Existing Federal Funding Commitments

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Fourteen projects have existing FFGAs that commit FTA to provide specified levels of major capital investment funding. These projects will require a total of $668.18 million in FY 2000. The status of these projects and the individual funding recommendations for FY 2000 are described below. For eight of these projects, the funding recommendation represents the amount specified in Attachment 6 of the FFGA for FY 2000. The recommendations for the remaining six are based on the total remaining Federal funding commitment for the project. Because Federal funding commitments were in place for these projects prior to TEA-21, they have not been assigned summary ratings as described in §5309(e)(6). All of these projects have been authorized by TEA-21.

Atlanta/North Line Extension

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is constructing a 1.9-mile, 2-station extension of the North Line from the Dunwoody station to North Springs. When completed, this extension 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.

The total cost (Federal and non-Federal) of this project has increased from $381.30 million to an estimated $463.18 million since the FFGA was issued for this project in 1994. The increase is due primarily to the need to address anticipated service level increases, station parking enhancements, and impacts to the project right-of-way from the proposed widening of the adjacent GA 400 freeway. It now includes the purchase of 56 rail cars, twice the number included in the original plan to which FTA committed. Section 3030(d)(2) of TEA-21 authorizes an amendment to the FFGA to incorporate these changes. However, as noted earlier in this report and specified in the FFGA, any additional costs beyond the scope of the Federal commitment are the responsibility of the grantee.

On December 20, 1994, FTA issued an FFGA committing a total of $305.01 million in new starts funding to this project. Of this commitment, a total of $208.15 million has been appropriated through FY 1998. The FY 1999 appropriation provided an additional $51.72 million, leaving $45.14 million required to fulfill the terms of the FFGA. Attachment 6 of the FFGA for this project specifies that $37.10 million be provided in FY 2000, which would leave $8.04 million remaining. Because such a small amount would remain, it is recommended that the entire $45.14 million be provided in FY 2000 to complete the Federal funding commitment to this project.

Boston/South Boston Piers Transitway 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. The Piers area, which is connected to the central business district (CBD) by three local bridges, is slated for significant future development. 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. Dual-mode trackless trolleys will operate in the transitway tunnel and on surface routes in the eastern end of the Piers area.

Phase 1 of this project consists of a 1-mile, three-station bus tunnel between South Station and the World Trade Center, with an intermediate stop at Fan Pier. Part of the construction is being coordinated with the Central Artery highway project. South Station serves the existing MBTA Red Line, as well as Amtrak and commuter rail and bus service. The total estimated cost of Phase I is $413.40 million, though this does not include recently calculated cost increases. Any escalation of the total project cost is the responsibility of local project sponsors. Phase II would extend the transitway to Boylston Station on the Green Line and the Chinatown Station on the Orange Line.

Section 3035(j) of ISTEA directed FTA to enter into an FFGA for this project. On November 5, 1994, an FFGA was issued for Phase 1, committing a total of $330.73 million in §5309 new starts funding. Through FY 1998, a total of $188.30 million has been provided for this project. The FY 1999 appropriation provided an additional $53.58 million. This leaves $88.85 million required to complete the Federal commitment to this project. It is recommended that funds in the amount of $53.96 million be provided in FY 2000, in accordance with Attachment 6 of the FFGA for this project. The remaining $34.89 million would be provided in future years. Phase 1 is now expected to open for revenue service in December 2002.

Denver/Southwest LRT

The Regional Transit District (RTD) in Denver is constructing an 8.7-mile light rail extension between Denver and Littleton. The line extends from the I-25/Broadway station on the existing Central Corridor line south to Mineral Avenue in Littleton, running parallel to Santa Fe Drive over an exclusive, grade-separated right-of-way. This extension is expected to serve 8,400 daily passengers when it opens for revenue service in July 2000, with an estimated 22,000 daily riders by 2015.

FTA issued an FFGA for this project on May 9, 1996, which will provide a total of $120.00 million in §5309 new starts funding. Through FY 1998, a total of $25.76 million has been provided to this project, with an additional $39.70 million appropriated in FY 1999. This leaves $54.54 million required to complete the Federal funding commitment. As specified in Attachment 6 of the FFGA for this project, it is recommended that $35.00 million be provided to this project in FY 2000; the remaining $19.54 million would be provided in future years.

Houston/Regional Bus Plan

Houston Metro’s $1 billion Regional Bus Plan consists of a package of improvements to its existing bus system. The package includes service expansions in most of the region, new and extended HOV (High-Occupancy Vehicle, or "carpool") facilities and ramps, new buses, several transit centers and park-and-ride lots, and supporting facilities. This collection of projects was selected as the locally-preferred alternative over a proposed rail project in 1992.

An FFGA was issued on December 30, 1994, to provide a total of $500.00 million in §5309 new starts funds for the Regional Bus project. A total of $378.26 million has been provided through FY 1998, of which $287.02 million has been obligated. The FY 1999 appropriation provided an additional $59.23 million. The FY 2000 budget recommends $62.52 million for this project, which includes the $52.77 million specified in Attachment 6 of the FFGA, plus an additional $9.75 million needed to complete the Federal commitment to this project in FY 2000. All projects under the Regional Bus Plan are expected to be completed by December 2004.

Los Angeles/North Hollywood

The Metro Rail Red Line Project in Los Angeles is being planned, programmed and constructed in phases, through a series of "Minimum Operable Segments" (MOSs). The first of these segments (MOS-1), a 4.4-mile, 5-station segment, opened for revenue service in January 1993. A 2.1-mile, three-station segment of MOS-2 opened along Wilshire Boulevard in July 1996; an additional 4.6-mile, 5-station segment of MOS-2 is currently under construction, and the Federal funding commitment has been fulfilled. On May 14, 1993, an FFGA was issued to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) for the third construction phase, MOS-3.

MOS-3 was defined under ISTEA (Section 3034) to include three segments: the North Hollywood segment, a 6.3-mile, three-station subway extension of the Hollywood branch of MOS-2 to North Hollywood through the Santa Monica mountains; the Mid-City segment, a 2.3-mile, two-station western extension of the Wilshire Boulevard branch; and an undefined segment of the Eastside project, to the east from the existing Red Line terminus at Union Station. LACMTA later defined this eastern segment as a 3.7-mile, four-station extension under the Los Angeles River to First and Lorena in East Los Angeles. On December 28, 1994, the FFGA for MOS-3 was amended to include this definition of the eastern segment, bringing the total commitment of Federal new starts funds for MOS-3 to $1,416.49 million. On June 9, 1997, FTA and LACMTA negotiated a revised FFGA covering the North Hollywood segment (Phase 1-A) of MOS-3, which is proceeding as scheduled.

In January 1997, FTA requested that the MTA submit a recovery plan to demonstrate its ability to complete MOS-2 and MOS-3. On January 14, 1998, the LACMTA Board of Directors voted to suspend and demobilize construction on all rail projects other than MOS-2 and MOS-3 North Hollywood Extension. The MTA submitted a recovery plan to FTA on May 15, 1998, which was approved by FTA on July 2, 1998.

In 1998, the MTA undertook a Regional Transportation Alternatives Analysis (RTAA) to analyze and evaluate feasible alternatives for the Eastside and Mid-City corridors. The RTAA addressed system investment priorities, allocation of resources to operate existing transit services at a reliable standard, assessment and management of financial risk, countywide bus service expansion, and a process for finalizing corridor investments. On November 9, 1998, the LACMTA Board reviewed the RTAA and directed staff to reprogram resources previously allocated to the Eastside and Mid-City Extensions to the implementation of RTAA recommendations, including the LACMTA Accelerated Bus Procurement Plan. The MTA plans to conduct further study of transit investment options in the Eastside and Mid-City corridors.

To date, a total of $571.53 million in FY 1998 and prior year funds has been committed to the MOS-3 project, under the existing FFGA. An additional $37.72 million was provided in the FY 1999 appropriation, leaving $807.24 million remaining to complete the Federal commitment to MOS-3. It is recommended that $50.00 million be provided to the North Hollywood project in FY 2000, as specified in Attachment 6 of the FFGA.

Maryland/MARC Extension to Frederick & System Improvements

The Mass Transit Administration of Maryland (MTA) 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 and yard improvements along an existing freight line. In addition, MTA is embarking on a major procurement of additional commuter rail coaches and locomotives needed to meet anticipated systemwide demand on the MARC system and provide service on this extension. Manufacturing of the coaches is underway, and delivery has begun. The locomotive procurement is being undertaken jointly with Amtrak; delivery is expected to begin by 2000. Protracted negotiations with CSXT over right-of-way purchase terms have resulted in project delays; MTA now expects to begin MARC service on the Frederick extension by 2001.

Section 3030(g)(2) of TEA-21 authorizes an amendment to the FFGA for this project to include capacity and efficiency improvements through construction of a Penn-Camden Connection, maintenance and storage facilities and other capacity-related improvements, and the Silver Spring Intermodal Center.

An FFGA was issued on June 19, 1995, committing a total of $105.25 million to complete the project. This does not include $33.26 million in FY 1994 and prior year funding appropriated before the FFGA, which brings total Federal funding for this project to $138.51 million. Through FY 1998, a total of $120.89 million has been appropriated for this project. The FY 1999 appropriation provided an additional $16.91 million, leaving $703,308 needed to fulfill the FFGA. It is recommended that these remaining funds be provided in FY 2000 to complete the current FFGA.

Northern New Jersey/Hudson-Bergen Waterfront LRT

The New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) is constructing a 9.6-mile, 16-station light rail line along the Hudson River Waterfront in Hudson County, from the Hoboken Terminal to 34th Street in Bayonne and Westside Avenue in Jersey City. This line is intended as the first minimum operable segment (MOS) of a larger 21-mile, 30-station line extending 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 completed system will serve the high-density commercial centers in Jersey City and Hoboken, and provide connections with NJ Transit commuter rail service, PATH trains to Newark and Manhattan, and the Port Imperial ferry from Weehauken to Manhattan. The initial operating segment is being constructed under a turnkey contract to design, build, operate, and maintain the system, which was awarded in October 1996. Construction began on the MOS in December 1996.

This project is a major component of the Urban Core program of interrelated projects defined in ISTEA and TEA-21, designed to enhance mobility significantly in the Northeastern New Jersey area. These projects were specifically exempt from the FTA New Starts evaluation criteria by ISTEA, and again by TEA-21.

The Department issued an FFGA on October 15, 1996 that commits $604.09 million in §5309 new starts funding for the MOS. Through FY 1998, a total of $158.83 million has been appropriated for this project. The FY 1999 appropriation provided an additional $69.48 million, leaving $375.78 million needed to complete the Federal commitment to MOS-1. It is recommended that $99.00 million be provided in FY 2000, in accordance with Attachment 6 of the FFGA for this project. The remaining $276.78 million needed to complete the Federal funding commitment would be provided in future years. This project is scheduled to open for revenue service in July 2000.

Portland/Westside LRT to Hillsboro

On September 12, 1998 the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District (Tri-Met) in Portland, Oregon officially opened the 17.7-mile extension of the MAX light rail system between downtown Portland and downtown Hillsboro. This line includes 20 new stations and nine park-and-ride lots. The route includes a 3-mile twin-tube tunnel under the West Hills, essentially paralleling the Sunset Highway. Service is provided by 42 low-floor light rail vehicles, the first to be placed in service in the United States.

The original FFGA for this project was issued in September 1992, for a segment to S.W. 185th Avenue in Washington County, and was amended in December 1994 to include the remaining segment to Hillsboro. Consistent with Congressional authorization, it was amended again on November 1, 1996 to commit a total of $630.06 million in §5309 new starts funding to the entire "Westside-Hillsboro" project. Of this, $593.48 million has been provided in FY 1998 and prior years. The FY 1999 appropriation provided an additional $25.53 million, leaving $11.06 million required to complete the Federal commitment to this project. It is recommended that this final funding increment be provided in FY 2000.

Sacramento/South Corridor LRT

The Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT) is developing an 11.3-mile light rail project in the South Sacramento Corridor. The system will follow existing Union Pacific 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 minimum operable segment (MOS), would operate between downtown Sacramento and Meadowview Road. 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 in the corridor. Final design activities commenced on July 1, 1997, and construction is expected to begin in late 1999. The project is projected to open for revenue service by September 2003.

On June 20, 1997, an FFGA was issued for the 6.3-mile MOS, committing a total of $111.20 million in Federal new starts funding. This does not include $1.98 million in prior year funds that were obligated before the FFGA was issued, which brings the total amount of §5309 new starts funding to $113.18 million. A total of $30.15 million in FY 1998 and prior year funding has been allocated to this project, and an additional $23.31 million was appropriated in FY 1999. It is recommended that $25.00 million be provided in FY 2000, as specified in Attachment 6 of the FFGA for this project, with the remaining $34.72 million to be provided in future years.

Salt Lake City/South LRT

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) is constructing a 15-mile light rail transit (LRT) line from downtown Salt Lake City to the southern suburbs. The system will operate on city streets downtown (2 miles) and then follow a lightly-used railroad alignment owned by UTA to the suburban community of Sandy (13 miles). This project is one component of the Interstate 15 corridor improvement initiative, which includes reconstruction of a parallel segment of I-15. Construction is underway, with an estimated completion date of December 2000.

Salt Lake City has been selected as the site for the 2002 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. This project will connect major hotels and local residential areas with the Olympic venues for figure skating, medal rounds for ice hockey, and the International Broadcast Center, and will connect with bus service to venues for speed skating, curling, and the Nordic alpine events.

On August 2, 1995, FTA issued an FFGA for this project that commits a total of $237.39 million in Federal new starts funding. This does not include $6.60 million in prior year funds that were provided before the FFGA was issued, which brings the total amount of §5309 new starts funding to $243.99 million. A total of $136.58 million has been appropriated in FY 1998 and prior years. The FY 1999 appropriation provided an additional $69.48 million for this project, leaving $37.93 million needed to complete the Federal commitment. Attachment 6 of the FFGA specifies that $37.41 million be provided in FY 2000, which would leave $521,300 remaining. Because such a small amount would remain, it is recommended that the entire $37.93 million be provided in FY 2000 to complete the Federal funding commitment. This project will be operational in December 2000, well before the opening of the 2002 Winter Olympics.

San Francisco/BART Airport Extension ("BART-SFO")

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in San Francisco and the San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans) are implementing an 8.2-mile, 4-station extension of the BART rapid transit system to serve San Francisco International Airport. The project consists of a 7.4-mile mainline extension from the existing BART station at Colma, through Colma, south San Francisco, and San Bruno, terminating at the Millbrae Avenue BART/CalTrain Station. An additional 0.8-mile spur from the main line north of Millbrae will take BART trains directly into the airport, to a station adjoining the new International Terminal.

The San Francisco International Airport is a major partner in this project. All structures and facilities to be constructed on airport property, and installation of related equipment, are being funded, designed and constructed by the airport for BART. This project is also participating in the FTA Turnkey Demonstration program to determine if the design/build approach will reduce implementation time and cost. On July 24, 1997, the first contract was awarded for site preparation and utility relocation associated with this project. Bids for the main contract for construction of the line, trackwork and related systems were opened on November 25, 1997.

On June 30, 1997, FTA entered into an FFGA for the BART-SFO extension, committing a total of $750.00 million in Federal new starts funds to the project. Through FY 1998, a total of $113.72 million has been allocated to this project. An additional $39.70 million was provided in FY 1999, leaving $596.57 million of the total commitment remaining. In accordance with Attachment 6 of the FFGA for this project, it is recommended that $84.00 million be provided in the FY 2000 budget to keep this project progressing on schedule. The remaining $512.57 million would be provided in future years. This extension is expected to open for service by September 30, 2001, as specified by the terms and conditions of the FFGA.

San Jose/Tasman LRT West Extension

The Santa Clara County Transit District (SCCTD) is planning a 12.4-mile light rail system from northeast San Jose to downtown Mountain View, connecting with both the Guadalupe LRT in northern Santa Clara County and the Caltrain commuter rail system. The project is proceeding in two phases: the Phase 1 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 7.6 miles; the future Phase 2 East Extension will complete the remaining 4.8 miles.

An FFGA was issued for Phase 1of this project on July 2, 1996, providing a total of $182.75 million in §5309 new starts funding. A total of $124.08 million was provided in FY 1998 and prior years, and an additional $26.80 million was provided in FY 1999. This leaves $31.87 million needed to complete the Federal commitment to this project. Attachment 6 of the FFGA for this project specifies that $20.00 million be provided in FY 2000, which would leave $11.87 million remaining. Because such a small amount would remain, it is recommended that the entire $31.87 million needed to complete the Federal commitment be provided in FY 2000.

San Juan/Tren Urbano

The Puerto Rico Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) is constructing a 10.7-mile, 16-station rapid rail line between Bayamon Centro and the Sagrado Corazon area of Santurce in the San Juan metropolitan area. The system consists of a double-track line operating over at-grade and elevated rights-of-way with a short below-grade segment, and a maintenance facility. When complete, this system is expected to carry 113,300 riders per day by 2010.

This project has been selected as one of FTA's turnkey demonstration projects, which incorporates contracts to design, build, operate, and maintain the system. This type of procurement is expected to expedite the implementation of the project and develop the institutional capability needed to operate the system. During 1996 and 1997, seven contracts were awarded under the turnkey procurement.

On March 13, 1996, FTA entered into an FFGA committing $307.41 million in §5309 new starts funds to this project, out of a total project cost of $1,250.00 million. This did not include $4.96 million in Federal new starts funding provided prior to FY 1996, which brings total Federal new starts funding for this project to $312.37 million. A total of $33.38 million has been allocated to the Tren Urbano project in FY 1998 and prior year funds, and an additional $19.85 million was appropriated in FY 1999. This leaves $259.14 million needed to complete the FFGA. In accordance with Attachment 6 of the FFGA, it is recommended that $82.00 million be provided to this project in FY 2000, with the remaining $177.14 million to be provided in future years. The Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority (PRHTA) now estimates that total project costs have increased from $1,250.00 million to $1,550.00 million, reflecting locally-approved enhancements which will be funded from local sources.

St. Louis/St. Clair County LRT

The Bi-State Development Agency (Bi-State) is developing a 26-mile extension of the Metrolink light rail line from downtown East St. Louis, Illinois to the Mid America Airport in St. Clair County. A 17.4-mile Minimum Operable Segment (MOS) will extend from the current Metrolink terminal in downtown East St. Louis to Belleville Area College. This segment consists of eight stations, seven park-and-ride lots, 20 new light rail vehicles, and a new maintenance facility in East St. Louis. The route makes extensive use of abandoned railroad rights-of-way. Right-of-way and real estate acquisition is proceeding as scheduled, and revenue service is scheduled to begin in May 2001.

On October 17, 1996, FTA and Bi-State entered into an FFGA that commits a total of $243.93 million in §5309 new starts funding to complete the 17.4-mile MOS. This does not include $8.49 million in Federal new starts funding provided prior to FY 1996, which brings total Federal funding for this project to $252.41 million under the new starts program. Bi-State has proposed that the FFGA be amended to include the Mid America Airport segment, as contemplated in the FFGA. Through FY 1998, a total of $78.09 million has been appropriated for this project. The FY 1999 appropriation provided an additional $34.74 million, leaving $139.58 million needed to fulfill the Federal funding commitment. It is recommended that $50.00 million be provided to this project in FY 2000, as specified in Attachment 6 of the FFGA, with the remaining $89.58 million to be provided in future years.