New Starts Allocation and Recommendations

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As noted, the funding level proposed for FY 1998 for New Starts is $634.00 million. Once funding for FTA oversight activities is subtracted from this amount, as authorized by 5327(Section 23), $629.24 million remains for projects. These funds will be allocated among those projects with existing Federal funding commitments and those for which funding commitments are expected within calendar year 1997. Complete descriptions of all projects in the New Starts pipeline can be found in Appendix A.

These funding allocations provide, within the constraints imposed by the budget caps, for the timely and efficient completion of those projects that have progressed the furthest in the development process. A failure to focus funds in the recommended manner risks creating additional expectations that may be difficult to meet in the current budget environment.

A. Projects With Existing Federal Funding Commitments

Eighteen projects have existing FFGA's that commit FTA to provide specified levels of Section 5309 (Section 3) funding. Five of these projects are not included in the funding recommendations for FY 1998 because the Federal funding commitment has been fulfilled; these project are the LRT Extensions in Baltimore, the Queens Connector in NewYork, the Pittsburgh/Airport Busway Phase1, the Metrolink project in St.Louis, and the Jacksonville Peoplemover. The status of these projects and the funding recommendations for FY 1998 are described below.

1. Atlanta/North Line Extension

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is constructing a 1.9-mile, 2-station extension from the Dunwoody station to NorthSprings. This project is part of the larger North Line Extension to the MARTA heavy rail rapid transit system. The segment from Buckhead to Dunwoody opened in June 1996. The initial 5.7-mile segment, from Lenox Station to Buckhead, was constructed without FTA assistance. When the North Springs extension is completed, it will serve the rapidly-growing area north of Atlanta, which includes Perimeter Center and north Fulton County, and will connect this area with the rest of the region by providing better transit service for both commuters and inner-city residents traveling to expanding job opportunities.

A total of twelve active contracts for design and construction are underway for North Line facility construction, systems procurement and installation efforts, and vehicle procurement. The total project cost has increased by an estimated $109 million because of the need for additional rail cars, redesign work, increased rights-of-way cost and a new parking structure. Under the FFGA, any increase in costs is the responsibility of the local agency. The operational date for the extension to North Springs and SandySprings stations may have to be extended beyond December 2000 as set in the FFGA.

An FFGA was issued for this project on December 20, 1994, providing a total of $305.01 million in New Starts funding. This includes $99.73 million in FY 1996 and prior year funding, all of which has been obligated. The FY 1997 budget provided an additional $63.96 million. This leaves $141.32 million required to complete this project. It is recommended that $44.60 million be provided to this project in FY 1998, with the remaining $96.72 million provided in FY 1999-2000.

2. Baltimore LRT Extensions

The Mass Transit Administration (MTA) of Maryland is building three extensions to the existing 22-mile Central Light Rail Transit (LRT) system that connects the Baltimore central business district (CBD) to Timonium in the north and Glen Burnie to the south. The existing system was constructed entirely with State and local funds. The extensions consist of a 5-mile, 5-station extension from Timonium to the growing employment center in Hunt Valley, and two intermodal connections: a 2-mile, 2-station branch off the main line directly into the BWI Airport terminal, and a quarter-mile spur to Penn Station that will connect passengers with commuter rail and Amtrak service. The Federal share for the three extensions is 80 percent; however, when this investment is viewed in the context of the complete system, the overall Federal share is only 18 percent.

The FFGA for this project provides $84.90 million in total New Starts funding. This includes $74.64 million in FY 1996 and prior year funding, all of which has been obligated. The FY 1997 budget provided an additional $10.26 million (including $71,585 in reprogrammed prior year funds), which completes the FFGA commitment. Thus, no additional funding is required in FY 1998. This project is expected to be operational byJune1997.

3. Boston/South Boston Piers - Phase 1

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is developing an underground transitway to connect the existing transit system with the South Boston Piers area, located on the periphery of the central business district (CBD). A 1.5-mile tunnel, to be constructed in two phases, will extend from the existing Boylston Station to the World Trade Center; five underground stations will provide connections to the MBTA's Red, Orange, and Green Lines. Electric trolleybuses or dual-mode vehicles will operate in the transitway tunnel and on surface routes in the eastern end of the Piers area.

Phase1 of this project consists of a 1-mile bus tunnel with three stations located at South Station, Fan Pier, and the World Trade Center. Phase2 will extend the tunnel to Boylston Station. Parts of Phase1 are integrally related to construction of the Central Artery/Tunnel highway project now underway. Joint construction will help reduce transitway costs, environmental impacts and construction impacts. Section 3035(j) of ISTEA directed FTA to enter into an FFGA for this project.

An FFGA for this project was issued for Phase1 on November 5, 1994, in the amount of $330.72 million; this includes $112.41 million provided in FY 1996 and prior years. The FY 1997 budget provided an additional $29.79 million. This leaves $188.52 million required to complete this project. It is recommended that funds in the amount of $46.20 million be provided in FY 1998. The remaining $142.32 million would be provided over the course of FY 1999-2001. Phase1 is expected to be in operation by the end of 2000.

4. Denver/Southwest Corridor

The Regional Transit District (RTD) in Denver is constructing an 8.7-mile light rail extension from I-25and Broadway in Denver to Mineral Avenue in Littleton. This double-track line will operate over an exclusive, grade-separated right-of-way and connect with the Central Corridor light rail in downtown Denver, which opened in October1994.

FTA issued an FFGA for this project on May 9, 1996, which will provide $120.00 million over the course of FY 1997-2001. The FY 1997 budget provided $2.83 million, including $1.34 million furnished from reprogrammed funds. This leaves $117.17 million required to complete the FFGA (no funding was provided for this project in prior years). It is recommended that $21.40 million be provided to this project in FY 1998 under the FFGA, with the remaining $95.77 million provided in FY 1999-2001. This project is scheduled to open in 2000.

5. Houston/Regional Bus Plan

The Regional Bus Plan developed by Houston Metro consists of a package of improvements to its existing bus system. It consists of service expansions in most of the region, new and extended HOV (High-Occupancy Vehicle, or "carpool") facilities and ramps, several transit centers and park-and-ride lots, and supporting facilities.

An FFGA was issued on December 30, 1994, to provide a total of $500.00 million for this project. This includes the $287.02 million provided in FY 1996 and prior years, all of which has been obligated. The FY 1997 budget provided an additional $40.31 million. The FFGA for this project provides for $51.07 million in FY 1998 New Starts funds, with the remaining $121.60 million needed to complete the project provided in FY 1999-2000.

6. Jacksonville/ASE Extension Flagler to duPont Place

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) is developing a 0.3-mile extension of the Automated Skyway Express (ASE) south of downtown Jacksonville. The extension consists of an elevated, double track guideway running from the Flagler Station through the South Bank business district to the duPont Station (formerly St. Johns Place).

An initial 0.7-mile segment of the Automated Skyway Express (ASE) opened for revenue service in June1989. In September 1991, at Congressional direction, FTA and JTA entered into an FFGA for a 0.6-mile extension north to Florida Community College. Construction is complete, and the system is ready for delivery of vehicles. This FFGA was amended in 1994 to extend the system to the San Marco Station on the south bank of the St. Johns River, bringing the total system to 2.2miles. The Federal commitment under this amended FFGA was completed in1994.

In FY 1996 and FY 1997, Congress appropriated an additional $9.60 million and $14.90 million, respectively. These funds are sufficient to complete the final 0.3-mile extension from the Flagler Station to the duPont Station. FTA is negotiating with JTA to amend the FFGA to incorporate these funds and revise the scope of the project to include this segment. Because sufficient funds are available to complete this project, additional funding is not required in FY 1998.

7. Los Angeles/MOS-3

The Metro Rail Red Line Project in Los Angeles is being implemented in three phases, or "Minimum Operable Segments" (MOS). The first of these segments, MOS-1, opened for revenue service in January1993. A three-station Wilshire section of MOS-2 opened in July1996; the remainder is under construction and the FFGA is complete. On May14,1993, an FFGA was issued to the LosAngeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) for the third segment, MOS-3.

MOS-3 was defined under ISTEA to include three segments: the North Hollywood segment, a 6.3-mile, three-station subway extension north from the MOS-2 terminus at Vine Street to North Hollywood; the Mid-City segment, a 2.3-mile, two-station subway extension west of the MOS-2 terminus at Western Avenue; and an undefined segment of the East Side project, to the east from the eastern terminus of MOS-2 at Union Station. Construction on the NorthHollywood segment is now underway.

On December 28, 1994, the FFGA for MOS-3 was amended to specify the segment of the EastSide project to be included. This segment ("Phase1") consists of a 3.7-mile, four-station extension from the eastern terminus of MOS-1 at Union Station, across the LosAngeles River to First and Lorena in East LosAngeles. This brings the total amount committed under the FFGA to $1,416.50 million, including the $440.72 million provided in FY 1996 and prior years. An additional $69.51 million was provided in FY 1997. The entire MOS-3project is part of a larger commitment to meeting air quality goals through the Regional Mobility Plan, which includes an extensive network of rail lines and an aggressive travel demand management program.

After the FFGA was issued, core sampling in the planned right-of-way for the Mid-City segment detected high levels of naturally-occurring hydrogen sulfide gas at the planned depth of the tunnels. As a result, the Mid-City Extension has reverted to the planning and environmental review phase. LACMTA is exploring alternate horizontal and vertical alignments for this segment and has reopened the public environmental review process. Costs for these alternatives will be developed as part of the environmental impact process. Current estimates identify completion at least 7 years later than the FFGA scheduled opening in July 1999.

The North Hollywood Extension is under construction and within budget. The East Side Extension is in final design and at least one year behind the FFGA-scheduled opening of November 2002.

FTA has asked LACMTA to develop a recovery plan for the East Side Extension and the Mid-City segment, and completion of construction on the North Hollywood segment. FTA will determine if revisions to the FFGA are necessary once the recovery plan is complete; however, under the FFGA the LACMTA is responsible for all cost overruns. It is recommended that $99.00 million in New Starts funds be provided in FY 1998 to continue construction on the North Hollywood Extension and final design activities on the East Side Extension. Future funding allocations will be determined as the recovery plan is implemented.

8. Maryland/MARC Extension to Frederick

The Mass Transit Administration of Maryland is extending the Maryland Commuter Rail (MARC) system from Point of Rocks to Frederick, Maryland. This extension will provide service from suburban Montgomery and Frederick counties to Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. The project involves track, signal, and station improvements along an existing freight line. In addition, MARC is purchasing 50 bi-level coaches and six locomotives to ease crowding on existing lines and provide service on the Frederick extension. The cars should be delivered by March 1998 and MARC will put the electric locomotives out to bid in June 1997. The environmental assessment of the Frederick extension has been completed, station sites have been selected, and final design is underway. MARC expects to initiate service on this extension in1999.

An FFGA was issued on June19,1995, to provide a total of $105.25 million to complete the project. This includes $23.78 million provided in FY 1995 and 1996; an additional $33.25 million not covered by the FFGA was appropriated in prior years. The FY 1997 budget provided $32.96 million for this project, leaving $48.52 million needed to complete the FFGA. It is recommended that $26.94 million be provided in FY 1998, with the remaining $21.58 million provided in FY 1999.

9. New Jersey Urban Core/Hudson-Bergen LRT

The New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJTransit) plans to construct a 20.1-mile, 33-station light rail transit (LRT) line along the Hudson River Waterfront in Hudson County. The line will extend from the Vince Lombardi park-and-ride lot in Bergen County to Bayonne, passing through Port Imperial in Weehauken, Hoboken, and Jersey City. The core of the system will serve the high-density commercial centers in Jersey City and Hoboken, and provide connections with NJTransit commuter rail service, PATH trains to Newark and Manhattan, and the Port Imperial ferry from Weehauken to Manhattan.

This project is a major component of the Urban Core program of interrelated projects defined in ISTEA, designed to significantly enhance mobility in the Northeastern NewJersey area. ISTEA specifically exempted these projects from the FTA New Starts evaluation criteria.

NJTransit is seeking a total of $604.09 million in 5309 (Section 3) funding to complete a 9.6-mile, 16-station "initial operating segment" from Hoboken Terminal to 34thStreet in Bayonne and WestsideAvenue in JerseyCity. This initial stage is being implemented under a turnkey contract to design, build, operate, and maintain the system, which was awarded in October1996. The contractor is currently performing final design and has started some construction involving clearing of right-of-way.

The Department issued an FFGA on October15, 1996 that commits $604.09 million for the initial operating segment. This includes $89.09 million in FY 1996 and prior year funds that have already been obligated to the Hudson-Bergen LRT. The FY 1997 budget provided an additional $9.93 million. It is recommended that $54.78 million be provided to this project in FY 1998, with the remaining $450.29 million provided in FY 1999-2003.

10. New Jersey Urban Core/Secaucus Transfer

As part of its Urban Core program of interrelated projects, New Jersey Transit is constructing a major commuter rail transfer station in Secaucus, at the point where its Main and Bergen Lines intersect with the Northeast Corridor Line. The project consists of a new, three-level transfer station; track expansions; track, signal and bridge upgrades; and construction of a new platform and elevated walkway. It will allow commuters on the Main Line, Bergen County Line, Pascack Valley Line, and Port Jervis Line to transfer to Northeast Corridor commuter trains destined to Penn Station in midtown Manhattan or Penn Station in Newark. Located in the Meadowlands, this project is part of a potential public/private partnership which could include a major commercial center. All design work is complete and construction is approximately 21percent finished with the foundation work underway for the station platforms.

Section 3031 of ISTEA identified the Secaucus Transfer Station as an element of the New Jersey Urban Core program of projects, and required FTA to enter into a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) for elements that can be fully funded in FY 1992 through FY 1997. In addition, 3031(c) specifically exempted these projects from the project justification requirements of 5309(e)(2)-(7) (Section 3(i)) and from FTA's major capital investment policy. An FFGA was issued for the Secaucus Transfer project on December6,1994 to provide a total of $444.25 million through FY 1998; this includes the $312.47 million in funds already provided in prior year budgets (all of which has been obligated). This project is expected to be operational by 2002.

The FY 1997 budget provided $104.79 million to the Secaucus Transfer project, leaving $26.99 million needed to complete the FFGA. It is recommended that the remaining $26.99 million needed to fulfill the FFGA be provided in FY 1998. This will complete the Federal commitment to this project as agreed under the FFGA.

11. New York/Queens Connector

The New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) is constructing a connection from the 63rd Street tunnel to the existing express and local tracks of the Queens Boulevard subway lines, through a new short tunnel segment. The Queens Connector consists of approximately 1/3-mile of new tunnel, with corresponding track, signal work, and real estate acquisition. This project will relieve severe overcrowding on the Queens Boulevard subway lines by diverting service from the existing bottleneck in the 53rd Street tunnel to the 63rd Street tunnel, allowing the operation of an additional 15 trains per hour between Manhattan and Queens. Approximately 1/3of the 60,000 peak hour passengers currently traveling through the 53rd Street tunnel are expected to use the new 63rd Street tunnel. All design work is complete and construction is approximately 40 percent complete. The project is expected to be operational by August 2001.

An FFGA was issued for this project on February 10, 1994 in the amount of $306.10 million. A total of $271.08 million in FY 1996 and prior year funds has been obligated for this project. The FY 1997 budget provided an additional $35.02 million (including $246,603 in reprogrammed prior year funds), completing the Federal commitment to this project. No additional funds are needed in FY 1998.

12. Pittsburgh/Airport Busway Phase1

The Port Authority of Allegheny County (PATransit) is constructing a busway and HOV (High-Occupancy Vehicle, or "carpool") facility along a 20-mile corridor between downtown Pittsburgh and the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport. Phase1 of this project consists of a 7-mile dedicated busway extending from Carnegie (along existing railroad right-of-way), and a 1.1-mile HOV segment connecting to the downtown area through a rehabilitated Wabash Tunnel and across a new bridge spanning the Monongahela River. For the remaining 12miles of the corridor, buses will operate on I-279. State funding for the local share of capital costs is in place, and a series of small taxes dedicated to transit for asset replacement and routine capital replacement needs has been approved. This project was expected to open for revenue service in1998. However, due to costs associated with purchase of rail rights-of-way and design alterations, the project is estimated to be $94 million over budget and a delay of up to three years is anticipated in completing the project. FTA has asked PAT for a recovery plan. Under the FFGA, any overruns are the responsibility of PAT.

Section1108(b) of the highway portion of ISTEA authorized $9.80 million in contract authority for this project. Section 1069(e) authorized an additional $39.50 million in general funds, of which Congress appropriated $15.82 million in FY 1995. An additional $76.50 million in flexible (CMAQ) ISTEA funds has been committed to this project.

An FFGA was issued for this project on October27,1994, providing a total commitment of $121.00 million in FTA 5309 (Section 3) funding. The final funding increment of $44.10 million was provided in FY 1996, completing the Federal commitment to this project under the FFGA. However, an additional $9.93 million was provided in the FY 1997 appropriation.

The FFGA also specified that, if Congress failed to appropriate the balance of the 1069(e) highway funds for this project, FTA would entertain an application to provide a maximum of $23.68 million in additional 5309 (Section 3) new starts funding. To date, FTA has received an application only for the funds provided in the FY 1997 appropriation. Because sufficient funding to complete the FFGA has been appropriated in prior years under the terms of the FFGA, FTA must consider the Federal commitment to this project to be complete. Thus, no additional Federal funding for this project is recommended for FY 1998.

13. Portland/Westside-Hillsboro

The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District (Tri-Met) is constructing an extension of the existing Banfield LRT line ("MAX") from its downtown Portland terminus west to downtown Hillsboro. In September 1992, FTA issued an FFGA for a segment to S.W. 185th Avenue in Washington County. This FFGA was amended in December 1994 to include the remaining segment to Hillsboro. The project consists of a 17.7-mile, double-track fixed guideway with 20stations and nine park-and-ride lots. The route includes a 3-mile twin-tube tunnel under the West Hills along the Sunset Highway. Also included are 36 low-floor light rail vehicles, the first to be placed in service in the United States.

The Westside/Hillsboro FFGA was amended on November1,1996 to commit a total of $630.06 million in 5309 (Section 3) NewStarts funding to this project. Of this, $393.24 million has been provided in FY 1996 and prior years. The FY 1997 budget provided an additional $137.04 million, leaving $99.78 million required to complete this project. It is recommended that $63.39 million be provided to this project in FY 1998, with the remaining $36.39 million required to complete the Federal commitment to this project provided in FY 1999-2000. This project is expected to be operational in September1998.

14. Salt Lake City/South LRT

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) is implementing a 15-mile at-grade light rail transit (LRT) line from downtown Salt Lake City to the southern suburbs. The line would operate on city streets downtown and then follow a lightly-used railroad alignment owned by UTA. This project is part of the Interstate15corridor improvement initiative, which includes reconstruction of a parallel segment of I-15. Final Engineering for the vehicle support facility, civil and systems work is approximately 60% complete. Construction is expected to commence in early 1998. Salt Lake City has been selected as the site for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

On August 2,1995, FTA issued an FFGA for this project that commits $237.39 million in new starts funding through FY 2000. This includes $32.03 million appropriated in FY 1996 and prior years. The FY 1997 budget provided $34.76 million for this project, leaving $170.60 million needed to complete the FFGA. It is recommended that $42.79 million be provided in FY 1998, with the remaining $127.81 million provided over the course of FY 1999-2000. This project will be operational in 2000.

15. San Francisco Area/Tasman

The Santa Clara County Transit District (SCCTD) is constructing a 12.4-mile light-rail system from northeast SanJose to downtown Mountain View, connecting with both the Guadalupe LRT in northern SantaClara County and the Caltrain commuter rail system. Construction will proceed in two phases. The Phase1 West Extension will connect the northern terminus of the Guadalupe Light Rail System in Santa Clara with the CalTrain Commuter Rail station in downtown Mountain View, a distance of 7.6miles. The future Phase2 East Extension will complete the project.

Section 5328(c)(1)(B) (Section 3(a)(8)(C)(ii) of the FT Act) defines the Tasman Corridor project as one element of a Program of Interrelated Projects to be considered together for the purposes of Federal requirements, along with the BART extensions to Colma and the SanFrancisco Airport.

The Department issued an LOI for this project in April1994, with the intent to issue an FFGA upon the resolution of several financial concerns associated with a challenge to the tax initiative intended to finance this project. These issues have been resolved, and an FFGA was issued on July2,1996. Phase1 is expected to require $80.00 million in 5309 (Section 3) funds in FY1998 and future years. A total of $92.75 million was provided in FY 1996 and prior years, all of which has been obligated. An additional $10.00 million was provided in FY 1997. It is recommended that $21.40 million be provided in the FY 1998 budget under the FFGA, with the remaining $58.60 million provided in FY 1999 through FY 2000.

16. San Juan/Tren Urbano

The PuertoRico Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) is constructing a 10.4-mile, 14-station rail line connecting the major activity centers in the San Juan region. The system is planned as a double-track line operating over an at-grade and elevated right-of-way, with a short below-grade segment. The project includes a maintenance facility and provisions for two additional stations, if necessary. This project has been selected as one of FTA's turnkey demonstration projects, which incorporates contracts to design, build, operate, and maintain the system. There are six contracts: one is for the systems work, test tract and purchase of 64 vehicles, and five are for station and guideway construction. Three of the contracts have been awarded; the remaining three are in the bidding process and are expected to be awarded by June1997.

The Department issued an FFGA on March13, 1996 to provide a total of $307.41 million to complete the project. This includes $7.41 million provided in FY 1996; an additional $4.95 million not included in the FFGA was appropriated in prior years, for a total of $312.37 million in Federal funding. A total of $12.37 million in FY 1996 and prior year funds have been allocated to the Tren Urbano project, all of which has been obligated. The FY 1997 budget provided an additional $6.06 million, including $1.34 million furnished in reprogrammed prior-year funds. It is recommended that $25.68 million be provided to this project in FY 1998 under the FFGA, with the remaining $268.26 million provided in FY 1999-2001.

17. St.Louis/Metrolink

The Federal commitment to this project under the FFGA was fulfilled by the FY 1994 appropriation. In FY 1995, FTA recommended an additional $4.69 million to cover justifiable extraordinary costs. No additional Federal investment has been recommended. However, the Bi-State Development Agency (Bi-State) has continued to obtain additional funds through the annual appropriations process. A total of $358.39 million has been provided in FY 1996 and prior years, and an additional $13.40 million was earmarked in FY 1997. Of the funds earmarked in FY 1997, $10.00 million has been obligated to purchase additional rail cars, leaving an unobligated balance of $3.40 million. Ridership on MetroLink has been greater than anticipated, resulting in the LRV's accumulating 40percent more miles than the industry norm.

The Federal funding commitment to this project has been completed, with additional funds provided for reasonable extraordinary costs. This project opened for service on July31,1993, and has been in operation for 3 years. No additional Federal funding is required for construction of this project.

18. St. Louis/St. Clair Extension

The Bi-State Development Agency (Bi-State) plans to construct a 27-mile light rail line between downtown East St.Louis and the vicinity of MidAmerica Airport/Scott Air Force Base, connecting with the Metrolink light rail line which opened in July1993. An Initial Construction Segment will extend from the current Metrolink terminal in downtown East St.Louis to Belleville Area College, a distance of 17.5miles. This segment consists of 13stations and makes extensive use of abandoned railroad rights-of-way. Final Design was initiated in December 1996 and is expected to take 16 months. Rights-of-way and real estate acquisition is proceeding as scheduled. Revenue service is scheduled to begin in May2001.

The Department issued an FFGA on October17, 1996 that commits a total of $243.90 million to complete the Initial Construction Segment. This includes the unobligated balance of $7.93 million in FY 1996 and prior year funds. The FY 1997 budget provided an additional $31.78 million for this project, leaving $204.19 million needed to complete the FFGA. It is recommended that $29.96 million be provided to this project in FY 1998 under the FFGA, with the remaining $174.23 million provided in FY 1999 and future year funds.

B. Additional Federal Funding Commitments Expected in 1997

In addition to the 18projects with existing funding commitments, there are two projects for which FFGAs are expected to be issued during the 1997calendar year. Funding recommendations and the status of each project are described below (future funds are estimated until negotiations are complete).

1. Sacramento/LRT Extension

The Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT) is developing an 11.3-mile light rail transit (LRT) project in the South Sacramento Corridor. The system will follow existing UnionPacific right-of-way from downtown Sacramento to Calvine/Auberry. To maximize the use of available State and local capital funds, RT will implement this project in several phases. The first phase, a 6.3-mile "Interim Operable Segment" (IOS), would operate between downtown Sacramento and MeadowviewRoad. Population and employment in this corridor are expected to grow at rates faster than the regional average, resulting in severe congestion on the two major highways now in service. Phase1 is expected to reduce automobile use by 3,800 daily trips and save 2,700daily hours of travel time. Sacramento is a severe nonattainment area for ground-level ozone pollution. RT is requesting 44percent of the construction costs of this project from 5309(Section 3) funds.

A total of $3.96 million in FY 1996 and prior year funds have been allocated to the Sacramento LRT Extension, of which $1.98 million remains unobligated. The FY 1997 budget provided an additional $5.96 million. The Department expects to issue an FFGA in 1997 that will commit $103.26 million in FY 1998 and future funds to complete Phase1. It is recommended that $20.28 million be provided to this project in FY 1998 in anticipation of the FFGA, with the remaining $82.98 million provided in FY 1999-2001. Construction is expected to begin in spring1997, with revenue service to commence in July1999.

2. San Francisco/BART Airport Extension

Local officials in the San Francisco area have proposed an extension of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system from Colma, serving SanFrancisco International Airport. In November1995, officials selected an 8.2-mile, 4-station extension from the BART Colma Station through Colma, South SanFrancisco, and SanBruno, terminating in Millbrae. An east-west branch from this line north of Millbrae will serve the airport.

ISTEA defined this project as part of a Program of Interrelated Projects to be considered together for the purposes of Federal requirements, along with the BART extensions to Colma and the Tasman project in San Jose. The Federal commitment to the Colma project has been fulfilled, and an FFGA has been issued for the Tasman project.

The BART Airport extension is part of the Federally-assisted portion of a much larger regional program of transit expansion, including significant BART extensions in the East Bay area (to Pittsburg and Pleasanton) and relocation of the Caltrain terminal in downtown SanFrancisco. The regional plan calls for 100percent non-Federal funding of the East Bay extensions and no use of New Starts funds for the Caltrain terminal relocation. Thus, the Federal share in New Starts funding for the region's entire program of fixed guideway extensions is only 27percent. This is a significant indication of local financial support for transit in a very transit-intensive region and is a major reason for the Department's support of this project. Projects requiring a Federal share of less than 33percent in 5309 (Section 3) funds are exempt from the project justification requirements of 5309(e)(2)-(7) (Section 3(i)).

This project is expected to reduce automobile use by 485,000 daily vehicle miles of travel, and reduce carbon monoxide by 1,235tons per year. Regional transit ridership is expected to increase by 23,200 daily passengers and save 6,900hours of daily travel time. This project will improve transit access to downtown SanFrancisco from communities along the peninsula, improve access to the airport from communities in the EastBay, and provide high-quality transit to the fifth-busiest airport in the U.S.

The Department expects to issue an FFGA in 1997 to provide $666.07 million in 5309(Section 3) funds to complete this project. This does not include $66.61 million in FY 1996 and prior year earmarks (of which $11.11 million remains unobligated), nor the $17.31 million provided in the FY 1997 appropriation. It is recommended that $54.78 million be provided to this project in FY 1998 in anticipation of the FFGA, with the remaining $611.30 million provided in FY 1999 and future year funds. Construction is expected to begin in early1997, with revenue service to begin in December2000.