Appendix A Listing 3

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Griffin Line Corridor

Hartford, Connecticut

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Greater Hartford Transit District (GHTD) is proposing a 9.2-mile light rail line from Union Station in Hartford to Griffin Center Office Park in Bloomfield. The project is estimated to cost $176 million (1994 dollars).

Status

A Major Investment Study (MIS) is nearing completion. The study has considered a busway, a bus bypass roadway, light rail transit (LRT), a no build alternative, and a TSM alternative. In July 1995, the Capital Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) and the Hartford Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) selected light rail as the preferred alternative, and directed the GHTD to develop a detailed financing and implementation plan. GHTD and CRCOG are working with Federal, State, regional, local and private sector officials to complete a financing and implementation plan for light rail which will complete the MIS process. The target completion date for the MIS is October 1996.


Congress has not authorized or appropriated any funds for the Griffin Line Corridor.

Justification

Mobility Improvements - The GHTD estimates the LRT would increase daily transit trips in year 2010 ranging from 75,900 for the baseline alternative to 78,500 under the optimal operating plan, compared with 73,500 for the TSM alternative and 71,900 for the No-Build alternative. The project is expected to save 1750 hours of travel time per day (compared with a TSM alternative).


Cost Effectiveness - The cost-effectiveness index ranges from $13 per new rider under the optimal operating plan to $18 per new rider for the baseline alternative.


Environmental Benefits - The Capital Region is classified as a "serious" non-attainment area for ozone and as a "moderate" non-attainment area for carbon monoxide. The air quality analysis for the MIS found that the LRT alternative would produce the greatest air quality benefits for all alternatives, reducing regional emissions by less than 1 percent.


Operating Efficiencies - The systemwide operating cost per passenger in year 2010 (1994 dollars) is estimated to be $1.32 for the No-Build alternative, $1.39 for the TSM alternative, and $1.46 for the light rail alternative which is the range from the optimal operating plan to the baseline LPA alternative.

Local
Financial
Commitment

The GHTD is completing the Griffin Line Financing and Implementation Plan that involves and is following the policy guidance of a Task Force including Federal, State, regional, local, and private sector officials. It is anticipated that the plan will include a package of traditional Federal and State transportation funding sources, non-traditional and non-transportation public sector funding sources, as well as private institutional financing mechanisms.

Other
Factors

The MIS has included coordinated transit, land use, and economic development activities. A possible extension of service in downtown Hartford and to the city's enterprise zone is being considered.

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Regional Bus Plan

Houston, Texas

(November 1, 1995)

Description

Houston Metro's Regional Bus Plan (RBP) is a package of improvements to the bus system. The $625 million project includes new and extended HOV facilities and ramps, several transit centers and park & ride lots, bus acquisitions, bus service expansion, and supporting facilities.

Status

Section 3035(uu) of ISTEA directed FTA to negotiate and sign a multiyear grant agreement for $500 million. In December 1994, FTA and Houston Metro signed a full funding grant agreement (FFGA) for a total of $625 million . The FFGA calls for FTA to contribute $500 million (80 percent). In addition to the $125 million (20 percent ) for projects in the FFGA, Houston Metro intends to fund projects costing $375 million entirely with local funds.


The RBP is included in the Houston area's adopted metropolitan transportation plan and Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) which are in conformance with the State Implementation Plan for air quality.


Houston received Section 5309 New Start appropriations and obligations between FY 1989 and 1996 totaling $287.02 million. Houston is currently in the construction phase of the Regional Bus Plan.

Source of Funds Total Funding
($million)
Description
Federal:
Section 5309 New Start
FFGA Amount
$500.00 $287.02 million appropriated through FY 1996
Local: $125.00 N/A
TOTAL $625.00

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ASE Extension: Flagler to duPont Place

Jacksonville, Florida

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) is developing a 0.3-mile extension of the Automated Skyway Express (ASE) south of downtown Jacksonville, plus completion of a maintenance facility. The extension consists of an elevated, double track guideway running from the San Marco to Flagler Station segment, now under construction, through the South Bank business district to the duPont Station (formerly St. Johns Place). This final segment will complete the 2.5-mile ASE system. The 0.3-mile segment and completion of maintenance facility are estimated to cost $31.4 million.

JTA estimates that 38,000 to 51,000 riders will use the 2.5-mile ASE system in 2005, depending on development and parking assumptions. JTA has assumed 38,000 in its planning estimate.

Status

An 0.7-mile Phase 1-A segment or "starter line" opened for revenue service in June 1989. The line is averaging about 1,600 riders per day.


In September 1991, at congressional direction, FTA and JTA entered into a full funding grant agreement (FFGA) for a 0.6-mile north extension of the starter line. This project was to extend the ASE through downtown to Florida Community College. Civil construction is now complete for this section. Service is awaiting completion of systems and vehicle procurement.


Section 3035(vv) of ISTEA directed FTA to enter into a multiyear grant agreement for $71.2 million to complete the 2.5-mile ASE system.


In 1994, JTA and FTA amended the 1991 FFGA. The revised FFGA expanded the funded part of the system to the San Marco station south of downtown. Construction of the river crossing segment is currently underway with work on schedule and within budget. No additional Federal funds are needed to fulfill the FFGA commitment. The JTA has requested a change in the current FFGA to provide for construction of the Flagler Station with no increase in Federal funding.


The south extension covered in this profile would add to the system funded in the 1994 FFGA. The 0.3-mile extension is in final design. In FY 1996, Congress appropriated $9.6 million for this segment.

Justification

The ASE project is exempt from the New Start criteria because it was in preliminary engineering before 1987.

Local
Financial
Commitment

JTA is seeking an 80 percent Section 5309 New Start share, or $25 million, for the final segment and completion of the maintenance facility. Local funds would be supplied by the state and locally provided right-of-way. The $108.4 million extension covered in the 1994 FFGA has a local share of 60 percent.


The capital finance plan is rated "medium". JTA does not have an ongoing dedicated funding source to support its transit capital program. The agency has been successful in obtaining state and local funds for other elements of the ASE system.


The stability and reliability of JTA's operating revenues are rated "medium". JTA expects to cover operating expenses from the system's operating revenue stream. The starter line, with only half the planned parking available, achieved a first year operating revenue recovery ratio of 55 percent. JTA expects this ratio to increase to a break even basis (100 percent) by 2000. In 1994, the average age of the JTA bus fleet was 7.5 years old, which is better than the national average.

Proposed Source of Funds Total Funding
($million)
Description
Federal:
Section 5309 New Start
$25.00 $9.60 million appropriated through FY 1996
Local:
Right of Way
$6.40 N/A
TOTAL $31.40

NOTE: Funding proposal reflects assumptions made by project sponsors, and are not DOT or FTA assumptions.

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Southtown Corridor

Kansas City, Missouri

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) is proposing a 15.2-mile LRT project in the Southtown Corridor. The project would extend from the riverfront and downtown Kansas City south to the Country Club Plaza and to 85th Street and Holmes Road. The project also includes an eastern line from the Country Club Plaza to Watkins Drive and south to 75th Street. KCATA proposes to build the project in phases. The starter project is 5.6 miles in length and runs from the River Market to 51st Street at the southern edge of the Plaza. It is estimated to cost $200 million (1994 dollars) and would carry 10,800 riders per day in 2010. The full 15.2-mile system is estimated to cost $450 million (1994 dollars) and would carry 16,800 riders per day in 2010.

Status

Section 3035(k) of ISTEA directed FTA to enter into a multiyear grant agreement in the amount of $5.9 million with KCATA to provide for the completion of alternatives analysis and preliminary engineering. Through FY 1996, Congress has appropriated $1.5 million (of which $0.5 million was rescinded in FY 1995).


In December 1994, the KCATA Board of Commissioners selected the locally preferred alternative described above. The Alternatives Analysis/Major Investment Study (MIS) was completed during 1995. The project is included in the Mid-America Regional Council of Governments (the MPO) adopted long range transportation plan.


In October 1995, FTA approved the initiation of preliminary engineering. Draft and final EISs will be produced during preliminary engineering, and the financial plan will be refined.

Justification

Mobility Improvements - KCATA estimates that the 15.2-mile route will increase total transit trips (bus and rail) by 8,100 per day. The preferred alternative is projected to save 420 hours of travel time per day in year 2010.


Cost Effectiveness - The cost effectiveness index for the 15.2-mile system is $15 per new rider. For the starter project, the index is $12 per new rider.


Environmental Benefits - Kansas City is a "maintenance" area for ozone and carbon monoxide. The project is expected to have some modest, positive impact on emissions.


Operating Efficiencies - Based on 20-year projected ridership and operating costs, the systemwide operating cost for the TSM alternative would be $2.37 per passenger; for the preferred LRT alternative, it would be $2.54 per passenger; for the starter project, it would be $2.92 per passenger.

Local
Financial
Commitment

KCATA considered several financing scenarios in the MIS, ranging from a 50 to 80 percent Section 5309 New Start share. The remaining funds would be derived through a new, yet to be determined local or statewide funding source. KCATA has been working with the Missouri Legislature and the Missouri Highway and Transportation Department in an attempt to develop a state-supported permanent funding source for transit capital and operating costs. An increase in the state sales tax is one proposal.


The capital finance plan is rated "low-medium". While KCATA has a general financing strategy, a specific funding source has not yet been identified. The financial feasibility of the project depends on the creation of a new funding source that is adequate to meet capital funding needs.


A state program along the lines of those being pursued could be sufficient to fund the $200 million phase 1 project even with a 50 percent Federal share.


The stability and reliability of operating assistance are rated "low-medium". One-half cent of the general sales tax in the City of Kansas City, Missouri is reserved for transportation and currently represents the largest source of funding assistance to KCATA. This source is keeping pace with inflation, but KCATA has found it necessary to reduce service levels. Additional funding sources not yet identified or in place will be needed to support the expanded operations associated with the LRT line. In 1994, KCATA's bus fleet averaged 7.5 years old, which is better than the national average.

Proposed Source of Funds Total Funding
($million)
Description
Federal:
Section 5309 New Start
$360.00 $1.0 million appropriated through FY 1996
State: $90.00 N/A
TOTAL $450.00

NOTE: Funding proposal reflects assumptions made by project sponsors, and are not DOT or FTA assumptions.

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Eastside Corridor Extension

Los Angeles, California

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) is proposing to extend the Metro Rail Red Line from its current eastern terminus at Union Station. The first 3.7-mile segment, from Union Station to First and Lorena, is covered in the full funding grant agreement (FFGA) for MOS-3 (see MOS-3 profile). The second segment, from First and Lorena to Atlantic and Whittier Boulevards in East Los Angeles, constitutes the Eastside Corridor Extension discussed here. The Eastside Corridor Extension is 3.1 miles in length with three stations, all in subway. The project is estimated to cost $1,271 million (escalated dollars).

Status

The preliminary engineering phase of project development was initiated in 1993, and the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the entire Eastside project was completed in September 1994. The project is included in the MPO's financially constrained plan.


LACMTA expects to begin construction in 2008. Accordingly, the project is not yet in the TIP.


Congress has not authorized or appropriated funds for the Eastside Extension beyond the first 3.7 miles, which are included in MOS-3.

Justification

Mobility Improvements - LACMTA predicts that the project would increase transit ridership by 4,000 trips per day.


Cost Effectiveness - Not available.


Environmental Benefits - The project is located in the South Coast Air Basin which is a "serious" nonattainment area for carbon monoxide and an "extreme" nonattainment area for ozone. The extension would reduce vehicle miles traveled and regional emissions by .03 percent.


Operating Efficiencies - Not available.

Local
Financial
Commitment

In its Long Range Plan, LACMTA has indicated that the project can be funded and constructed within the next 20 years. The financial plan assumes $635.5 million (50 percent) Section 5309 New Start funding, $90 million (7 percent) in STP and CMAQ flexible funds, $470 million (37 percent) from bonds secured by local sales tax revenues, and other state and local funds making up the balance. The Section 5309 share of LACMTA's total 20-year rail construction program is 21 percent.


FTA's financial contractor reports that LACMTA presents a balanced financial plan that appears able to support construction and operation of the segment. However, since the East Side Extension is not scheduled for construction until 2008, the capital finance plan and the stability and reliability of operating assistance have not been rated.


In 1994, the Los Angeles County bus fleet averaged 8.2 years old, which is better than the national average. Rail vehicles averaged 3 years old.

Proposed Source of Funds Total Funding
($million)
Description
Federal:
Section 5309 New Start
$635.50 $0.00 million appropriated through FY 1996
Flexible Funds $90.00 N/A
State/Local: $545.50 N/A
TOTAL $1271.00

NOTE: Funding proposal reflects assumptions made by project sponsors, and are not DOT or FTA assumptions.

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MOS-3 Extensions of Metro Rail

Los Angeles, California

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The 23-mile, $5.7 billion Metro Rail Red Line Project in Los Angeles is planned as "minimum operable segments" (MOSs) for funding purposes. The 4.4-mile, 5-station segment called MOS-1 opened for revenue service in January 1993. The 7-mile, 8-station segments known as MOS-2 are under construction, and New Start funds sufficiently to fulfill the FTA financial commitment to MOS-2, as set forth in the Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) of April 1990 between FTA and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA), have already been appropriated.


ISTEA defined MOS-3 to include three Metro Rail extensions:

  1. The North Hollywood Extension is 6.3 miles in length with three stations, all in subway. It extends the Hollywood branch of MOS-2 generally to the north through the Santa Monica mountains into North Hollywood in the San Fernando Valley. The estimated cost is $1.31 billion (escallated dollars).
  2. The East Side Extension 3.7 miles in length with four stations, all in subway. It extends MOS-1 into neighborhoods east of downtown. The estimated cost is $980 million (escalated dollars).
  3. The Mid-City Extension extends the Wilshire Boulevard branch generally to the west beyond the MOS-2 terminus at Western Avenue. It adds 2.3 miles and two stations to the system. At present, the estimated cost is $491 million. Ridership is estimated at 37,000 daily boardings.
Status

Section 3034 of ISTEA directed FTA to amend the FFGA for MOS-2 to include the construction of MOS-3. LACMTA and FTA signed a FFGA for MOS-3 in May 1993 which provided $1.230 billion (plus interest and extraordinary costs) in New Start funds and advance construction authority for the three extensions of MOS-3. Subsequently, the FFGA was amended to provide an additional $187 million for a total of $1.417 billion in New Start funding. The Amended New Start share of MOS-3 is about 51 percent. LACMTA intends to fund an additional 6 percent or more of MOS-3, that is, at least $166 million, from the Surface Transportation Program of Title 23 (Highways), United States Code. Through 1996, Congress has appropriated $440.70 million in New Start funds for MOS-3.


The North Hollywood Extension is under construction and the East Side Extension is undergoing final design. Tunnel construction along Hollywood Boulevard, which was suspended for several months in 1994 when significant surface damage occurred, was resumed in December 1994 with FTA approval.


The Mid-City Extension was originally planned to be primarily in tunneled subway. However, after the FFGA for MOS-3 was signed, core sampling found such high levels of naturally occurring, toxic hydrogen sulfide gas at the planned depth of the tunnel that LACMTA has abandoned its original plan. LACMTA has reopened the public environmental review of the Mid-City Extension to consider alternative vertical alignments, including more extensive cut-and-cover tunnel construction closer to the surface and possible aerial segments. Costs for the new vertical alternatives will be developed as part of the environmental process. LACMTA is also studying major reconfigurations of the surface facilities associated with two stations and a vent shaft along the North Hollywood Extension due to land use changes in the area since the original plans were presented in 1983 and 1989.

Proposed Source of Funds Total Funding
($million)
Description
Federal:
Section 5309 New Start
$1416.49 $440.71 million appropriated through FY 1996
Flexible Funds $377.15 N/A
Local: $987.45 N/A
TOTAL $2781.09

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West Central Corridor

Los Angeles, California

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The West Central Corridor extends from the proposed Pico/San Vicente station on the Metro Rail Red Line to Westwood near the University of California at Los Angeles campus, a distance of about 7 miles. One alternative that has been proposed for study is an extension of the Los Angeles Metro Rail system. This alternative is currently assumed to be entirely in subway and is estimated to cost about $3.0 billion (escalated dollars).

Status

FTA approved the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (LACMTA) request to initiate alternatives analysis in July 1991. The study is currently on hold until the alignment of the Mid City segment of the Red Line is determined (see MOS-3 profile). The alternatives analysis (now called Major Investment Study) will further explore the Metro Rail extension alternative and other alternatives.


Congress has not authorized or appropriated any funds for this corridor.

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LOSSAN Rail Corridor Improvement Project

Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties, California

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The LOSSAN improvements are part of a long-range plan to increase speed, safety and capacity for rail service in the Los Angeles-San Diego Rail Corridor. The project consists of three grade separation projects along the corridor including one in the City of Commerce (Los Angeles County), the City of Fullerton (Orange County) and the City of Solana Beach (San Diego County).

Status

Section 3035(g) of ISTEA directed FTA to enter into a multiyear grant agreement with the Los Angeles-San Diego Rail Corridor Agency to provide for track and safety improvements to the Corridor. ISTEA authorized $20 million in Section 5309 New Start funds for the project of which $18.4 million has been appropriated through FY 1996.


The Fullerton project has received $6.7 million of the appropriated funds and is under way. The City of Commerce received $3.3 million of the initial appropriation and will receive a share of the $8.4 million FY 1996 appropriation. Its project is at 50 percent design. The Solana Beach project received none of the initial appropriation but will receive a significant share of the 1996 appropriation. It is at 95 percent design and will be ready for construction as soon as all funding sources are in place.


All environmental work has been completed.

Justification

The project is exempt from the new start criteria because the Section 5309 share is less than $25 million.


Mobility Improvements - The current LOSSAN trip is 2 hours and 50 minutes between San Diego and Los Angeles. The goal of the improvements being undertaken in the LOSSAN Corridor is to reduce the travel time to 2 hours and 15 minutes. The grade separation projects will improve travel time by allowing speed restrictions to be lifted at these hazardous grade crossings.


Cost Effectiveness - This project does not provide for new or improved service. No new riders are anticipated.


Environmental Benefits - There is presently heavy auto and truck traffic congestion at the Telegraph Road Grade separation due to lane imbalances which will be resolved with completion of the project. Lomas Santa Fe Drive-Lomas Santa Fe Drive is the only east-west arterial access across the railroad tracks within the City of Solana Beach. Volume exceeds 45,000 ADT and the closing of the road for at grade crossing of multiple commuter, intercity and freight trains causes congestion and resultant emissions at the grade crossing.


The projects, as part of a larger effort to develop a high-speed rail corridor, are expected to absorb large measures of the growth of the regions freeways and airports. The reduction in congestion will be evident not by an actual reduction in the number of vehicles, but in maintaining the existing air and vehicular traffic levels. The estimated 2 million trips annually that are diverted from the freeway to rail in Southern California alone represent a significant portion of the expected traffic growth along the I-5 corridor.


Operating Efficiencies - Impact of three grade separations or operating cost per passenger is minimal.

Local
Financial
Commitment

The local financial commitment of $8.5 million equals 38 percent of the total project cost. This amount is apart from the total capital improvements completed in the corridor with State and local funds in excess of $200 million.

Other
Factors

In 1992, the U.S. Department of Transportation designated five corridors nationwide to be developed into high-speed rail corridors. One is the San Diego-Sacramento route, of which the Los Angeles-San Diego (LOSSAN) corridor is the southernmost segment.

Proposed Source of Funds Total Funding
($million)
Description
Federal:
Section 5309 New Start
$18.40 $18.40 million appropriated through FY 1996
State/Local: $11.28 N/A
TOTAL $29.68

NOTE: Funding proposal reflects assumptions made by project sponsors, and are not DOT or FTA assumptions.

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Memphis Regional Rail

Memphis, Tennessee

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) is studying transit options in the corridor between downtown Memphis and the Medical Center. The Medical Center Corridor connects the two largest employment centers in the region. Currently, employment in the corridor is over 80,000. In addition, there are growing residential concentrations downtown and in the Medical Center, generating a demand for home-based trips between the two areas, in addition to midday trips between non-residential locations.


One alternative being studied is an expansion of the 2.2-mile vintage rail trolley that MATA currently operates in downtown Memphis. For this alternative, the estimated cost for planning/design, construction and vehicle acquisition is $25 million.

Status

Through FY 1996, Congress has appropriated $1.7 million for a Regional Transit/Rail Plan. As one of the tasks in the study, alternative alignments, ridership projections and cost estimates are being developed for the corridor. Also included in the Regional Transit/Rail Plan is an analysis of regional corridors warranting a major investment. One of these corridors is the Poplar Corridor, of which the Medical Center Corridor is a part. Final results of the study are expected in March 1996.

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East-West Corridor/Miami Intermodal Center

Miami, Florida

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is studying a variety of transportation alternatives for linking the suburban area west of Miami, Florida International University (FIU), the Miami International Airport, downtown Miami, the seaport, and Miami Beach. Proposed facilities include a Metrorail line from FIU to the seaport, a Miami Intermodal Center (MIC) adjacent to the airport, a circulator system connecting the MIC to the airport terminal, a light rail line from downtown Miami to Miami Beach, and improvements to State Route 836 and LeJeune Road, including HOV lanes. Various alignment options are also being considered for the Metrorail line.


Preliminary capital cost estimates for the total program approach $4.4 billion (escalated dollars). The Metrorail and light rail transit elements, totaling 24.3 to 25.8 miles in length, are estimated to cost $1.8 to 2.0 billion and to carry 69,000 to 82,000 riders per day in 2020. A 13.9- to 18.7-mile Minimum Operable Segment of rail is estimated to cost $1.0 to $1.2 billion and to carry 20,000 to 33,000 riders per day in 2020.

Status

A Major Investment Study (MIS) is nearing completion with the FHWA as lead federal agency. The Federal Transit Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, Maritime Administration, and the Coast Guard are cooperating agencies pursuant to a 1993 Memorandum of Understanding. Two draft environmental impact statements (EIS) were circulated for public and agency review in October 1995. The final EIS's are scheduled for completion in September 1996.


Congress has not authorized or appropriated funds for the corridor. Florida DOT and FHWA have contributed $8.5 million.

Justification

Mobility Improvements - The build alternatives that include the 24.3- to 25.8-mile rail systems are expected to result in 23,800 to 27,700 new transit riders in 2020. They would save approximately 26,000 person-hours of travel time per day. The minimum operable segments of rail are expected to attract 4400 to 11,400 new daily transit riders and to save 20,300 to 22,000 person-hours of travel time per day.


Cost Effectiveness - The cost effectiveness indices range between $18 and $20 for the full-length fixed guideway alternatives. The MOS's have cost effectiveness indices of $17 to $23 per new transit rider.


Environmental Benefits - The southeast Florida area is an attainment area for carbon monoxide and was recently redesignated as a maintenance area for ozone. At the corridor level, the full-length fixed guideway with roadway alternatives are projected to reduce carbon monoxide emissions by 7.6 percent, nitrous oxide emissions by 1.9 percent, and hydrocarbon emissions by 7.1 percent. The alternatives are projected to reduce vehicle miles traveled in the region by 0.3 percent to 0.5 percent.


Operating Efficiencies - The operating and maintenance cost per passenger is estimated to be $2.25 for the No-Build alternative, $2.27 for the TSM alternative, $2.45 to $2.49 for the full-length fixed guideway alternatives, and $2.39 to $2.42 for the MOS alternatives.

Local
Financial
Commitment

According to FDOT's financial analysis, the $1.2 billion MOS alternative is financially feasible by 2010. A preliminary financial plan assumes the 35 percent of the cost of the transit elements would be derived from the Section 5309 program. Other proposed funding includes set-asides from existing federal, state and local sources; new state and local sources such as toll surcharges, taxing districts, cruise ship transfer fees, right-of-way and economic development bond programs; and self-financing revenues such as concession leasing, privately funded operations and joint development proceeds. FTA has not rated the capital finance plan or the stability and reliability of operating funds.

Proposed Source of Funds Total Funding
($million)
Description
Federal:
Section 5309 New Start
$424.20 $0.00 million appropriated through FY 1996
State/Local:
(and other Federal)
$787.80 N/A
TOTAL $1212.00

NOTE: Funding proposal reflects assumptions made by project sponsors, and are not DOT or FTA assumptions.

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Miami North 27th Avenue Corridor

Miami, Florida

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Metro-Dade Transit Agency (MDTA) is considering rail, busway, and bus options for improving transportation in the 9.5-mile N.W. 27th Avenue corridor. One alternative is an elevated heavy rail line which would operate in full integration with Stage I Metrorail, connect with major regional educational and sports facilities, and terminate at the Dade/Broward county line.


The preliminary capital cost of the rail alternative is $453-$463 million (1994 dollars). This includes final design, right-of-way and rolling stock acquisition. MDTA estimates that 16,000 people would ride the line in 2015.

Status

A Major Investment Study (MIS) has been completed. The MPO is scheduled to select a preferred alternative in November and add the project to its Year 2015 Long Range Transportation Plan.


There is no authorization for this project in ISTEA. Congress appropriated $1.9 million in FY 1996 which will be used to fund preliminary engineering and preparation of draft and final environmental impact statements.

Justification

Mobility Improvements - The rail alternative would improve transit trip times from the Dade/Broward county line to Stage 1 Metrorail by 19 minutes, which is 56 percent better than TSM conditions in 2015. It would save 516 to 540 person-hours of travel time per day. The rail alternative is expected to attract 9,600 new daily transit trips.


Cost Effectiveness - The rail alternative has a cost effectiveness index of $18 per new rider.


Environmental Benefits - The southeast Florida area was redesignated as a maintenance area for ozone and an attainment area for carbon monoxide. The rail alternative would divert an estimated 6,300-7,600 vehicle trips per day to transit in 2015, leading to 93,500 to 131,700 fewer vehicle miles traveled (VMT).


Operating Efficiencies - For the TSM alternative, the operating and maintenance cost per transit rider is $1.43 for the bus system and $1.63 for the rail system. For the heavy rail alternative, comparable costs are $1.42 for bus and $1.79 for rail.

Local
Financial
Commitment

MDTA is expected to seek 70 percent funding from the Section 5309 New Start program. The remaining 30 percent would be divided between the state and local sources. Some contribution for right-of-way is anticipated for transit stations at Miami-Dade Community College and Joe Robbie Stadium.


Of the non-federal share, the state's portion is expected to come from a special appropriation to fund transit projects of regional significance. Another option would be the capitalized proceeds from Dade County's annual allocation from the State Transportation Block Grant program. The local portion of the funds is capitalized proceeds from a five-cent Local Option Gas Tax implemented in 1994. FTA has not rated the capital finance plan.


Annual operating and maintenance costs for the rail alternative are estimated to be $14.2 million, representing a 7 percent increase over current expenses. FTA has not rated the stability and reliability of operating assistance.

Proposed Source of Funds Total Funding
($million)
Description
Federal:
Section 5309 New Start
$317.10 $2.97 million appropriated through FY 1996
State $67.90 N/A
Local:
Option Gas Tax
$68.00 N/A
TOTAL $453.00

NOTE: Funding proposal reflects assumptions made by project sponsors, and are not DOT or FTA assumptions.

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Mid Coast Corridor

San Diego County, California

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Metropolitan Transit Development Board (MTDB), the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and the San Diego Association of Governments are proposing commuter rail improvements, a light rail line, and high occupancy vehicle lanes in the Mid-Coast Corridor. The corridor extends about 12 miles along I-5 from I-8 near Old Town, north to the vicinity of the University of California, San Diego, University Towne Centre shopping mall, and Carmel Valley.


The commuter rail improvements consist of a new station and parking expansion on the existing Coaster line. The project is estimated to cost $5.7 million (1992 dollars).


The 10.3-mile Mid-Coast LRT project would extend from Old Town to North University City, and would include 9 stations. The line would connect with the Mission Valley and South LRT lines and the Coaster line at the Old Town Transit Center. An initial phase is proposed from Old Town to Balboa Avenue. The LRT line and supporting bus services are estimated to cost $353.3 million (1992 dollars). The line is forecast to attract 15,590 riders per day.


The proposed HOV lanes would be built by Caltrans in the median of I-5 between Carmel Mountain Road and I-8. The 11.6-mile project would connect with HOV lanes being planned and designed north of this segment. The HOV lanes are expected to cost $148.7 million (1992 dollars).

Status

Section 3035(u) of ISTEA directed FTA to sign a multiyear grant agreement with MTDB providing $27 million for the completion of alternatives analysis and the final environmental impact statement (EIS) and to purchase right-of-way. Through FY 1996, Congress has appropriated $4.1 million, of which $1.0 million has been rescinded and $1.7 million reprogrammed to other projects.


The Mid-Coast alternatives analysis began in 1990 and a draft EIS was circulated in March 1995. In October 1995, the MTD Board selected the Locally Preferred Alternative described above. The LRT project is included in the Regional Transportation Plan; the Coaster rail stations and HOV lane project will be added in the next update.

Justification

Mobility Improvements - Freeways and arterial streets in the corridor are congested due to rapid growth and the lack of alternative routes. Existing bus service must contend with the same highway congestion as the private auto. The LRT line is expected to reduce travel time by 3,260 hours, and the HOV lane would reduce travel time by 5,680 hours (compared with the TSM alternative).


Cost Effectiveness - The cost effectiveness index for the LRT line is $7 per new trip (1992 dollars, 2005 ridership). The cost effectiveness index for the HOV project is $2 per new trip.


Environmental Benefits - The San Diego region is a "serious" non-attainment area for ozone and a "moderate" non-attainment area for carbon monoxide. MTDB estimates that the preferred alternative would reduce regional vehicle miles traveled by almost 0.2 percent.


Operating Efficiencies - In 2005, MTDB's systemwide operating cost per passenger is projected to be $3.00 for the No-Build alternative, $3.08 for the TSM, $3.10 with the HOV lane and $3.04 with LRT.

Local
Financial
Commitment

In 1987 San Diego voters approved a 1/2 cent local sales tax dedicated to transportation. One-third of the revenues, or $750 million over 20 years, is earmarked for capital improvements to public transit, and a major share of this is for LRT extensions.


The proposed Section 5309 share for the commuter rail improvements is 17 percent, or $.97 million. The balance would be derived from state funds and local sales tax funds.


No funding strategy has yet been put forth for the Mid Coast LRT line. According to the MTDB, the project "can not be implemented with existing or currently foreseen revenue." The capital finance plan is rated "low." It should be noted that the MTDB is advancing several LRT projects without Federal funding. These include an LRT line from downtown to Old Town, a West Mission Valley Line, and an extension of the East Line to Santee. The MTDB has designated the Mission Valley East corridor as first priority for any additional funds that may become available.


A variety of potential sources have been considered for the Mid-Coast LRT line's operating expenses. MTDB reports that "There is considerable variation in the likelihood of these funding sources becoming available." The stability and reliability of operating assistance is rated "low" pending the development of a funding strategy.


The HOV project is to be implemented by Caltrans using highway funds. However, funds are not available at this time to begin the project.

Other
Factors

The City of San Diego and SANDAG have adopted policies and guidelines favoring transit oriented development (TOD). These policies and guidelines include focusing higher intensity or new employment and residential development in areas with good transit access, and will be directed towards stations on the Mid-Coast LRT Line. Joint development prospects are promising at two, and possibly other, station locations.

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East-West Corridor

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is evaluating alternatives in a corridor which extends from Glendale and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UW-M), southwest through the CBD and the near north side of Milwaukee, to the western suburbs and the city of Waukesha.


A Major Investment Study (MIS) is evaluating various LRT alignments and termini, special lanes for carpools and buses, Interstate highway modernization, TSM, and a No Build alternative. Several combination alternatives employing different technologies in different parts of the corridor are also under consideration.

Status

Section 3035(oo) of ISTEA directed FTA to enter into a multiyear grant agreement with the State of Wisconsin for $200 million. The grant agreement would cover construction of an initial segment of the locally preferred transit alternative identified in the Major Investment Study. In FY 1994, Congress appropriated $3 million for this project.


WisDOT began an alternatives analysis (AA) in the Central Milwaukee East-West Corridor in 1991. In 1994, the AA was converted to a MIS, which includes an analysis of both transit and highway elements. The technical work associated with the MIS is essentially complete. A preferred alternative will be chosen in 1996.


WisDOT's preliminary funding strategy assumes $289 million of Interstate Transfer funding in accordance with Section 1045 of ISTEA. It also assumes that Section 5309 New Start funding will be sought for 80 percent of the transit capital cost. Matching funds for the funds pursuant to Section 1045 and Section 5309 funds are to be split 50/50 between the State and local jurisdictions, but there are no specific financial plans at present.

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Mission Valley East Corridor

San Diego Counties, California

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Metropolitan Transit Development Board (MTDB) is considering transit improvement options in the Mission Valley East corridor. The corridor is approximately 5.5 miles long, following Interstate 8 from Interstate 15 to near Baltimore Drive in La Mesa. The alternatives under consideration are No-Build, "Best Bus", and Light Rail Transit (LRT). The LRT alternative would extend the locally funded six-mile Mission Valley West LRT Line (currently under construction between Old Town and Interstate 15) through the corridor to connect with the existing East Line LRT in La Mesa. Alignment variations are under consideration at San Diego State University. Depending on the route option selected at San Diego State University, the LRT alternative is estimated to cost up to $332 million (1995 dollars).

Status

FTA approved the initiation of alternatives analysis in April 1993. The study will meet the intent of the Major Investment Study (MIS) requirement. A draft environmental impact statement is scheduled to be circulated for public review in the summer/fall of 1996, and a preferred alternative is scheduled for selection in early 1997. Information on cost effectiveness, environmental benefits and operating efficiencies associated with each alternative is scheduled to be available by mid-1996.


This project was not authorized in ISTEA. Congress has not authorized or appropriated any funds for the Mission Valley East Corridor.

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Central Corridor

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and the railroad authorities of Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, acting as the Joint Lead Agencies (JLA), are studying light rail and bus alternatives between Minneapolis and St. Paul. The alternatives would serve the two downtowns and the University of Minnesota, and would be located within downtown street, I-94 and railroad rights-of-way and along an existing busway. Preliminary cost estimates are $581 million for the LRT, $253 million for the busway, and $83 million for TSM (escalated dollars).

Status

The alternatives analysis/draft EIS was published in December 1993. Lack of state and local funding has impeded progress on the study and very little work is currently underway. If funding issues can be resolved, the JLA can then select a locally preferred alternative and begin the final environmental impact statement and preliminary engineering.


Congress appropriated $2 million in Section 5303 money in FY 1991 for planning, $7.8 million in Section 5309 funds in FY 1994 and FY 1995. The project is not authorized in ISTEA.

Justification

Mobility Improvements - The Central Corridor is one of the most densely developed and highest transit ridership corridors in the region. Projected daily travel time saved are 4,300 hours for the busway alternative and 4,700 hours for the LRT alternative.


Cost Effectiveness - The cost effectiveness indices are $29 and $34 for the busway and LRT alternatives respectively.


Environmental Benefits - Although the Twin Cities was designated a "moderate" nonattainment area for carbon monoxide, the area achieved the air quality standards for this pollutant in 1992-1993. The region is an attainment area for ozone. Information on the impact of the alternatives on regional air quality has not yet been developed. However, the busway and LRT alternatives are estimated to reduce the number of vehicle miles traveled in the region by less than 0.1 per cent while the TSM alternative would result in a reduction of less than half that amount.


Operating Efficiencies - Operating costs per transit rider for the No-Build, TSM, Busway and LRT alternatives are $2.06, $2.18, $2.29 and $2.27, respectively.

Local
Financial
Commitment

The Twin Cities are investigating several strategies and a package of funding sources for generating local funds for the capital costs of this project. The Twin Cities are assuming that between 50 percent and 80 percent of the capital cost of the project will come from Section 5309. FTA will await the selection of a preferred alternative and development of a financing plan before rating the Twin Cities' local financial commitment. In 1994, the average age of the buses in the Twin Cities was 5.8 years, which is better than the national average.

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Canal Streetcar Spine

New Orleans, Louisiana

(November 1, 1995)

Description

The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is developing a 4.4-mile streetcar project in downtown New Orleans. The Canal Streetcar Spine would extend along the median of Canal Street from the Canal Ferry at the Mississippi River in the Central Business District, through the Mid-City neighborhood, to two outer termini at N. Anthony and Delgado Community College/City Park. A future extension of the route is proposed as a central business district loop. The capital cost estimate is $92.6 million. Upon completion, the ridership is estimated to be 30,500 passengers per day in the horizon year (2015).

Status

Section 3035(fff) of ISTEA directed FTA to negotiate and sign a multiyear grant agreement with the City of New Orleans in the amount of $4.8 million for the completion of alternatives analysis, preliminary engineering, and an environmental impact statement. For FY 1994-96, Congress has appropriated $18.44 million.


A major investment study/alternatives analysis was completed in March 1995 with the selection of the preferred alternative described above. FTA approved the initiation of preliminary engineering and the preparation of a draft environmental impact statement in September 1995. Preliminary engineering is scheduled to begin in late 1996.


The project is included in the MPO's financially constrained and conforming Transportation Plan and Transportation Improvement Plan.

Justification

Mobility Improvements - The Canal Streetcar Spine is expected to save 433 hours of travel time hours per day in the horizon year 2015, compared with the TSM alternative.


Cost Effectiveness - The cost effectiveness index is $3 per new transit rider.


Environmental Benefits - The New Orleans metropolitan area is an attainment area for Carbon Monoxide and a maintenance area for ozone. Compared with the TSM alternative, the project is expected to reduce vehicle miles traveled by 6,800 per day in 2015.


Operating Efficiencies - The systemwide operating cost per revenue passenger is $2.03 for the build alternative, $2.61 for the No Build alternative, and $2.45 for the TSM alternative.

Local
Financial
Commitment

RTA is expected to seek Section 5309 funding for 80 percent of the cost of the 4.4-mile light rail alternative, or $74.1 million. Most of the local share would be derived from state bonds. The City of New Orleans has committed $1.2 million for planning and engineering. RTA is also seeking to claim the value of the right of way as in-kind match.


The capital finance plan is rated "low". The RTA has negative working capital and is experiencing severe financial difficulties (see below) which cast doubt on the fiscal solvency of the agency.


The stability and reliability of operating revenues are also rated "low". The RTA levies a 1 percent sales and use tax dedicated to transit purposes, and the streetcar project will reduce operating costs. According to RTA's financial advisors, KPMG Peat Marwick, "certain of the RTA's operating costs are out of control with respect to revenues available. The agency misses 50 daily trips due to an inability to maintain its fleet, and has 135 inoperable buses" (Draft Performance Overview Board Report, October 1995). A rescue plan has not yet been put forward. In 1994, the average age of RTA's bus fleet was 9.8 years, which is slightly above the national average.

Proposed Source of Funds Total Funding
($million)
Description
Federal:
Section 5309 New Start
$74.10 $18.44 million appropriated through FY 1996
State: $18.50 N/A
TOTAL $92.60

NOTE: Funding proposal reflects assumptions made by project sponsors, and are not DOT or FTA assumptions.

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