor extends for a distance of about 14 miles northwest from the Detroit CBD. Portions of the corridor are within the Federally designated Empowerment Zone. The area has been advanced as a possible light rail corridor with the possibility of a busway as an interim alternative. There is no current cost estimate or ridership forecast. In the early 1980's, when planning for this proposal was suspended, a LRT project for the corridor had a construction cost estimate of $1.4 billion.

    Status

    Section 3035(m) of ISTEA directed FTA to enter into a multiyear agreement with the City of Detroit in the amount of $20 million for the completion of alternatives analysis and preliminary engineering for a light rail project. This corridor has been identified by the City of Detroit to be the Woodward Corridor. Congress has appropriated $10 million for these studies. In the 1970's and early 1980's, Detroit conducted alternatives analysis and nearly completed preliminary engineering (PE) for LRT in the Woodward Corridor. The project became inactive in 1985 due to a lack of funding. In June 1995, the metropolitan Detroit tri-counties of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb passed the first county-wide dedicated funding initiative to support suburban transit services. The City of Detroit continues to subsidize public transit through its General Fund contributions averaging approximately $27 million in recent years.


    Detroit has applied for a grant to review the previous alternatives analysis and PE and to prepare a work scope for necessary updates. Local reviews of literature focusing on busways has resulted in the consideration of busways as an interim transit mode due to cost and flexibility. Additional analysis of capital and operating perspectives will be conducted.


    The City of Detroit has recently received favorable funding action by the State of Michigan in support of a new sports/entertainment stadium complex in the Woodward corridor. The City of Detroit and private sector representatives have announced agreement to construct the new sports/entertainment complex. The development of this project and the continued growth of the adjacent theatre district and housing is expected

    to generate significant job growth, economic development and transportation needs for the near future.


    As a result of these new conditions much of the information developed in the earlier studies will need to be modified to include busway analysis as an alternative interim proposal when project planning is resumed.

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    RAILTRAN Phase 2

    Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas

    (November 1, 1995)

    Description

    The RAILTRAN project will provide commuter rail service between Dallas and Fort Worth. Phase 1 will provide 10 miles of service between Dallas and South Irving. Phase 2, the subject of this profile, would provide an additional 25 miles of service between South Irving and Fort Worth. Phase 2 also includes the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center. Phase 2 is estimated to carry about 10,200 riders a day and to cost $129.01 million. Phase 3 would ultimately extend service to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

    Status

    In 1984, the RAILTRAN right-of-way between Dallas and Fort Worth was purchased with FTA assistance as directed by Congress. Since then the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern have been operating freight service on the tracks. Section 3035(x) of ISTEA directed FTA to negotiate and sign a multiyear grant agreement with the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth in the amount of $5.7 million for preliminary engineering and construction of improvements to the Dallas/Fort Worth RAILTRAN System. In FYs 1992 through 1996, Congress appropriated $11.4 million for this project. FTA has obligated $2.5 million of the earmarked funds for preliminary engineering.


    The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (FWTA) and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) have signed an agreement on the construction, operation and financing of the RAILTRAN service. Phase 1 is expected to open in the Fall of 1996. Phase 2 is scheduled to open in July 1999.


    Final design and land acquisition for the Intermodal Transportation Center were approved September 1995.


    The project is included in the MPO's adopted metropolitan transportation plan and transportation improvement program, both of which are in conformance with the state implementation plan for air quality.

    Justification

    Mobility Improvements - RAILTRAN project would provide commuter rail service to the downtowns of Dallas and Fort Worth and the cities in between. Phase 2 is expected to save approximately 730 hours of travel time per day compared with the TSM alternative.

    Cost Effectiveness - The cost effectiveness index is $8 per new rider (1995 dollars, year 2010 riders).

    Environmental Benefits - Dallas/Fort Worth is a "moderate" non-attainment area for ozone and an attainment area for carbon monoxide. It is estimated that the project would reduce regional pollution emissions by 136 tons per year for carbon monoxide, 30 tons per year for hydrocarbons, and 38 tons per year for nitrogen oxide.

    Operating Efficiencies -. In the Dallas-Fort Worth corridor alone, the operating costs per passenger are estimated to be $3.24 for the TSM alternative and $2.93 for the commuter rail alternative. FTA has no information on the systemwide operating efficiencies that would result from this project. 

    Local
    Financial
    Commitment

    Phase 1 of the project was fully funded with local, Section 5307 and CMAQ funds. No Section 5309 New Start funds were involved.


    The capital funding plan for Phase 2 assumes a 46 percent Section 5309 New Start share. Other Federal funds would come from the Section 5307, CMAQ, Highway Demonstration, and STP Enhancement programs. Funds from a dedicated sales tax and other local revenues constitute 23 percent of the financial plan.


    The capital finance plan is rated "medium". The local sales tax funds and other local revenues are already dedicated to the project. Cash reserves are available to fund the local match.


    The stability and reliability of the operating plan is rated "low-medium". The plan assumes that operating and maintenance costs will grow more slowly than past trends at a time when new service is being introduced. The projected farebox recovery ratio of 50 percent seems high compared with other U.S. commuter rail operations. In 1994, the average age of the FWTA's bus fleet was 9.5, which is sligthly above the national average.

    Source of Funds Total Funding
    ($million)
    Description
    Federal:
    Section 5309 New Start FFGA Amount
      $58.80 $11.39 million appropriated through FY 1996
      Flexible Funds $18.80 N/A
      Local: $30.30 N/A
      State:
      Bond Funds
      $21.10 N/A
      TOTAL $129.00

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      Southwest LRT

      Denver, Colorado

      (April 1, 1996)

      Description

      The Regional Transportation District (RTD) is developing an 8.7-mile light rail transit (LRT) extension from the I-25/Broadway interchange in Denver to Mineral Avenue in Littleton. The double-track system will operate over an exclusive, grade-separated right-of-way and connect with the existing 5.3-mile Central Corridor light rail line, which was constructed entirely with local funds and opened in October 1994.


      The capital cost for the project is $177.4 million (escalated dollars). This estimate includes local costs already incurred by RTD for right-of-way acquisition, a portion of an existing LRT maintenance and storage facility, Southwest transit improvements, and preliminary engineering, as well as new costs for final design, construction, and the acquisition of rolling stock. RTD estimates that the proposed line will carry 8,400 passengers per day in the year 2000 (opening year) and 22,000 passengers per day in 2015.

      Status

      RTD has completed preliminary engineering. The draft EIS was circulated during 1995 and the final EIS was approved in February, 1996. The Record of Decision (ROD) was issued in March, 1996. The project is included in the MPO's transportation plan and transportation improvement program.


      The RTD Board recently authorized approximately $3 million in local and $900,000 in Section 5307 funds to conduct final design of the project. Congress has not authorized or appropriated any funds for this project.

      Justification

      Mobility Improvements - The project will reduce transit travel time between Littleton and downtown Denver from 44 minutes to 25 minutes in the year 2015, a savings of 43 percent. The total travel time savings will be 2,700 hours per day in 2015.

      Cost Effectiveness - The cost effectiveness index is $3.00 per new rider (1995 dollars, 2015 ridership).

      Environmental Benefits - Denver is classified as a "transitional" nonattainment area for ozone and a "serious" nonattainment area for carbon monoxide. The project would reduce vehicle miles traveled by 33,300 per day, compared with the no build alternative.

      Operating Efficiencies - For the Southwest Corridor alone, the operating and maintenance cost is estimated to be $0.70 per passenger with LRT, $1.40 per passenger for the TSM alternative, and $1.20 per passenger for the no build alternative. Comparable values for the entire RTD system are not currently available.

      Local
      Financial
      Commitment

      RTD is considering four funding scenarios. One scenario involves an 80 percent Section 5309 New Start share. Under another scenario, the Section 5309 New Start share would be reduced and replaced with flexible STP/CMAQ funds. In either case, much of the local share would be derived from RTD's 0.6 percent dedicated sales and use tax. RTD also will seek credit for the costs it has already incurred to purchase the right-of-way, construct part of the existing LRT maintenance facility, preserve a transit envelope along Southwest corridor, and final engineer for the project.


      It is noteworthy that the existing 5.3-mile Central Corridor was all locally funded. If the existing segment were included in the financial analysis, the federal share of the entire line would be 46 percent.

      RTD's capital financing plan is rated "high". The agency has $26 million set aside for the project in its fixed guideway capital reserve, and the value of RTD's in-kind contributions approaches $20 million. Thus, the entire local share is currently in place. RTD also has significant debt capacity and debt service coverage that could be tapped if necessary.


      The stability and reliability of RTD's operating funds are rated "medium". Projections of sales tax revenue growth are consistent with trend data. It is anticipated that RTD will be able to operate a major investment and continue operating its existing system. In 1994, the average age of RTD's bus fleet was 7.1 years old, which is lower than the national average. LRT vehicles currently used in the Central Corridor line are 1 year old.

      Source of Funds Total Funding
      ($million)
      Description
      Federal:
      Section 5309 New Start FFGA Amount
        $120.00 $0.0 million appropriated through FY 1996
        Section 5307 $0.90 N/A
        Local:
        RTD Sales and Use Tax and in-kind contributions
        $56.50 N/A
        TOTAL $177.40

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        Dulles Corridor

        Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area

        (November 1, 1995)

        Description

        The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (VDRPT) is studying several transportation options in the Dulles corridor. The corridor extends from the West Falls Church Metrorail Station to Dulles International Airport and continuing into Loudoun County. Currently, shuttle bus service is provided from this station to the airport on an exclusive airport access highway at a fare of $7.00 one way. There is also a significant level of local and express bus service in the corridor. The alternatives being considered include various rail technologies and alignments, a no-build alternative, and a TSM alternative. A rail alternative to the airport is estimated to have a capital cost of more than $1 billion.

        Status

        Section 3035(aaa) of ISTEA directed FTA to enter into a multiyear grant agreement with the State of Virginia in the amount of $6 million for completion of alternatives analysis and preliminary engineering. FTA provided a grant for $500,000 in February 1995. An additional $500,000 was appropriated for this work in FY 1996.


        VDRPT is conducting a Major Investment Study (MIS). The MIS will generate information on the mobility improvements, cost effectiveness, environmental benefits, and operating efficiencies associated with each alternative. The study is expected to be completed in March 1996, at which time a preferred alternative and funding plan will be selected.


        Studies of transit alternatives have previously been performed with FTA sponsorship. Based on these studies, Fairfax County is implementing a bus system consisting of park-and-ride lots, bus stations, and express bus routes on planned, but not yet implemented, HOV lanes. These improvements, coupled with increased bus service if sufficient operating funds can be found, would help develop a transit market in the corridor. In addition, the park-and-ride lots would preserve critical rights-of-way for stations on any eventual rail line in the corridor. Through FY 1995, Congress has appropriated $16 million in discretionary bus funds for the Dulles corridor bus program and Herndon area park and ride lots. This supplements $18.4 million, which was granted in FY 1991.

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