Authorizations for Final Design and Construction

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Greater Albuquerque Mass Transit Project

Albuquerque, New Mexico

The City of Albuquerque’s Transit Department, in coordination with the City of New Mexico’s Highway and Transportation Department, and the Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments, have undertaken a High Capacity Transportation System (HCTS) Study. The Albuquerque Metropolitan Planning Area is forecasted to have a 48% increase in population by 2020. Accordingly, in order to maintain the area’s attractiveness for residents and economic development, a combination of transportation improvements is under examination. Planning for the proposed HCTS will be completed in two phases. Phase I will develop a 20-year high capacity-strategic corridors plan. Phase I is anticipated for completion in June 2000. Phase II will identify a set of corridors for detailed analysis. A Locally Preferred Alternative will be selected and a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) will be prepared. The DEIS is anticipated to be completed in December 2001. Alternatives that are being studied include: No-build, roadway improvements, new roadways, Travel Demand Management/Transportation System Management (TDM/TSM), including Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) applications, bus service improvements, express bus and park-and-ride service, High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, busways, commuter rail, light rail and a combination of modes. The high capacity-strategic corridors plan will be incorporated into the region’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated

$11.82 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

High Capacity Corridor [Light Rail]

Albuquerque, New Mexico

See project description for the Greater Albuquerque Mass Transit Project above. Project sponsors have informed the Federal Transit Administration that the two are identical.

 

Atlanta-Athens Commuter Rail

Atlanta-Athens, Georgia

The Georgia Rail Passenger Authority (GRPA) is conducting a Major Investment Study (MIS) to examine the feasibility of various transportation improvements in the 70-mile transportation corridor between downtown Atlanta and downtown Athens, Georgia. The options under evaluation include the no-build option, Transportation Systems Management (TSM) options, including commuter bus service on existing roads, and commuter rail service on the existing CSX line between Athens and Atlanta. The GRPA has submitted a preliminary draft of the MIS for review by the Federal agencies, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), the Athens-Clarke Metropolitan Planning Organization, and the transit operators in the Atlanta and Athens areas. An additional analysis of ridership, capital and operating costs and financing will be conducted as part of the MIS.

Griffin Commuter Rail

Atlanta-Griffin-Macon, Georgia

The Georgia Rail Passenger Authority (GRPA), in coordination with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), is advancing the 1997 Intercity Rail Plan with its program of combined intercity/commuter rail service in North and Middle Georgia. The plan calls for commuter rail service to Griffin and intercity services beyond to Macon, Georgia. The proposed line will serve seven counties (Bibb, Monroe, Lamar, Spalding, Henry, Clayton, and Fulton) as well as numerous communities along the way. The GRPA has undertaken a study to update the 1997 GDOT Intercity Rail Plan in preparation for completing a Major Investment Study (MIS) in the corridor. Plans for the initial service outline the utilization of over 102 miles of an existing Norfolk Southern commercial freight line. Total capital costs for the initial service from Atlanta-Griffin-Macon is estimated at $163.12 million. The Georgia General Assembly has appropriated approximately $4 million to continue with the MIS and follow-up activities.

 

Georgia 400 Multimodal Corridor (North Fulton Corridor)

Atlanta, Georgia

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is conducting a feasibility study to examine transit options in a proposed 14-mile corridor extending from the North Springs Station (currently under construction) to McGinnis Ferry Parkway along the Georgia 400 corridor. High growth in office, commercial, and residential development has occurred within the corridor with additional significant additional growth already planned.

 

MARTA - Interstate 285 Transit Corridor

Atlanta, Georgia

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is conducting a feasibility study to examine transit infrastructure options within the Interstate 285 Corridor extending from the existing Kensington Rail Station in DeKalb County to the Medical Center Station and Perimeter Center area. The proposed corridor is highly congested and currently carries over 170,000 daily auto trips.

MARTA - Marietta-Lawrenceville Corridor

Atlanta, Georgia

The Federal Transit Administration has not received any information on this effort.

 

MARTA - South DeKalb Comprehensive Transit Program

Atlanta, Georgia

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is examining potential transit solutions to alleviate traffic congestion throughout South DeKalb County. The proposed area, located south of MARTA’s existing East Line is currently experiencing rapid growth in residential development. The result has been heavy traffic congestion on all major streets and highways. A portion of the proposed study area was included in the South DeKalb-Lindbergh Corridor Major Investment Study (MIS). As a result, data collected from the South DeKalb-Lindbergh MIS will be incorporated into the South DeKalb Comprehensive Transit study.

 

Atlanta (South DeKalb – Lindbergh Corridor)

Atlanta, Georgia

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is conducting a Major Investment Study (MIS) to examine transportation options in a proposed 15-mile corridor extending from the South campus of the Georgia Perimeter College, north to the Emory University area. The proposed corridor also includes the Centers for Disease Control and medical center complex, and continues on to the existing Lindbergh Center Station on MARTA’s North Line. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $3.63 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Central LRT Extension to Glen Burnie

Baltimore, Maryland

The Maryland Mass Transit Administration (MTA) has decided not to pursue this effort at this time. The most cost-effective alignment is not acceptable to the public or locally elected officials.

 

MARC – Commuter Rail Improvements

(MARC Maintenance Facility)

Baltimore, Maryland-Washington, D.C.

The Mass Transit Administration of the Maryland Department of Transportation (MD DOT) is conducting preliminary engineering and an environmental documentation study for the Maryland Commuter Rail (MARC) maintenance facility. A preferred site has been selected at Mt. Clare in southwest Baltimore City, located along the MARC Penn-Camden Connection. The study is one of several recommendations resulting from the MARC Master Plan completed in 1995. The purpose of the study is to design and build a storage and centralized maintenance facility for the MARC system. Currently, maintenance activities are performed in multiple facilities owned and operated by Amtrak

and CSXT in the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan area. The first phase of the project was funded by the MD DOT.

 

Metropolitan Rail Corridor

Baltimore, Maryland

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MD DOT) is currently considering 17 transportation improvement options for the Baltimore and Washington Metropolitan regions. The various projects under study for the region range in scope from a two-mile extension for a Baltimore-Washington International Airport Square light rail transit (LRT) line and a downtown Baltimore LRT "Loop" to a 19-mile Metro (heavy rail) extension between Columbia and Silver Spring, Maryland. Total capital costs for the various options range between $120 million (downtown Baltimore Loop) to $1.9 billion (Baltimore Metro options to White Marsh Mall or Westminster).

People Mover (Baltimore - Central Downtown Major Investment Study)

Baltimore, Maryland

The City of Baltimore has initiated a feasibility study to identify transportation improvements within the Baltimore Downtown area. The study area includes an east-west corridor that also encompasses the Inner Harbor. The study will examine transportation options for moving people in the downtown area to areas just east and west of the Harbor. Alternatives under consideration include, but are not limited to, a potential light rail transit extension from the current Penn Station and a people mover. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $0.5 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Cross County Light Rail

Bergen County, New Jersey

The Bergen County, New Jersey, Cross County Light Rail Transit (LRT) line was recommended as one of three alternatives under the West Shore Major Investment Study/Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The proposed Cross County LRT is anticipated to share the right-of-way of the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad southeast from Maywood (possibly Paterson) New Jersey, through the City of Hackensack and terminate at the Vince Lombardi park-and-ride lot, a distance of approximately seven miles. A second track and passing sidings for the LRT would be constructed in the right-of-way and would be separate from the current freight service. Potential stations include Maywood/Rochelle Park, Hackensack (Prospect Avenue), Hackensack (Main Street) and Bogata. The Vince Lombardi park-and-ride lot is the present terminus point for the Hudson-Bergen LRT (HBLRT). The first Minimum Operable Segment of the HBLRT is currently under construction. The proposed Cross County Line would serve as an extension to the HBLRT. The HBLRT track and

structures could be used for the operation of service from Hoboken to the Vince Lombardi park-and-ride lot in North Bergen. This would allow a one-seat ride from Hoboken to Maywood, a distance of 17 miles. An environmental impact statement is scheduled for completion within the next two years. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $3.97 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for the MIS/DEIS.

 

Transit Corridor

Birmingham, Alabama

The Birmingham Metropolitan Planning Organization, in cooperation with local governments, the local transit authority, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Birmingham Regional Planning Commission, is conducting a feasibility study as part of its Strategic Regional Multimodal Mobility Plan. This effort constitutes Phase I of the Birmingham Transit Corridor and will result in the identification of feasible regional transit strategies proposed within selected corridors to determine which may be the most effective for addressing congestion management needs. Regional transit strategies under consideration include High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes with express bus service; feeder and circulator bus service; improvements to fixed route transit service; and light rail transit. Federal Highway Administration Metropolitan Planning funds and local funds support Phase I. Phase I is scheduled for completion in January 2000. Phase II will consists of an Alternatives Analysis Study for selected primary corridors. Phase II will evaluate the alternative alignments and strategies identified in each primary corridor in the system plan and choose a Locally Preferred Alternative. This phase will also initiate the environmental review process (National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended) – and include concept-level engineering and an environmental scan. Phase II is anticipated to take approximately 18 months and will be completed in June 2001. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $3.93 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Airport Intermodal Transit Connector

Boston, Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), in coordination with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), conducted a Major Investment Study/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (MIS/DEIS) on transportation improvements to enhance the intermodal connection between Logan International Airport and the Boston regional transit system and ease airport roadway and curb congestion. The study included bus as well as People Mover alternatives. During the MIS process, Massport determined that improvements to the bus system at Logan Airport and the addition of bus service to South Station would be more cost-effective than a People Mover. Massport suspended work on the MIS/DEIS and further developed the bus alternative now known as the Airport Intermodal Transit Connector (AITC) under an environmental assessment (EA). The project involves two routes: one connecting South Station in Boston to the airport via the South Boston Transitway and the new Ted Williams Tunnel (Central Artery) and the

second connecting the MBTA’s Blue Line to airport terminals. Massport will operate dual mode buses (electric trolley/diesel) on the South Station to Logan Airport route and alternative fueled buses on the Blue Line/Terminals route. The Federal Transit Administration has approved the Environmental Assessment for the AITC and Massport is now prepared to move ahead with the project which is programmed in the Massachusetts State Transportation Improvement Program and Boston Transportation Improvement Program. The estimated cost to design and implement the AITC is approximately $40 million.

 

Boston-Providence Commuter Rail

Boston, Massachusetts

This project involves the construction of a commuter rail layover facility in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The project is a joint Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT/Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) venture for the design and construction of 6-9 track commuter rail yard for the purpose of overnight layover/storage and future light maintenance of commuter rail equipment. This project is to serve both the existing Providence-Boston service and Rhode Island’s future Providence-Westerly service. The twelve-acre parcel is situated adjacent to and east of the Amtrak Main Line. As part of the existing agreement with the MBTA, RIDOT will fund the design and construction of the yard in exchange for ten years of commuter rail service to the Providence Station. Total capital costs are estimated at $10 million. The project is included in Rhode Island’s Transportation Plan, and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

 

North Shore Corridor Project

Boston, Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has previously conducted a series of feasibility studies for improvements to the North Shore transportation system. These studies evaluated extensions of the Blue Line; improved commuter rail and express bus services; and the connection of the Blue Line and North Shore commuter rail service in Revere. Area officials now intend to further evaluate these alternatives for the corridor by focusing on operational impacts to the MBTA system, ridership analysis, capital and operating costs, community impacts, environmental impacts and cost/benefit analyses. This project is not in the Boston area Long Range Transportation Plan. Through

FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $1.97 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

North-South Rail Link

Boston, Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is conducting a Major Investment Study/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (MIS/DEIS) to examine transit

options in the corridor between North Station and South Station in downtown Boston. The alternatives under consideration include a bus shuttle system as a transportation systems management (TSM) option and various configurations of a rail tunnel. The tunnel would be constructed under the Central Artery alignment and would permit through commuter rail transit to serve both downtown stations. Currently, MBTA commuter rail service is split into two completely separate services, one serving the North Station and the other serving the South Station. The project is included in the "future projects" section of the Boston area Long Range Transportation Plan, but is not in the financially constrained plan. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated

$0.496 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Urban Ring

Boston, Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is conducting a Major Investment Study (MIS) to examine transportation alternatives to improve circumferential mass transit in a corridor surrounding the Boston central core. The proposed corridor, known as the Urban Ring and generally following a previously proposed inner belt highway alignment, includes regional trip generators, beginning at the University of Massachusetts’ Boston Campus at the southeast end and terminating at Logan Airport at the northeast end. The corridor also includes many major public, private, and institutional activity centers located in Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Somerville, and Brookline. Currently, the alternatives under consideration include circumferential rail service, various combinations of rail and bus service to new station stops on the existing radial system, and enhanced bus service. These alternatives would connect with extant commuter rail and transit lines. The project is included in the "future projects" section of the Boston area Long Range Transportation Plan but is not in the financially constrained plan. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $2.7 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Burlington-Essex Commuter Rail

Burlington, Vermont

The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VAOT) is planning an extension of commuter rail service on 7.8 miles of existing right-of-way between Burlington and Essex Junction. This is Phase II of the VAOT Burlington Commuter Rail effort. The proposed project will extend the Burlington to Charlotte commuter rail service from the recently renovated Union Station in Burlington to connect with Amtrak and major employment centers in Essex Junction. The Burlington to Charlotte commuter rail service is scheduled to begin operation in FY 2000. The VAOT has prepared a corridor analysis for the proposed project with $0.26 million from their $4.98 million FY 1998 earmark. The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) anticipates that additional analysis will be required prior to requesting permission to commence preliminary engineering. This analysis is currently under review by the MPO for incorporation into the Transportation Improvement

Program. The improvements in the corridor would include track, tunnel, signal, at-grade crossings and drainage improvements. Two intermediate stations are also being considered along this route. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $6.96 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Monobeam Corridor

Charleston, South Carolina

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority, in cooperation with the City of Charleston and the City of North Charleston, is examining the feasibility of implementing a proposed light rail or monobeam transit system from the Airport to the Convention Center. The full-scale proposed monobeam prototype is a three-year $35-$40 million effort that is expected to be financed largely with private funds. An approximately 1.25-mile prototype will be erected on a site in the Charleston community and is designed to demonstrate the aesthetic, cost and environmental characteristics of the monobeam, as well as its safety and reliability. The prototype could become the first segment of a regional rail transit network. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $6.13 million in Section 5309 New Starts for this effort.

 

North-South Corridor Transitway

Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina

The North-South Corridor extends approximately 36 miles from Davidson in North Mecklenburg County through downtown Charlotte to Pineville in South Mecklenburg County. This corridor was identified in the Centers and Corridors Plan adopted by the Charlotte Council and Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners in 1994 and reaffirmed through inclusion in the adopted 2020 Long Range Transportation Plan and the 2025 Transit/Land Use Plan. The formal scoping meeting for the Phase I environmental analysis was held January 1999. Alternatives Analysis is currently underway for the 11.5-mile southern portion of the corridor from downtown Charlotte to Pineville. Adoption of a Locally Preferred Alternative followed by a request to the Federal Transit Administration to enter preliminary engineering is anticipated in early 2000. York County, South Carolina is also doing preliminary investigation of alignments and land use patterns to evaluate possible future extensions to South Carolina. The City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and the six other municipalities in the County have developed a county-wide Transit/Land Use Plan for 2025. Transit options and possible land use actions for five corridors, including the North-South Corridor, were analyzed. The 2025 Plan built upon earlier studies and land use plans for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. The Plan was also the basis for obtaining November 1998 approval of a county-wide referendum for a ½ cent sales tax dedicated to public transportation. The tax went into effect in April 1999 and is anticipated to yield approximately

$46-$48 million during the first year. The City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and six towns formed the Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) to oversee the county-

wide transit system. The adopted MTC Capital and Operating Budget for the current fiscal year exceeds $91 million. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated

$7.89 million in Section 5309 New Starts for this effort.

 

35th Street Station (also known as the Comiskey Park Station)

Chicago, Illinois

Metra, the commuter rail agency for northeastern Illinois, initiated a review of the relative merits of developing a proposed commuter rail station at 35th Street, located near Comiskey Park in Chicago. The preferred location would allow commuters to transfer to two Chicago Transit Authority rapid transit lines. Metra’s analysis will be released following the completion of a State-funded study being conducted by the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) of northeastern Illinois. The study will examine the feasibility of improving integration of service and fares of all the transit services provided by the RTA.

 

Inner Circumferential Commuter Rail

Chicago, Illinois

Metra, the commuter rail agency for northeastern Illinois, has completed the first phase of a study examining the feasibility of implementing commuter rail service in the corridor between O’Hare and Midway airports. An effort to secure local funds to initiate additional studies is also underway. The Chicago Area Transportation Study (local metropolitan planning organization) has not included this effort in its Long-Range Transportation Plan, although it identifies it as one of twenty corridors for further study.

 

McCormick Place Busway

Chicago, Illinois

The City of Chicago is proposing to design and construct the Lakefront Busway project. The proposed project consists of a two-lane, two-way bus road to shuttle McCormick Place attendees between the convention center to Randolph Street and hotels to the north.

The proposed roadway, which would be separate from general traffic in and adjacent to Grant Park, is anticipated to allow faster trips to and from McCormick Place, and thereby reduce the convention center’s transportation costs, and traffic congestion. The project is being funded by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, and is currently in the design and right-of-way acquisition stage. Substantial completion of the project is scheduled in late 2000. No Federal Section 5309 New Starts funds are being sought for the project.

Northwest Rail Transit Corridor

Chicago, Illinois

The Regional Transportation Authority of northeastern Illinois is conducting a feasibility study to investigate the transit and transportation needs of the Interstate 90/Northwest Tollway Corridor. The study is evaluating a range of transportation options that will result in a set of viable, cost-effective alternatives for the proposed corridor. The Northwest Corridor Transit Feasibility Study (I-90/Northwest Tollway Corridor) area is bounded by Harlem Avenue on the east, the Kane/Cook County line on the west, Metra’s (commuter rail agency for northeastern Illinois) Union Pacific Northwest Line on the north and Metra’s Milwaukee West Line on the south. A final recommendation of a set of alternatives is expected shortly.

 

Berea/I-X Center Red Line Extension

Cleveland, Ohio

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) is conducting a Major Investment Study/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (MIS/DEIS) to determine transportation options to provide a direct link between downtown Cleveland, Hopkins International Airport, the International Exposition (I-X) Center, and Baldwin Wallace College. The proposed Berea Rapid Transit Extension, extending approximately three to four miles from the GCRTA’s Airport station, is directly aligned with the local transit operator’s Red Line rapid rail system. The MIS/DEIS is also considering adequate walk-up access and park-n-ride facilities to encourage more usage of the Red Line Light Rail Transit System. The Berea Rapid Transit Extension MIS was programmed in the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency’s (NOACA) - (local metropolitan planning organization) FY 1997 Unified Work Program. A Locally Preferred Investment Strategy (LPIS) was recommended to the GCRTA Board of Trustees by its Planning and Development Committee in November 1999. NOACA is expected to make an LPIS selection in January 2000. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $2.9 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Cleveland-Akron-Canton Commuter Rail

Canton-Akron-Cleveland, Ohio

The METRO Regional Transit Authority (METRO), in cooperation with local metropolitan planning organizations, regional transit authorities, and the Ohio Department of Transportation, is conducting a Major Investment Study (MIS) to assess the costs and benefits of new passenger rail service, Transportation System Management (TSM), and/or capacity improvements for the Canton-Akron-Cleveland (CAC) Corridor. The proposed 62-mile corridor follows a path along Interstate 77 (I-77) between Canton and Akron. Between Akron and Cleveland, the corridor widens to include both I-77 and State Route 8 (SR-8). The SR-8 alignment utilizes Interstate 271 and Interstate 480, returning to I-77 then into the Central Business District of Cleveland. The corridor

frequently experiences traffic congestion and related safety problems on major transportation facilities. The study is currently in the primary scoping stage. The proposed project is included in the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study’s Long Range Needs Plan. In addition, several miles of rail right-of-way have been purchased for passenger rail use. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated

$14.4 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Cleveland - Blue Line Extension

Cleveland, Ohio

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) is conducting a Major Investment Study to examine transportation options in a corridor extending from the terminus of GCRTA’s Blue Line at the intersection of Van Aken Boulevard and Warrensville Road in Shaker Heights. Among the alternatives being considered is a potential extension of the Blue Line to an area near the planned interchange on Interstate 271 at Harvard Road near Beachwood, that is being built to serve the new Chagrin Highlands development. A joint economic development agreement between the City of Cleveland, a private developer and area suburbs, will develop over 650 acres of unused land for the Chagrin Highlands complex over the next 20 years. The master plan projects approximately 3.5 million square feet of office space, 1,000 hotel rooms, 250,000 square feet of shops and restaurants and over 15,000 jobs. The MIS is also being coordinated with major plans for new developments, including Highland Hills’ Cleveland Enterprise Park and the City of Shaker Heights’ Warrensville/Van Aken shopping center redevelopment at the current Blue Line terminus. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $0.8 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Interstate 90 Corridor to Ashtabula County

Cleveland, Ohio

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), the local metropolitan planning organization for the Cleveland area, is examining the feasibility of initiating commuter rail service in a proposed corridor between Cleveland and Ashtabula County. The proposed corridor is one of seven found to be feasible for commuter rail under Phase I of the Northeast Ohio Commuter Rail Feasibility Study (NEOrail) being conducted by NOACA. Currently, no commuter rail service operates in the corridor. Prior to a decision to implement commuter rail service, NOACA will conduct Phase II of the NEOrail study. Phase II will complete the feasibility analysis, including implementing planning for all seven corridors, as input to the regional decisionmaking process necessary to select, program and fund a proposed projec

North – South (Waterfront Line Extension)

Cleveland, Ohio

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) is conducting a Major Investment Study to examine transportation options to the North-South transportation corridor in the eastern portion of the Central Business District (CBD) in Cleveland, Ohio. One option under consideration includes providing light rail transit (LRT) service to the proposed corridor. The alternatives under study could potentially provide rail service to an emerging office corridor, Cleveland’s theater district, and two local colleges, while creating a downtown rail loop. Accordingly, one of the alternatives under consideration includes a potential extension of the Waterfront Line LRT south from the existing North Coast terminus through the eastern portion of the CBD. Alternatives under examination could also provide a North-South rail connection to the proposed Euclid Corridor bus rapid transit project. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $0.99 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Lorain-Cleveland Commuter Rail

Cleveland, Ohio

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), the local Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Cleveland area is examining the feasibility of initiating commuter rail service in a proposed corridor between Cleveland and Lorain County in northeast Ohio. The proposed corridor is one of seven found to be feasible for commuter rail under Phase I of the Northeast Ohio Commuter Rail Feasibility Study (NEOrail) being conducted by NOACA. Currently, no commuter rail service operates in the corridor. Prior to a decision to implement commuter rail service, NOACA will conduct Phase II of the NEOrail study. Phase II will complete the feasibility analysis, including implementing planning for all seven corridors, as input to the regional decisionmaking process necessary to select, program and fund a proposed project.

 

Northeast Ohio Commuter Rail Study, Phase II

Cleveland, Ohio

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), the local Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Cleveland area, is examining the feasibility of initiating commuter rail service in the Cleveland metropolitan area. Phase I of the Northeast Ohio Rail Feasibility Study has been completed by NOACA. Seven corridors have been identified in Phase I as being potentially feasible for commuter rail service. Phase II will bring the analysis of commuter rail in northeast Ohio to a conclusion, providing regional decision makers with information necessary to select, program and fund potential commuter rail service. Completion of Phase II is anticipated during the year 2001.

 

Hollis-Ketchikan Ferry

Craig, Alaska

Residents of the State of Alaska rely on ferries to connect many of the State’s coastal islands and towns. The State operates the Alaska Marine Highway, a system of 17 vessels, in the southeast and southcentral portions of the State. The system has limited funding availability and has been unable to introduce additional services and routes. The City of Craig combined with other communities on Prince of Wales Island to evaluate the feasibility of replacing a ferry service operated by the Alaska Marine Highway between the island and the City of Ketchikan with more frequent and reliable service. The vessel is currently under construction and is anticipated for completion (in time for service initiation) during the year 2000. The Inter-Island Ferry Authority is the grant recipient. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $6.3 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Dallas (Northwest Corridor)

Dallas, Texas

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Agency is conducting a Major Investment Study (MIS) to examine transportation options in a proposed corridor extending approximately 19 miles north from the Dallas Central Business District. The proposed corridor also includes a new arena development in downtown Dallas, the Medical-Market Center, Love Field Airport, the cities of Irving, Farmers Branch and Carrollton, as well as developing areas northwest – such as the Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport and Los Colinas. Two freight rail lines and two major freeways are located within the corridor and are incorporated as alignment alternatives. The purposes of the study are to examine the feasibility of enhancing mobility, providing additional capacity, reducing congestion, enhancing transit, and maintaining the environment. Alternatives under consideration include: No-build, Transportation System Management (TSM) including Congestion Management System applications, light rail, commuter rail, High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes and feeder bus transit improvements. An extensive public involvement process is currently underway. The study is also being closely coordinated with three other MISs being conducted by the Texas Department of Transportation. Following detailed evaluation of the individual modes, multi-modal strategies will be evaluated and a draft Locally Preferred Investment Strategy selected by late 1999 or early 2000.

 

Dallas (Southeast Corridor)

Dallas, Texas

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Agency is conducting a Major Investment Study (MIS) to examine transportation options in a proposed corridor extending approximately 10 miles within the southeastern quadrant of DART’s service area. The proposed corridor begins east of the Dallas Central Business District (CBD) and includes Baylor Hospital, the Deep Ellum Planned Development District, the Buckner Boulevard commercial/retail

area and Fair Park. The Dallas CBD and the Medical-Market Center are outside the proposed corridor. However, they anchor one end of the southeast-northwest travel pattern of the corridor. The purposes of the MIS are to examine the feasibility of increasing mobility in the corridor, adding capacity along heavily traveled routes, reducing congestion and strengthening economic development. Alternatives under consideration include No-build, Transportation System Management (TSM) and eight alternative light rail alignments. High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, busways and commuter rail have been screened out at this stage of the MIS. Having completed a detailed evaluation of alternatives, including an extensive public participation process, a recommendation is pending on a 10.2-mile, double track light rail alignment with nine passenger stations. The DART Board will review the recommendation before identifying a locally preferred investment strategy that may also include elements of the TSM alternative. The Southeast Corridor is identified as a committed element in the region’s Long Range Transportation Plan. The MIS is scheduled for completion at the end of 1999.

 

Regional Riverfront Corridor

Dayton, Ohio

The City of Dayton, in cooperation with the Miami Valley Regional Transportation Authority (Miami Valley RTA) is proposing to revitalize the area along the Miami River in downtown Dayton. The proposed riverfront corridor revitalization effort includes a landscaped walkway, a plaza for community festivals, fountains, a small boat harbor and the redevelopment of an existing street into a pedestrian way lined with trees, benches and streetlights. In accordance with this, the City of Dayton, along with the Miami Valley RTA is also proposing to relocate the existing infrastructure of an electric trolley for one of Miami Valley RTA’s electric trolley bus lines. In addition, the proposed project includes the construction of pedestrian access facilities, bus shelters, benches and signage.

 

East Corridor (Airport)

Denver, Colorado

The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), in cooperation with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Regional Transit District (RTD), has completed the technical work for a Major Investment Study (MIS) to evaluate transportation improvements in its East Corridor, which links downtown Denver via Interstate 70 with Denver International Airport (DIA). The East Corridor MIS was coordinated with concurrent Major Investment Studies of the region’s West and Southeast Corridors. The East MIS recommended a multimodal package of improvements in the corridor including a 23-mile single-track commuter rail line between Denver Union Station and DIA and a one-mile light rail extension from downtown to connect with the commuter rail at East 40th Avenue and 40th Street. With the commuter and light rail improvements, DRCOG estimates an increase of 8,800 daily linked transit

trips in the corridor by the year 2020. The capital cost estimate of the commuter and light rail improvements is $330 million, with annual operating costs estimated at

$31.2 million. DRCOG has officially adopted this locally preferred alternative by including it in the Long Range Transportation Plan.

 

North Front Range Corridor (Ft. Collins-Denver)

Denver, Colorado

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) with the cooperation of local stakeholder agencies, will examine transportation options for the entire North Front Range Corridor, which extends 90 miles from the northern suburbs of Denver to the Wyoming border and includes the urbanized areas of Denver, Boulder, Longmont, Greeley and Fort Collins. Commuter rail is one of the alternatives being considered in the study. The North Front Range area demonstrated the highest ridership potential in a statewide commuter rail feasibility study completed in 1996. The feasibility study estimated ridership at 721,500 per year for an 85-mile Denver-Greely-Ft. Collins line and 416,200 per year for a 74-mile Denver-Boulder-Longmont-Loveland-Ft. Collins line. Both of these segments, as well as shorter lines using the same alignments, are under consideration in the current study. Phase 1 of the study was completed in 1998 and recommended more detailed consideration of commuter rail, High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes and highway improvements. Phase 2 of the study is currently underway. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $0.5 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

West Corridor

Denver, Colorado

The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), in cooperation with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Regional Transit District (RTD), has completed the technical work for a Major Investment Study (MIS) to evaluate improvements in the West Corridor, linking downtown Denver with the City of Golden at the intersection of US Routes 6 and 40, along West Colfax and Sixth Avenues. The West Corridor MIS was coordinated with concurrent MISs of the region’s East and Southeast Corridors. Included in the recommendations for the West Corridor is approximately 12.5 miles of light rail from Union Station to the Cold Spring Park-n-Ride, as well as some enhanced bus service. The capital cost of the recommended alternative is estimated at $251 million, with annual operating costs of $11 million. DRCOG has officially adopted this locally preferred alternative by including it in the Long Range Transportation Plan. Environmental analysis has been initiated for a segment of the corridor. The segment will be called the Central Platte Valley Connector and run from the Colfax Avenue station on the existing Central Corridor LRT system to the Denver Union Terminal and serve the Auraria Campus, the Pepsi Center, Mile High Stadium and Lower Downtown Denver. Project sponsors have proposed to fund the $40 million segment with a combination of Federal, State, local and private funds.

International Fixed Guideway (El Paso to Juarez)

El Paso, Texas

The City of El Paso, Texas is proposing to reestablish a fixed guideway public transportation system between the City of El Paso, Texas and Cuidad, Mexico. The El Paso-Juarez region has the largest population of any international border in North America. The initial phase of the proposed international fixed guideway system involves approximately 1.6-miles of fixed guideway in downtown El Paso, Texas and an approximately 0.75-mile segment in downtown Juarez, Mexico. Until 1974, a rail trolley system linked the downtown areas of both cities. Tremendous growth and increased traffic resulting from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have increased traffic congestion on the region’s international bridges. Project sponsors are currently in the process of establishing an alignment, selecting the preferred technology, identifying stations and terminals, and developing an operational framework for the El Paso portion of the proposed system. The appropriate legal and international agreements will be pursued with local, State and Federal officials in Mexico to secure Mexico’s financial participation in the capital development and operation of the system. The total capital cost of the proposed project is estimated at $43.75 million.

 

South Bay Corridor

Fremont, California

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (SCVTA) is examining transportation options in a proposed corridor extending approximately 21 miles between the cities of Union and Fremont, including downtown San Jose. The corridor is located primarily in the southeast portion of the San Francisco Bay Area. The corridor is predominantly traveled by residents living in the East Bay area - and beyond - who work in Silicon Valley. The proposed corridor is the third most congested corridor in the Bay Area. Residential development in the East Bay area has been compounded by the significant job growth in the Silicon Valley area, which has resulted in very high and increasing levels of traffic congestion. In 1994, building on several earlier planning efforts, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, in conjunction with local cities and transit agencies conducted a study to evaluate multiple transit options as a longer-term solution. This included an option of extending the Bay Area Rapid Transit and SCVTA’s rail systems. Capital costs for a potential extension ranged from $390 million - $1.14 billion, depending on preferred technology and route alignments. A longer-term rail project is included in the 1998 Regional Transportation Plan for the San Francisco Bay Area. Further analysis, regional consensus and public involvement is needed to determine the specific technology and route alignments for a potential rail extension in the corridor.

Trolley Extension

Galveston, Texas

The City of Galveston is conducting a Modified Investment Study and preliminary engineering report to determine the most suitable alignment and technology for extending the existing Galveston rail trolley system. The Galveston trolley has been operating successfully since 1988 and has been previously extended to serve the new Harborside development north of downtown. Preliminary feasibility studies have identified the potential benefits of extending the existing system to serve Galveston Island’s largest employer - the University of Texas Medical Center - on the east side of downtown, and the Island’s most important tourist destination, "Moody Gardens" on the west part of the Island. The proposed extension has been adopted as part of the Houston-Galveston area Council’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and the Long Range Transportation Plan. The study is scheduled for completion in 2000. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $3.47 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Cumberland/Dauphin County Corridor 1 Commuter Rail

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

The Cumberland-Dauphin-Harrisburg Transportation Authority (Capitol Area Transit – CAT) is conducting an Alternatives Analysis (AA) Study for a selected priority transportation corridor known as "Corridor One." The proposed corridor extends approximately 55 miles in central Pennsylvania between Carlisle and Lancaster, via Harrisburg. The proposed corridor has been endorsed by the Harrisburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, as well as through local funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and numerous county, township and municipal contributions. The private sector has also been an active participant in this effort. The results of the CAT Regional Transit Alternatives Analysis Study and the Long Range Transportation Plan will be used to develop alternatives. The AA study is scheduled for completion in late 1999 or early 2000. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $1.48 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Griffin Line

Hartford, Connecticut

The Greater Hartford Transit District (GHTD) conducted a Major Investment Study (MIS) to examine transit options within a proposed 16-mile corridor extending from downtown Hartford and several city neighborhoods to suburban towns to the north and on to Bradley International Airport. The MIS resulted in a Light Rail Transit (LRT) option as the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) being adopted in July 1995 by the Capitol Regional Council of Governments (CRCOG) – the local Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). Since that date, the State, CRCOG, GHTD and local officials, after extensive discussions on funding sources and local financial constraint, have determined that the LRT is not a viable alternative. The CRCOG is currently exploring alternatives to meet the travel demands in this corridor. Following the identification of a Locally Preferred Alternative, a financial plan for the full development of the project will be determined. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $0.99 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

City Light Rail Connection to the Central Business District

Hartford, Connecticut

The City of Hartford is proposing to study the feasibility of a connection from the Central Business District in Hartford to the "North Meadows" area, in cooperation with the Greater Hartford Transit District (GHTD). This is an area adjacent to the Connecticut River, along the Interstate 91 (I-91) North Corridor. The I-91 corridor has experienced a variety of development including, suburban commercial, light manufacturing, sports and a music theater. The corridor will be further defined by the study and may include some elements of downtown circulation to maximize the efficiency of the transit connection. The alternatives being considered may include light rail and bus rapid transit as well as the potential for "fringe parking." The City, the Regional Planning Agency and the Transit District are still defining the final scope of the project. The parties are proposing to develop this project by undertaking a two-phased feasibility study: Phase I: -- Bus Circulation Study and Phase II -- Light Rail Study. GHTD is preparing to begin Phase I, which will provide a general assessment of the current transit conditions and evaluate the need for a downtown circulator with connections to proposed busways. Phase II, Light Rail Study, is expected to be undertaken at a later date. This project is in the Hartford area Long Range Transportation Plan. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $1.48 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Washington County Corridor

Hastings-St. Paul, Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is considering the feasibility of implementing commuter rail service along a proposed 30-mile corridor located in Washington County. The proposed corridor would connect downtown St. Paul, Minnesota with Hastings, Minnesota in Dakota County, located southeast of St. Paul. The area under consideration extends approximately 30 miles along Canadian Pacific railroad tracks. Ridership estimates vary between 933 daily passenger trips with two proposed stations over the entire 30-mile corridor to 1,179 daily trips with ten proposed stations along the entire corridor. Total capital costs for the entire corridor are estimated at $108.8 million.

 

Advanced Transit Program (West Loop Corridor)

Houston, Texas

The Advanced Transit Program (ATP) is a $304.8 million program proposed to be funded with fifty percent Section 5309 New Starts funds and fifty percent local funds. The ATP includes a number of projects, including two Major Investment Studies (MIS) - (Downtown to Astrodome and West Loop Corridors). The Downtown to Astrodome MIS/Environmental Assessment was completed in September 1999. Preliminary engineering for the resultant light rail locally preferred alternative is currently underway. The West Loop MIS is scheduled for completion in March 2000. The West Loop MIS is locally funded. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $5.92 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for the ATP. Section 5309 New Starts funds appropriated through FY 1999 has been applied to the MIS/EA for the Downtown to Astrodome LRT. Funding will be requested for preliminary engineering for the LRT, Hobby and Gulfgate Transit Center projects and the Clean Fuel Program through a future grant application.

 

Northeast Indianapolis Corridor

Indianapolis, Indiana

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization, in cooperation with the Indiana Department of Transportation and other stakeholders, is conducting a Major Investment Study to examine the feasibility of major transit investments within the northeast portion of Marion County and the Southeast portion of Hamilton County between U.S. Route 31 and Interstate 70. The study corridor also encompasses parts of Interstate 69/State Route 37 and Interstate 465. In previous years, I-69/SR 37, as well as U.S. 31, were identified for major highway investments. Traffic congestion, along with rapid commercial and industrial development, has also been increasing within the study corridor. However, as a result of including improved transit service as a potential alternative, the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority purchased the Norfolk Southern rail line extending from 10th Street in Indianapolis to Tipton, Indiana. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $2.23 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

Jacksonville Fixed Guideway Corridor

Jacksonville, Florida

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority and the Florida Department of Transportation are planning to conduct a corridor-level study for a single corridor in the Jacksonville urbanized area of Duval, Clay, and St. Johns' counties. The proposed study is a continuation of a systems planning effort known as the Jacksonville Long Range Corridor and Park and Ride Study (JLRCS) - Phase II. Phase II is scheduled to be completed in March 1999. The JLRCS will result in the selection of one corridor for study in the corridor-level analysis. The proposed study will consider all viable transportation alternatives for improving mobility in the selected corridor. The corridor-level effort will begin in April 1999 and will based upon the Jacksonville Urban Area Transportation

Study (JUATS) Update for 2020, nearing completion. The JUATS will also include a proactive, focused and citizen-led public involvement program. The corridor-level study is scheduled for completion in the year 2000.

 

Southtown Corridor

Kansas City, Missouri

In 1995, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) completed an Alternatives Analysis Study that examined a proposed corridor extending from the riverfront and downtown Kansas City south to the Country Club (Plaza) and to 85th Street and Holmes Road within the Kansas City metropolitan area. The Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) resulting from the study recommended that a 15.2-mile light rail transit (LRT) line be constructed within the corridor. Later in 1995, the LPA was included in the Mid-America Regional Council’s – local Metropolitan Planning Organization – Long Range Transportation Plan. The project also included an eastern LRT line extending from the Plaza to Watkins Drive and south to 75th Street. KCATA proposed to build the project in phases, with an initial 5.6-mile "starter" segment extending from the River Market to 51st Street at the southern edge of the Plaza. Total capital costs for the starter segment are estimated at $220 million ($1997). The starter segment is projected to average 10,800 daily boardings, including 4,800 new riders in the year 2010. In October 1995, FTA approved the initiation of preliminary engineering (PE) for the Southtown Corridor project. However, the PE phase has progressed slowly as local officials are currently reassessing the need for light rail and reconsidering the alignment options for the downtown area. A referendum on a proposed half-cent sales tax to provide a capital funding source for a regional LRT system was rejected by Kansas City voters in November 1999. The referendum was not sponsored by KCATA or the city. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $4.02 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for the project.

 

Electric Transit

Knoxville, Tennessee

The City of Knoxville is proposing an innovative program to incorporate multi-modal linkages among and between downtown Knoxville destinations. The Downtown Knoxville Transportation Linkages Study is examining the feasibility of connecting numerous destinations in downtown Knoxville with a fixed guideway transit system as well as a Transportation System Management alternative. The proposed program addresses the linkages that will connect these downtown generators with trolleys and a dedicated trolley route around downtown Knoxville, as well as bus transit, bicycle and pedestrian ways, transfer stations and intermodal parking/transit facilities. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $1.49 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

East Side Extension – Minimum Operable Segment 4

Los Angeles, California

In 1994, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) completed a Final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report for a 6.8-mile eastern extension of the Metro Red Line subway from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to Whittier/Atlantic in East Los Angeles. The first 3.7-mile segment, from Union Station to 1st/Lorena, was included in a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) for Los Angeles Metro Rail Segment 2/Eastside. The second 3.1-mile segment, from 1st/Lorena to Whittier/Atlantic, was identified in TEA-21 as a second phase of the Metro Rail Eastside Extension (Segment 4/Eastside). The project had three stations and was estimated to cost $1,216 million. As a result of the suspension of many rail projects by the LACMTA Board of Directors in January 1998, the Segment 4/Eastside project was included in the LACMTA-sponsored Regional Transit Alternatives Analysis Study (RTAA) which reviewed possible lower cost solutions for previously adopted rail corridors. In November 1998, after reviewing the RTAA, the LACMTA Board of Directors reprogrammed local resources previously allocated to the Eastside and Mid-City extensions to the implementation of the RTAA recommendations, including the LACMTA Accelerated Bus Procurement Plan. Currently, the LACMTA is undertaking a Revaluation/Major Investment Study for the Eastside, Mid-City/Westside and San Fernando Valley Transit Corridors. In addition to the previously adopted Locally Preferred Alternative, lower cost alternatives are being considered, including "shortened subway," aerial heavy rail, light rail and bus rapid transit. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $11.82 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds to study fixed guideway alternatives.

 

Metrolink (San Bernardino Line)

Los Angeles, California

The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) is proposing a series of improvements to its commuter rail service within an existing railroad right-of-way. These improvements include the construction of sidings in the Interstate 10 Corridor, an upgrade of siding at Marengo and the double tracking of a line between the existing Pomona and Montclair stations. These improvements will result in an increase in frequencies, a reduction of commuter train delays, and an improvement to the schedules of counter-flow trains on the San Bernardino Line. The San Bernardino Line has the highest ridership of all Metrolink lines. There are currently 26 daily train trips in the corridor serving 8,200 daily commuter rail trips. The estimated capital cost for the proposed project is $31.4 million. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated

$0.98 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

Metrolink (Union Station-Fullerton)

Los Angeles, California

The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) is proposing a series of multiple track improvements between the City of Fullerton and Los Angeles’ Union Station. The proposed project is located on the existing Metrolink Orange County Line, which is part of the Los Angeles-San Diego Rail Corridor (LOSSAN) between San Diego and Los Angeles. The proposed corridor is the second busiest in the nation. Throughout the Fullerton to Los Angeles section of the corridor, there are 21 Amtrak intercity train trips, 22 commuter rail trips and 41 freight trips. Metrolink ridership on the Orange County Line has grown to over 5,400 daily trips. Local agencies have jointly contributed over $400 million to purchase and upgrade the proposed corridor. Amtrak contributed approximately $15 million of this amount. The portion of the LOSSAN corridor from Los Angeles to San Diego is owned entirely by public agencies, except the proposed 25-mile section between downtown Los Angeles and Fullerton. The Union Station-Fullerton segment is owned by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF).

 

Redlands-San Bernardino Transportation Corridor

Los Angeles, California

The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) is proposing a complete reconstruction of a mile of rail line previously purchased by the agency. The proposed rail line extends from the San Bernardino Metrolink station eastward approximately one mile to the site of a proposed intermodal bus terminal in downtown San Bernardino. The bus facility is currently in final design. If the proposed rail project is completed, it will allow many Metrolink trains to connect directly with the new bus facility. The proposed project will also provide for the design and construction of a signal system for the first mile. The proposed project is included in the State Transportation Improvement Plan.

 

San Fernando Valley (East-West) Transit Corridor

Los Angeles, California

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) is studying alternatives in a proposed 14-mile corridor extending from the currently planned terminus of the Metro Red Line (North Hollywood) to Warner Center in the West San Fernando Valley. The proposed route would follow an abandoned railroad right-of-way and is being evaluated for possible heavy rail extension, light rail, and bus rapid transit. An Administrative Draft Major Investment Study/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (MIS/DEIS) was completed in March 1997. The MIS is now being re-evaluated and updated in order to be coordinated with the FTA Bus Rapid Transit Demonstration Program. A decision on the Locally Preferred Alternative is expected in January 2000.

 

Santa Monica Boulevard Transit Parkway

Los Angeles, California

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) is studying a section of Santa Monica Boulevard (State Route 2) between the San Diego Freeway (Interstate 405) and Moreno Drive, the boundary line between the cities of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. The purpose of the study is to develop a multi-modal corridor, including improved operational efficiency of the roadway, priority treatments to improve bus transit flow, improved aesthetics, a bikeway and parkway, increased safety, and the preservation of the right-of-way for future rail improvements in the Santa Monica Boulevard corridor. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) approved a Project Study Report (PSR) in October 1994. The PSR outlined a one-way couplet project concept for each direction. In January 1996, the LACMTA initiated a Major Investment Study (MIS) to refine the alternative approved in the PSR. In June 1997, LACMTA initiated preliminary engineering and environmental clearance for the project. The draft environmental document was released for a minimum 45-day comment period in early 1999. A public hearing was held in April 1999. The project was approved by the LACMTA’s Planning and Programming Committee in July 1999 as well as the full LACMTA board later that same month. A Notice of Determination, required by the California Environmental Quality Act, was filed and posted in August 1999. Lead agency responsibility is being transferred to the City of Los Angeles who will be responsible for design and construction. Final design is slated to begin after the Los Angeles City Council concurs on the project and all required agreements are executed between the appropriate agencies. Final design of the project is scheduled to begin in January 2000 and take approximately 15-18 months to complete. Construction is scheduled to begin in late FY 2001 and conclude in FY 2003.

 

Jefferson County Corridor (South Central Corridor)

Louisville, Kentucky

The Transit Authority of River City (TARC) recently completed the "Transportation Tomorrow (T-squared)" Major Investment Study (MIS) for a proposed corridor operating in an exclusive right-of-way extending south from downtown Louisville to an area just beyond the "Outer Loop," a distance of approximately 13 miles. The Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) recommended a fixed guideway rapid transit system, with an enhanced bus element. Enhanced bus service will include augmented cross-county service, which will connect riders from neighborhoods to the proposed rapid transit line. Improvements to both the existing bus service as well as the proposed bus enhancements will be considered. The preliminary capital costs estimate for the enhanced bus element is approximately $25 million. The fixed guideway portion of the LPA has not been determined. However, project sponsors have indicated the possibility of either an electrified Light Rail Transit (LRT) or Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) alternative. Buses would travel along an exclusive right-of-way in the Preston, Kentucky and Interstate 65 Corridor. Proposed station sites for the LPA are being considered at: Downtown, Medical Center, Smoketown, Shelby Park, University of Louisville (Student Center),

University of Louisville (Papa John’s Stadium), Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center (Southern Heights), Louisville International Airport, United Parcel Service, Ford Motor, Inc, and at a proposed park-n-ride lot/maintenance facility to be located between the "Outer Loop" and Gene Synder Freeway. Preliminary capital cost estimates range between $300 - $450 million, dependent upon the determination of the mode and alignment for the fixed guideway portion of the LPA. The proposed project is pending inclusion in the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Long Range Transportation Plan.

 

High Speed Ferry Service

Maine

The Maine Department of Transportation (MEDOT) has conducted a Marine Highway Waterfront Assessment to study infrastructure needs to support highspeed ferry service connecting Maine’s coastal communities. This effort supports the MEDOT’s Strategic Passenger Transportation Plan and is in MEDOT’s Twenty and Six-Year Plans and will be included in the State Transportation Plan (STIP), if funded. The Marine Highway Waterfront Assessment identified locations in Portland, Bath, Boothbay Harbor, Rockland and Bar Harbor for ferry infrastructure development. The Marine Highway will link Portland to Bar Harbor, a distance of approximately 72 nautical miles and will provide an alternative for travelers on the congested Interstate 95/Route 1 corridor. The MEDOT estimates ridership for the marine network to be 87,000 a year (May to October). The proposed project is estimated to cost a total of $12.5 million, of which MEDOT is anticipating $10 million in Federal funds.

 

North Bay Commuter Rail

Marin/Sonoma, California

Sonoma and Marin Counties are exploring the possibility of implementing passenger rail service along an existing rail right-of-way. Some initial planning studies have been conducted. However, this effort has not proceeded into the alternatives analysis stage of planning. Presently, funding for completion and operation of a rail line has not been identified. A local sales tax measure with the potential to fund a rail project did not pass a November 1998 referendum.

 

Memphis Regional Rail Plan

Memphis, Tennessee

The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) has completed a Long Range Plan that includes Light Rail Transit (LRT) in three proposed corridors for the year 2020. The plan has been adopted by the local Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). The three proposed corridors include the East, North and South corridors. The East corridor extends a distance of approximately 24.8 miles, and encompasses Downtown, Midtown, East Memphis, Germantown, and Collierville. Total capital cost for the East Corridor is

estimated at $443 million. Daily ridership for the East Corridor is anticipated to be 34,300 by the forecast year 2020. The North Corridor extends a distance of 17.6 miles and includes Downtown, North Memphis, Frayser, and Millington. Total capital costs for the North Corridor are estimated at $304 million. Daily ridership for the North Corridor is estimated to be 6,900 for the year 2020. The South Corridor extends a distance of approximately 19 miles, and includes Downtown, South Memphis, Whitehaven, Southhaven, and a spur to the Airport. Total capital costs for the South Corridor are estimated at $330 million. Daily ridership is anticipated to be 21,200 by the year 2020.

 

Kendall-Airport Corridor

Miami, Florida

The Miami-Dade Transit Agency (MDTA), in cooperation with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), is conducting an Alternatives Analysis study to examine mobility improvements in the Kendall corridor to the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC). The corridor spans approximately 15 miles with both east-west and north-south segments. The Kendall segment, from Southwest 147th Avenue to the Dadeland area, is centered along Southwest 88th Street or North Kendall Drive. The Palmetto/Airport segment, from the Dadeland area to the Miami International Airport (MIA), is centered along the Palmetto Expressway (State Route 826) corridor. Major generators, along with the study area, include the MIA, Mall of Americas, Downtown Dadeland, Baptist Hospital and Miami-Dade Community College (Kendall Campus). The Kendall-Airport AA study commenced in April 1998 and is scheduled for completion during the winter of 2000. The study follows Miami-Dade’s 2015 Long Range Transportation Plan, which identified the Kendall and Palmetto corridors as requiring premium transit treatment. Several prior studies have examined the feasibility of transitways in the study area and concluded that transitways were viable options. The Kendall-SR 826 AA study is being funded locally by the FDOT and managed by the MDTA.

 

Northeast Corridor

Miami, Florida

The Miami-Dade Transit Agency (MDTA) is anticipating conducting an Alternatives Analysis (AA) study for the area’s Northeast Corridor. The proposed corridor extends approximately 13.6 miles from Miami’s central business district to the Broward County line, serving the cities of Miami, Miami Shores, North Miami, North Miami Beach and Aventura. The Northeast Corridor AA will examine mobility enhancements generally along the Biscayne Boulevard alignment that includes a parallel railroad corridor. Transitway technologies that will be studied include both busway and light rail/diesel multiple unit rail options. The corridor was identified in the Miami-Dade’s 2020 Long Range Transportation Plan as needing premium transit improvements. It also has been studied as part of the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Miami-Dade Transit Corridors Transitional Analyses (1993), which concluded that the proposed corridor was viable for a transitway.

Palmetto Metrorail

Miami, Florida

The Miami-Dade Transit Agency (MDTA) has begun construction of a 1.4-mile extension of the Metrorail system from its northern terminus (Okeechobee Station) to west of the Palmetto Station (State Road 826). The project includes construction of one at-grade station and an at-grade 700-space park-and-ride facility. This project will facilitate auto access to the northern terminus station by placement adjacent to the major roadway in the region. The project is estimated to generate 1,900 new transit riders by the year 2015. The estimated total capital cost for the project is $87.8 million. The 2000 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) anticipates that the Federal Government will provide 57 percent of the total capital costs, while state and county sources will provide 43 percent. The project is scheduled for completion in February 2002.

 

Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee Rail Extension [Metra]

Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) – local Metropolitan Planning Organization - plans to conduct a Major Investment Study (MIS) to examine the feasibility of extending Chicago-based Metra commuter rail service from Kenosha to Racine and Milwaukee. The study will focus on a proposed 33-mile corridor connecting the central business districts of Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee in southeastern Wisconsin. SEWRPC has recently completed a feasibility study - funded entirely with local funds - that concluded that the extension is feasible. SEWRPC has adopted the project into the region’s Long Range Plan. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $1.47 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

East-West Corridor

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) has conducted a Major Investment Study (MIS) to examine transportation alternatives in a proposed 9-mile corridor extending from Glendale and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, southwest through the central business district and the northside of Milwaukee, to the western suburbs of the city of Waukesha. The study considered a range of alternatives, including Transportation Systems Management (TSM), exclusive High Occupancy Vehicle lanes (HOV) for buses and/or carpools, Interstate highway modernization, and light rail transit (LRT). Several combination alternatives using different technologies in different parts of the corridor were also considered. In 1991, WisDOT conducted an alternatives analysis study. In 1994, this study was converted to a MIS, which included both highway and transit elements. WisDOT selected a locally preferred alternative (LPA) which included improved bus transit with park-n-ride lots, LRT for Milwaukee County, the reconstruction of Interstate 94 with HOV lanes and the reconstruction of the Marquette Interchange in downtown Milwaukee. Total capital costs were estimated at $1.8 billion, with the LRT component estimated at $500 million. The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (local Metropolitan Planning Organization) included the East-West Corridor in its Long Range Plan. The Milwaukee County and Waukesha County Boards passed resolutions supporting the LPA. However, the resolution passed by the Waukesha County Board stated that the LRT component would not be built in Waukesha County nor funded by Waukesha County residents. In addition, $241 million in Interstate Cost Estimate funds, which had previously been made available for transit, have since been reprogrammed to highway projects by a provision in TEA-21. Local and State officials continue to examine implementation strategies, funding options and financial constraint issues.

 

Twin Cities – Transitway Corridor (Northstar Corridor) -

Minneapolis-Anoka-St. Cloud

Downtown Minneapolis, Anoka, St. Cloud, Minnesota

The Northstar Corridor Development Authority, a joint powers board of 27 local units of government, is conducting a Major Investment Study/Draft Environmental Impact Statement to examine transportation options for a proposed 80-mile corridor linking the Minneapolis and the St. Cloud metropolitan areas. One of the options under consideration includes the potential for a commuter rail line. The proposed corridor extends along the east and north shore of the Mississippi River and includes Trunk Highway 10/47 and the Burlington-Northern Santa Fe Mainline railroad. The Northstar Corridor will also link the proposed Hiawatha Avenue light rail transit corridor in downtown Minneapolis providing connections to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America in Bloomington, the largest retail complex in the nation. In addition, an extensive land use planning effort, as part of the study area, is currently underway for the Northstar Corridor. It is anticipated that the land use planning effort will result in the adoption of updated comprehensive land use plans and ordinances that encourage transit-related development within the proposed corridor. The majority of the cities along the corridor are participating in this land use planning effort. The MIS is scheduled for completion in January 2000. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $1.33 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Twin Cities – Transitway Corridors (Central Corridor)

St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority (RCRRA) is examining mobility improvement options in a corridor study of an area generally extending from downtown St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis. The proposed corridor will include connections to the proposed Hiawatha Avenue light rail project and the proposed Riverview, Northstar and Red Rock corridors. The corridor will also provide connections to major local destinations, including the University of Minnesota, State Capitol and St. Paul’s Midway area. The study will evaluate a range of alternatives and alignments and is scheduled for

completion in the year 2001. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $0.98 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Twin Cities – Transitway Corridors (Riverview Corridor)

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

The Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority (RCRRA) is conducting a Major Investment Study (MIS) to examine transportation options within a proposed corridor beginning on the lower east side of St. Paul continuing through downtown St. Paul and along the west side, parallel to the Mississippi River. The proposed corridor includes connections to the Phalen Corridor redevelopment area, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Mall of America in Bloomington – the largest retail complex in the nation – and the proposed Hiawatha Avenue light rail transit (LRT) line. The corridor also includes connections to the new site of the Minnesota Science Museum, Fort Snelling State Park, Ordway Music Theater, Minnesota Children’s Museum and the Minnesota Wild Arena, which when combined have a total annual visitor patronage of approximately 2.7 million people. The study is considering a range of alternatives including No-Build, a Transportation System Management alternative featuring an improved bus system, bus rapid transit (express buses operating in exclusive lanes) and LRT. The study is scheduled for completion in April 2000. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $2.13 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Monmouth/Ocean/Middlesex (MOM) Study

Monmouth/Ocean/Middlesex, New Jersey

The New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) is conducting a Major Investment Study (MIS) to consider transportation improvement options between Lakewood and Newark, New Jersey. Several alignment possibilities have been examined and the options have been narrowed to diesel powered commuter rail and/or highway alignments and an enhanced bus system. NJ Transit’s Board of Directors subsequently endorsed the advancement of an enhanced bus system and preservation of the railroad right-of-way. However, in response to suggestions from two of the affected counties, analysis continues on potential rail options that would connect with Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor in Middlesex County. Information on the local financial commitment, mobility improvements, cost effectiveness, environmental benefits and operating efficiencies is being developed as part of the MIS. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated

$7.8 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Monterey County Commuter Rail and Inter-City Passenger Rail

Monterey County, California

The Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) is proposing the development and extension of two commuter rail lines to Monterey County. The first component involves the extension of the Caltrain peninsula rail corridor, of which four trains now extend to Gilroy for peak commute times in the morning and evening. TAMC is in the process of evaluating the ridership to determine which of the four trains to Gilroy should be extended to Monterey County and where the destination(s) should be. TAMC will develop a business plan for this extension, including an identification of all the needed capital improvements, institutional arrangements and an estimation of the projected operating subsidy. The Caltrain extension would operate on an existing rail line from Gilroy to either Salinas or Seaside on the Monterey Peninsula. A second component includes the implementation of inter-city passenger rail service between San Francisco and Seaside. Monterey County has been allocated $17 million under the California Rail Initiative under State Proposition 116 and has secured $0.45 million for environmental clearance, preliminary design and an economic assessment of the branch line improvements between Castroville and Seaside. An additional $2.1 million was awarded to Monterey County for grade crossing improvements under TEA-21. The proposed inter-city passenger rail connection is being planned to connect with other existing rail services in the Bay area, including a connection with the Capital Corridor inter-city service between San Jose and Sacramento (Colfax) and the Altamont Commuter Express between San Jose and Stockton.

 

Personal Rapid Transit

Morgantown, West Virginia

The University of West Virginia is planning an upgrade of the heating and on-board vehicle control system on the Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit (M-PRT) system. The system was originally developed as a research and demonstration project during the 1970s. The system consists of 8.2 miles of dedicated guideway with five passenger stations and a fleet of 71 fully automated vehicles. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $8.2 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Nashua-Lowell Commuter Rail Extension

Nashua, New Hampshire-Lowell, Massachusetts

The Nashua Regional Planning Commission (NRPC) and the City of Nashua have completed a Major Investment Study for the corridor between Nashua, New Hampshire and Lowell, Massachusetts. The NRPC plans to proceed with an environmental analysis, along with preliminary engineering-level work, on the commuter rail option in FY 2000. The project is presently not included in the Transportation Improvement Program/State Transportation Improvement Program, but is included in the Nashua RPC’s Long Range Transportation Plan. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $0.98 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Nassau Hub

Nassau County, New York

An Alternatives Analysis (AA) Study is proposed by Nassau County, New York to examine transportation improvements within this 1.5 by 2-mile corridor area. The study will consider a range of alternatives, including light rail transit, a fixed guideway loop, and shuttle buses, that would connect existing facilities and new infill development into a pedestrian/transit-friendly environment. Potential circulator transit service would also connect with a LIRR commuter rail station. The primary site of the Hub will be located in the center of Nassau County, Long Island, New York, on Mitchell Field (a former Air Force base), which has become an extensive mixed-use development. It already has major activity centers, including retail, office, recreation, college, museums and a sports arena. Nassau County will seek assistance from the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (local Metropolitan Planning Organization), the Long Island Rail Road and Long Island Bus, along with the local business and development community. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $0.5 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort. A grant award for the AA study was awarded in December 1999.

Desire Streetcar

New Orleans, Louisiana

Since May 1998, the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has been conducting a Major Investment Study to evaluate transportation improvements in the Desire Corridor, defined as the area bounded by Canal Street, N. Rampart Street/St. Claude Avenue, the Industrial Canal, and the Mississippi River. The proposed corridor is approximately one-half mile wide and three miles long and contains densely developed residential areas, including the French Quarter, Fauburg Marigny and Bywater. These neighborhoods are on the National Register of Historic Places. The proposed corridor also contains major trip generators including the F. Edward Hebert Defense Complex (home to the Navy Support Activity Center and the U.S. Marine Core Reserve), the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and numerous other schools. It is adjacent to the St. Claude Medical Center and Louis Armstrong Park, which includes the Municipal Auditorium and the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts. Armstrong Park will soon be the site for the proposed National Jazz Historical Park. In December 1998, 27 alternatives were screened to eight for detailed evaluation. Alternatives included No-build, Enhanced Bus/Transportation System Management, busway on North Rampart/St. Claude Avenue and five streetcar alternatives. The MIS recommended an alternative consisting of a streetcar line on N. Rampart Street/St. Claude Avenue (between Canal Street and Poland Avenue) and a package of enhanced bus improvements. The RTA Board of Commissioners adopted the recommendation as the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) of the Desire Corridor in August 1999. In September 1999, the LPA was presented to the Regional Planning Commission (local metropolitan planning organization). The RPC approved the LPA pending the development of a financial plan and completion of the required air quality conformity analysis. Pending completion of these items, the LPA will be fully included (through design and construction) in the region’s financially constrained Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). At this time, the Desire Corridor is only included in the LRTP as a placeholder. The LPA is also included in the Transportation Improvement Program and Statewide TIP through the preliminary engineering/environmental review phase. Total capital costs are estimated at $101 million ($1999). Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $3.97 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

East Jefferson Corridor

New Orleans, Louisiana

In April 1999, the Regional Planning Commission (local metropolitan planning organization) for the Jefferson, St. Bernard, Orleans, St. Tammany and Plaquemines Parishes, completed a Major Investment Study (MIS) for a corridor extending approximately 15 miles from Interstate 310 and the New Orleans International Airport to Downtown New Orleans and the Union Passenger Terminal on the East Bank of the Mississippi River. Alternatives studied included No-build, TSM, U.S. 61 Widening, Earhart Boulevard Extension, rail development (technology unspecified), busway, truckway and a combination alternative. The MPO selected a combination alternative as it locally preferred alternative consisting of both rail and an extension of Earhart Boulevard. Total estimated capital costs – in order of magnitude – range from

$140 million (rail alternative) to $500 million (Earhart Boulevard extension). During the course of the MIS, particular attention was given to the sensitivity to community impacts and involved a large public involvement component. It is anticipated that this emphasis will continue into the environmental review phase that will be led by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Land use impacts will be addressed in more detail as well as the alignments, design and technology. To date, none of the alternatives have been included in the Transportation Improvement Program beyond the environmental review phase. However, a placeholder has been included in the region’s recently adopted Long Range Transportation Plan.

 

Eighth Avenue Subway Connection

New York, New York

The Pennsylvania Station Building Redevelopment Corporation (PSRC) is proposing a pedestrian connection between the existing Pennsylvania Station and the new Amtrak area in the James A. Farley Building as a component of the Pennsylvania Station Building Redevelopment Project. The proposed project would widen an existing pedestrian passageway on 33rd Street (Midtown Manhattan) which connects Penn Station with the New York City Transit 8th Avenue/34th Street Subway Station and the Long Island Rail Road West End Corridor and extend it to the Farley Building. The existing passageway is currently overcrowded. In addition to widening the corridor, the proposed project includes reducing the grade of a ramp in the corridor, improving accessibility for the disabled, and upgrading the lighting, ventilation and life safety components. Total capital costs for the proposed connection are estimated at $10.8 million. The construction budget for the Farley Building Project is estimated at $305 million. The overall Farley Building Project is estimated at $788 million, of which $268 million is proposed for Federal funding. In addition, $160 million in TIFIA loan funds have been applied to the project. The 8th Avenue Subway Connection represents a portion of the Federal share. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has been the lead agency for the project. FRA issued a Finding of No Significant Impact for the project in September 1999.

 

Astoria-East Elmhurst Extension

New York, New York

The proposed project involves the construction of an extension to an existing New York City fixed guideway system to LaGuardia Airport, located in the Borough of Queens. Currently, a project sponsor has not been identified. However, the Astoria-East Elmhurst Extension is a representative of a set of alternatives being considered by the LaGuardia Airport Subway Access/Alternatives Analysis/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (LASA-AA/DEIS). The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority is the lead local agency for the LASA-AA/DEIS. FTA is the lead federal agency for this effort. The Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration are acting as cooperating agencies, as defined by the National Environmental Policy Act. The purpose of the LASA-AA/DEIS is to examine options to provide fast and convenient service from Manhattan to LaGuardia Airport with no transfers. Alternatives under consideration include extensions to the MTA/New York City Transit and Long Island Railroad systems. The study is being financed with local sources. The AA/DEIS is currently scheduled for production in Spring 2001, with a Preferred Alternative selected in Fall 2001. The MTA has included $645 million in its FY2000-FY2004 Capital Program to complete preliminary engineering and final design for a rail project, construction of key off-airport segments and a contribution towards the on-airport segment. No specific funding source for the balance of the project has been identified.

Broadway-Lafeyette-Bleecker Street

New York, New York

See project description for the Brooklyn-Manhattan Access project below. Project sponsors have informed FTA that the two are identical.

 

Brooklyn-Manhattan Access (formerly known as the East River Crossing MIS)

New York, New York

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and New York City Transit (NYCT) have completed an Option 1 Major Investment Study to examine the preliminary operating and engineering options for improving the capacity and flexibility of subway services crossing the East River. The study was formerly known as the East River Crossing. The distribution among the subway lines crossing the East River is uneven and some crossings are congested while others have underutilized capacity. One of the major goals of the study was to provide alternatives to current NYCT subway service over the aging Williamsburg and Manhattan bridges. The MIS reviewed approximately 68 strategies and ultimately recommended Manhattan Bridge Alternative 5 (MBA 5) as the preferred alternative to be advanced for further analysis. The full MBA 5 Alternative has an estimated capital cost of approximately $600 million, and an estimated operating cost of $0.4 million. The MBA 5 Alternative is comprised of five components. These include: Rutgers Street Tunnel-DeKalb Avenue Track Connection; Lawrence Street-Metro Tech to Jay Street Passenger Transfer; Broadway-Lafayette and Bleecker Street Passenger Transfer; Revise Existing Service Pattern on the D/Q/N lines; and lengthen the No. 3 line trains. The MBA 5 Alternative also recommended adding approximately 12 additional passenger trains per hour. These components are important to NYCT system improvements. However, the Rutgers Street-DeKalb Avenue Track Connection provides the major benefits of the MBA 5 Alternative and its ability to provide critically needed system flexibility and additional capacity. In addition, it should be noted that while the study has been completed and a recommended alternative identified, the MTA/NYCT is focusing on the engineering of the Broadway-Bleecker Street and Jay Street passenger transfers as distinct components. These activities have been programmed into the MTA’s FY 2000 Capital Program. The Broadway-Bleecker Street passenger transfer is programmed for construction at $25 million in 2004. The Lawrence-Jay Street transfer is programmed for design at $0.6 million in 2001.

 

Brooklyn-Staten Island Ferry

New York, New York

The New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PORT) recently performed a series of studies examining potential routes connecting Staten Island (SI) with Downtown Brooklyn, either directly, after a stop in Manhattan, or enroute to a Midtown-Manhattan landing. Currently, there is no ferry service from Staten Island to Downtown Brooklyn. However, there is ferry service serving the Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier at 60th Street enroute from Monmouth County, New Jersey to Manhattan. In 1997, NYCDOT solicited the business community’s interest in operating these routes. The response to the request resulted in limited interest by private operators, in part due to the recent elimination of SI Ferry passenger fares, and the creation of the One City-One Fare free transfer between the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s buses and subways. NYCDOT has indicated that if a private ferry operator were to express interest, NYCDOT would consider constructing or enhancing existing docking space to support the service.

 

Lower Manhattan Access Alternatives Study

New York, New York

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is conducting a Major Investment Study (MIS) to evaluate new transit services to Lower Manhattan from three commuter rail terminals: Grand Central Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, Penn Station on the West Side of Manhattan, and Flatbush Terminal in Brooklyn. The rebound of businesses in Lower Manhattan from the economic recession in the early 1990s has lagged behind the rest of the island and office vacancy rates remain high. Contributing factors include: the age of the buildings, most of which are more than 50 years old and lack power and ductwork for modern office systems; the lack of direct access to commuter rail services requiring workers to travel on congested rapid transit lines at least fifteen minutes from the commuter rail terminals to reach their offices. The preliminary alternatives under consideration include [ten] Transportation System Management options; a rail shuttle service; two new subway options; and two commuter rail extension options.

 

Manhattan East Side Alternatives

New York, New York

See description for the New York Second Avenue Subway project. Project sponsors have informed the Federal Transit Administration that the two are identical.

 

Midtown West Ferry Terminal

New York, New York

The New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT), in cooperation with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, is proposing the development of a ferry terminal on Manhattan’s West Side for the New York Waterways (a private ferry operator owned by Authur Imperatore). The proposed terminal is located geographically on the West Side of Manhattan and serves ferries crossing the Hudson River from New Jersey. An expanded terminal is expected to serve additional ferry routes along the Hudson River and from New York Harbor. A separate project has been proposed for the New York Waterways Terminal on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River that does not involve NYC DOT. Total capital costs for the Midtown West Ferry Terminal are estimated at $22.24 million. The Federal Highway Administration is supporting the design and engineering costs of the project. NYC DOT is anticipated to apply for construction funding in the year 2000. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $2.48 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for the project.

 

North Shore Railroad

New York, New York

The Rehabilitation of the North Shore Railroad Line project involves conducting an Alternatives Analysis/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (AA/DEIS) to examine the feasibility of re-establishing passenger rail service along the North Shore Rail line located on Staten Island, New York. Originally, the line went from Cranford, New Jersey to the St. George Ferry terminal on Staten Island. The current project only considers the section between the Arlington Rail Yards and St. George, Staten Island, a distance of approximately 5.2 miles. This effort is part of a larger project to improve intermodal connections between New York and New Jersey to transport freight from ocean-going ships and trucks as well as passengers to a new industrial work site, the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island. This project is also expected to stimulate economic development on Staten Island (SI). The study will evaluate a range of alternatives, including No-build, bus rapid transit, commuter rail and diesel multiple unit technology. Phases 1 and 2 of the rehabilitation project have been completed. Phase 3 consists of revitalizing the remaining portion of the rail corridor for passenger service and implementing the AA/DEIS study. Currently, the project is not in the Transportation Improvement Program/State Transportation Improvement Program. However, the North Shore Railroad Line project is one study, among others, of the Corridor Level Options discussion in the draft Regional Transportation Plan for the New York City urbanized area. Other related studies include: Cross Harbor Freight Movement Major Investment Study – this effort is evaluating a rail freight tunnel that may use a portion of the SI North Shore Line. Another effort is a New York City Department of City Planning Rails with Trails study that proposes a greenway trail sharing one trackway of the SI North Shore Line, provided it remains a lightly used freight line.

 

Queens West Light Rail Link

New York/Long Island City, New York

The proposed project involves the construction of a Light Rail Transit (LRT) line along the Long Island City (LIC) waterfront. The proposed LRT would connect the new Queens West development, currently under construction along the waterfront, with subway stations that are a substantial distance inland. The Queens West development is a large, residential and commercial project sponsored, in part, by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Empire State Development Corporation. The developer is also interested in enhancing existing New York City Transit (NYCT) bus service, possibly with improved bus stop signage, shelters and maps. A local Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was developed and included analysis of an enhanced bus shuttle to the subway stations. The LRT was not proposed as part of the EIS. Presently, a project sponsor has not been identified. However, several years ago the New York City, Queens Borough President’s Office made a similar proposal for an LRT along the LIC waterfront.

 

St. George Ferry Intermodal Terminal

New York, New York

The New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) is proposing to modernize the Saint George Ferry Terminal. The terminal is located on Staten Island and functions as a termination point for ferry service between Staten Island and Manhattan. The terminal also provides intermodal connections for commuter rail (Staten Island Rapid Transit Operating Authority - SIROTA), New York City Transit bus, vans, automobiles, bicycles and pedestrians. The facility has not undergone significant reconstruction since it was built in 1950 after a fire destroyed the original terminal. Hence, there are areas in and around the terminal that need immediate improvements. In addition, portions of the terminal have been closed to public access due to unsafe conditions. The proposed modernization and reconstruction of facilities will include new entrances, a pedestrian plaza at the concourse level, new stairs, escalators and elevators, parking facilities that conform with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), a new pedestrian walk, and intermodal improvements to the bus complex. A new minor league baseball stadium is also being built immediately adjacent to the terminal on the west side. In addition, the National Lighthouse Museum is expected to move into historic former U.S. Coast Guard buildings located on the East Side. Total capital costs are currently estimated at $80 million. Funding for the proposed project will come from a combination of sources including, the City of New York, NYCDOT, and the State. It is important to note that although NYC DOT would be the grantee for the funds, a lead agency has not been selected for the project. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $2 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for the project.

 

Second Avenue Subway

New York, New York

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and New York City Transit (NYCT) are completing a Major Investment Study/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (MIS/DEIS) for the Manhattan East Side Transit Alternatives (MESA) Study. The study is examining options to improve the mobility in the north-south corridor of Manhattan’s East Side from South Ferry to approximately 125th Street with potential connections in the Bronx. The East Side of Manhattan has only one rapid transit line (Lexington Avenue). In 1995, the line experienced significant overcrowding during peak periods, carrying approximately 288,000 inbound daily passenger trips across East 60th Street. Also, there is limited additional street capacity to expand bus service. The study has been refined and includes two build alternatives, Transportation System Management (TSM) and No-build alternatives. The first build alternative (Second Avenue Subway) would provide express subway service on the existing Broadway line north from one of three termini (lower level of City Hall Station, Whitehall Street Station, or the 95th Street Station in Brooklyn) to 63rd Street. From there, the alignment would join a new subway line extending northward beneath Second Avenue to approximately 115th Street. From there it would transition via a curved tunnel alignment to a location adjacent to the East Side of the 125th Street Station on the Lexington Avenue line. This alternative would include approximately 15 stations, of which five would be new stations. The estimated cost of the first build alternative is $3.6 billion. The second build alternative (Subway with Light Rail on Lower East Side) would contain all of the elements of the first build alternative, but would add light rail transit (LRT) to serve the Lower East Side and Lower Manhattan. The proposed two-way LRT would begin near the intersection of Water and Broad Streets, proceed along Water and Pearl Street to Frankford Street, where it would descend into a new tunnel to the Chambers Street/Brooklyn Bridge Station. From there it would continue in an existing tunnel to Ludlow Street where it would surface and travel along East Broadway to Grand, Kazan to Columbia and extend across 14th Street between Avenue D and Union Square. The LRT would serve 11 new stations between Water Street and Union Square on 14th Street. The total estimated capital cost for the LRT element of the second build alternative is $1 billion. It should be noted that this cost estimate is preliminary and will require further refinement as project development progresses. The New York Metropolitan Council (NYMTC) (local Metropolitan Planning Organization) has included the development of the MESA MIS/DEIS in its Long Range Transportation Plan. In September 1999, a public hearing was held on the DEIS. Also in September 1999, the MTA Board programmed $700 million for the MESA project in the MTA’s FY2000-FY2004 Capital Program to complete the Final EIS, preliminary engineering and final design, with funding for initial construction. No specific funding source for the $3.6 billion balance of the project has been identified. The MESA MIS/EIS is scheduled for completion in 2000.

 

Trans-Hudson Midtown Corridor

New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, along with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) are conducting a Major Investment Study (MIS) to examine the feasibility of establishing new transportation links from Westchester and Western Queens, New York through Midtown Manhattan and on to Northern New Jersey. This effort is known locally as the Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) study. A draft Milestone Summary Report identified as the preferred alternative a commuter rail solution involving all three of the region’s commuter railroads – NJ Transit, the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North - allowing all three railroads to gain access to New York’s Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal. The alternative involves a new commuter rail tunnel under the Hudson River to an expanded Penn Station with a tunnel extension to Grand Central Terminal. Accordingly, project sponsors have indicated a need to proceed with more detailed analysis of this alternative as well as possible variants in order to reconsider the proposed Manhattan alignment between Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal, with an investigation of potential freight opportunities. There is also a need to identify capacity expansion strategies at Penn Station New York in the near term. Further analysis will be performed under Phase 3 of the study. The MIS is scheduled for completion in July 2001. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $4.90 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Whitehall Intermodal Terminal-Staten Island Ferry

New York, New York

The New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) is undertaking the reconstruction of the Staten Island-Whitehall Street Ferry Intermodal Terminal. The terminal, located at the southern tip of Manhattan was mostly destroyed by fire in 1991 and ferry service has been operating out of interim facilities since then. Reconstruction of the terminal will include improved connections with the New York City Transit subway system and several bus routes. The Staten Island to New York Ferry System moves over 60,000 riders daily. A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was approved in September 1999. Also in September 1999, FTA awarded a grant for the initiation of project construction. Originally, the project was estimated to cost approximately $81 million. However, cost estimates are currently anticipated to increase to approximately $100 million. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $12.95 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

Newburgh LRT System

Newburgh, New York

The City of Newburgh is planning to initiate a feasibility study for a proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT) system linking its Hudson River waterfront to Stewart International Airport. There is currently no public transportation between the two sites. The proposed LRT corridor would run along Broadway (Route 17K) connecting Newburgh’s waterfront, historic district and downtown commercial area with the airport and the surrounding industrial facilities, a distance of approximately four (4) miles. The corridor could also be extended across the Hudson River -- via the Newburgh Beacon Bridge -- to an existing Metro North commuter rail station creating an innovative intermodal system. A segment of the proposed corridor passes through the City’s federally designated Enterprise Community area. It would also serve a major portion of Newburgh’s New York State Economic Development Zone (EDZ). The proposed LRT would boost tourism in the City by creating a unique and direct link between its historic/waterfront area and the region’s major entry point for outside visitors. In addition, it would provide job access to the Stewart vicinity’s industrial sites for Newburgh’s underutilized work force. The feasibility study would take approximately 12 months to complete and include consultation with the Town of Newburgh, State of New York Department of Transportation, Stewart Airport Commission, New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Metro North, New York State Thruway Authority, New York State Bridge Authority and the Newburgh EDZ. The study would also include consideration of alternative transportation systems.

 

Lackawanna Cut-off Corridor

Northern New Jersey and Northeastern Pennsylvania

Morris, Sussex and Warren Counties, all located in New Jersey, in cooperation with the New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) are conducting a Major Investment Study/Environmental Assessment to examine the feasibility of reinstituting rail service on the Lackawanna Cut-off Corridor between Scranton, Pennsylvania and Hoboken, New Jersey. The options currently under examination include commuter rail, enhanced bus service, and transportation systems management alternatives. The potential rail service would connect to the NJ Transit Boontoon Line and Morristown Line in Roxbury, NJ. Trains would operate to Hoboken and connect to Midtown Direct trains traveling to New York’s Penn Station. The proposed project would include track and signal improvements, new stations, parking facilities, train storage yard, and rail equipment acquisition. Information on mobility improvements, environmental benefits, cost effectiveness, operating efficiencies, transit-supportive land use and other factors are being developed.

 

Newark–Elizabeth Rail Link (NERL) – Elizabeth Segment

Northern New Jersey

In January 1997, the New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) completed a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) covering an 8.8-mile area linking Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey with a proposed light rail transit (LRT) system. The proposed LRT is currently planned to be constructed in three Minimum Operable Segments (MOS). MOS-1: a one-mile connection between Broad Street Station and Newark Penn Station; MOS-2: a one-mile line from Newark Penn Station to Camp Street in downtown Newark; and MOS-3: a seven mile LRT line from downtown Newark to Elizabeth, including a station serving Newark International Airport (NIA). At the request of Union County, New Jersey and the City of Elizabeth, NJ Transit, is preparing a Supplement to the DEIS to analyze the effects of an alignment modification on the segment contained within the City of Elizabeth. MOS-3, as described in the 1997 DEIS, includes stations south from NIA at the following locations: Routes 1 & 9, McClellan Street, Airport City, Division Street, Spring Street and the terminus at Midtown Elizabeth. This segment of the system would connect NIA with employment areas south of the airport and with downtown Elizabeth. The proposed Union County LRT segment (MOS-3) would modify the Elizabeth alignment and diverge just south of the proposed McClellan Street Station, proceed through NIA’s parking lot "D" to the Jersey Gardens Mall, then turn west and reconnect to the proposed Spring Street Station and terminate at the proposed Elizabeth Midtowns Station in downtown Elizabeth. The modified alignment is anticipated to support the extensive commercial and retail development that has been initiated since the completion of the DEIS in 1997. The modified alignment is also anticipated to assist in optimizing land use at NIA through an LRT connection to the existing Airport Monorail system. The implementation of this segment of NERL would be performed as a joint development partnership between the NJ DOT, NJ Transit, Union County and the private sector under New Jersey’s 1997 Public-Private Partnership legislation. Federal participation will also be sought.

 

New York, Susquehanna & Western Commuter Rail (Hawthorne-Warwick Corridor)

Northern New Jersey

The New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) has completed a study resulting in a proposal to restore commuter rail service on the New York, Susquehanna Western rail line (NYS&W) as far as Sparta, New Jersey. The service would connect to the NJ Transit Main Line at Hawthorne, New Jersey, where trains would serve the Secaucus Transfer Station and Hoboken. The proposed project would include track and signal improvements, new stations, parking facilities and equipment acquisition and rehabilitation of the Paterson, New Jersey Station on the NJ Transit Main Line. In addition, as part of the project, conceptual design, capital cost estimates, as well as preliminary design and engineering of the Paterson Station upgrade have been completed. In August 1996, a final Environmental Assessment Study was completed for the NYS&W rail line. Subsequently, in September 1996, FTA issued a Finding of No Significant Impact. The Department of Interior has reviewed the Section 4(f) Evaluation for the proposed project’s improvements as they relate to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and subsequently concurred with NJ Transit in September 1999, that there was no prudent and feasible alternative to the proposed project. Once a pending Section 106 Memorandum of Agreement with the New Jersey State Historical Preservation Office and the FTA is fully executed, the proposed Paterson Station upgrade component will be ready to proceed into final design and construction. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $29.73 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Union Township Station (Raritan Valley)

Northern New Jersey

In 1995, Union County, along with New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) initiated a study to determine the potential for establishing a new train station and for fostering development in the Townley section of the Township of Union, New Jersey. The proposed project is located at Morris Avenue on NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley Line. The project consists of a bridge for the railroad tracks at Morris Avenue, realignment of existing railroad tracks and all signal and communications; installation of gauntlet tracks; construction of a rail station structure of approximately 3,000 feet; construction of a center island high-level platform; installation of vertical accessibility elements; construction of a pedestrian passageway under the tracks; construction of a commuter parking lot for 484 vehicles; installation of closed circuit security television and the installation of signage, among other commuter amenities. The proposed project is currently in the preliminary design and engineering phase. An Environmental Assessment is under review.

 

West Trenton Line Corridor

Northern New Jersey

The New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) is conducting planning, conceptual design and an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the restoration of commuter rail service on the West Trenton Line between West Trenton and Newark, New Jersey. The rail service would connect with NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley Line in Bridgewater, New Jersey. The proposed project would include the installation of a second track in selected locations, signal improvements, construction of six new stations, parking facilities, train storage yard, and rail equipment acquisition. Information on mobility improvements, environmental benefits, cost effectiveness, operating efficiencies, transit-supportive land use and other factors are being developed. The EA is scheduled for completion in July 2000. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $2.48 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

West Lake Commuter Rail Link (South Shore Commuter Rail)

Northern Indiana

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) is conducting a Major Investment Study (MIS) for the West Lake Corridor to examine the southern extension of the South Shore Line commuter rail service. The proposed corridor includes approximately 4.5 miles of unused former right-of-way purchased under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and jointly owned by the two towns of Munster and Hammond, Indiana and the NICTD. The right-of-way begins at Airline Junction in Munster, Indiana and ends at Dan Rabin Transit Plaza in downtown Hammond. NICTD has completed a sketch engineering study that would connect this corridor and the South Shore Line at Burnham Yards in Illinois. The proposed alignment would provide direct access via Metra’s (commuter rail division of the Regional Transportation Authority of northeastern Illinois) Electric to Randolph Street in Chicago. The MIS will primarily build upon an extensive alternate mode study done prior to ISTEA. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $0.49 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for the MIS.

 

Oakland Airport-BART Corridor

Oakland, California

The Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) is working with the Port of Oakland and the City of Oklahoma on a proposed 3.2-mile transit link between the Oakland Coliseum BART station and the Oakland International Airport. The route will generally follow an alignment along Hegenberger Road. The present non-stop bus service can make the trip in 10-15 minutes (including a five minute wait), but due to traffic congestion, often takes 30 minutes or more. The technology for the connector will be selected to provide the speed and added capacity necessary to serve the rapid growth in air passengers and employees anticipated at the airport in the 21st century. BART is considering automated guideway transit and a state-of-the art bus system with signal preemption and some dedicated right-of-way. The selected system must make the trip in six-to-seven minutes. The City of Oakland has asked that the intermediate stops be included in the study of alternatives although the cost-constrained budget since the project precludes early implementation of these elements. Planning funds for the proposed project are included in the Regional Transportation Plan and State Transportation Improvement Program. Capital funding for the project was included in Alameda County’s Expenditure Plan for Measure B, a county-wide ballot initiative that would have provided $66 million in sales tax revenue for the project, which is budgeted at $130 million. Measure B was defeated in June 1998 by a narrow margin and is to return for a vote in the year 2000.

 

Broad Street Line Extension

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Federal Transit Administration has not received any information on this effort.

 

Cross County Metro

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is completing a Major Investment Study/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (MIS/DEIS) along a proposed 60-mile suburban corridor in a southwest to northeast direction, from Glenoch in Chester County, through Norristown in Montgomery County and terminating in Morrisville, Bucks County. The proposed corridor, almost all of which is located along an existing rail freight right-of-way, is roughly parallel to the US Route 202 Expressway and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. A draft of the MIS/DEIS is currently undergoing revision to address right-of-way issues in the vicinity of King of Prussia, which will increase costs over those estimated below. The Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) has been identified as electrically powered light rail, to be built in two phases. The first phase would include light rail from Glenoch to Norristown via King of Prussia, coupled with express bus service from King of Prussia to Oxford Valley via the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The second phase would extend the proposed light rail system from Norristown to Morrisville. Total capital costs for the first phase are estimated at $396 million. Total capital costs for the entire corridor, including both the first and second phases, are estimated at $742 million. Total daily ridership for the first phase is anticipated at 8,500. Ridership for the entire corridor is estimated at 14,700. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $3.17 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Lower Merion Township

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Federal Transit Administration has not received any information on this effort.

 

Schuykill Valley Metro

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and the Berks Area Reading Transportation Authority (BARTA) are conducting an Alternatives Analysis Study/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (AA/DEIS) for the Schuykill Valley Corridor. The proposed corridor extends approximately 62 miles and includes the City of Philadelphia, smaller cities of Reading, Norristown, Pottstown and Phoenixville. The corridor also includes suburban centers of King of Prussia and Great Valley, as well as regional activity centers and attractions including Center City, Art Museum, Philadelphia Zoo, King of Prussia Malls, Valley Forge National Park and Reading outlets. The proposed corridor also encompasses three transit authorities: SEPTA, BARTA and Pottstown Urban Transit (PUT) and two metropolitan planning regions: Delaware Valley and Berks County. The corridor is located along an existing rail freight or commuter rail right-of-way and parallels major congested expressways: the Schuykill Expressway (Interstate 76), US 422 Expressway and US Route 202. Alternatives currently under consideration include light rail and commuter rail. Total capital costs for the alternatives are currently estimated between $700 million and $1.3 billion. Project sponsors anticipate submitting a preliminary DEIS to the Federal Transit Administration for review sometime in the first quarter of calendar year 2000. Through FY 2000, Congress has provided $6.89 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for the proposed Schuykill Valley Corridor. In addition, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the Philadelphia Area metropolitan planning organization, is studying a proposed Regional Transit Oriented Development Program in the corridor under a Transportation and Community and System Preservation (TCSP) grant.

 

Roaring Fork Valley (Aspen-Glenwood Springs Corridor)

Pitkin County, Colorado

In 1995, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) completed a feasibility study of rail transit in the 40-mile Aspen to Glenwood Springs Corridor in the Roaring Fork Valley, about 160 miles west of Denver. The study estimated that a valley-wide rail system would cost approximately $129 million. As a result, the City of Aspen is considering a locally-funded light rail transit line in a four-mile segment of the corridor connecting Pitkin County Airport with downtown Aspen. This segment is dependent on the outcome of a local ballot initiative that is expected in November 1999. CDOT, meanwhile, is conducting a Major Investment Study/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (MIS/DEIS) to analyze transportation alternatives, alignments, and costs in the remainder of the valley, the 35-mile corridor from Aspen to Glenwood Springs. The MIS/DEIS is scheduled for completion in fiscal year 2000. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $2.97 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Airbourne Shuttle System

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Pittsburgh Airbourne Shuttle System is a proposal, put forth by a private sector group, to design and construct a low-speed magnetic levitation project. The study area for the proposed project is also part of the North Shore-Central Business District Major Investment Study – see project description below.

 

North Shore-Central Business District

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAT), in cooperation with the City of Pittsburgh and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Regional Planning Commission – local Metropolitan Planning Organization - initiated a North Shore/Central Business District Transportation Corridor Major Investment Study focusing on assessing alternatives for better connections to the immediate North Shore area of the Allegheny River across from, and north of, the Pittsburgh CBD. Development underway along the Allegheny River Corridor includes new facilities for the football and baseball teams and expansion of the convention center. Improved connections are anticipated to support further development and redevelopment of complementary facilities and activities in both the North Shore and CBD, including fringe-parking facilities. Some of the stakeholders in the corridor include the Port Authority of Allegheny County, the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Steelers, Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh Parking Authority and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. A preliminary Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed corridor is currently under review. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $10.80 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Providence-Pawtucket Corridor Study

Providence-Pawtucket, Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation and the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority are in the process of defining the project. Definitive information on a proposed project is not available at this time.

 

Riverside County Transportation Commission (San Jacinto Branch Line)

Riverside County, California

The Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) is proposing to implement rail passenger service on the San Jacinto Branch Line of the former Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad. The proposed project will implement service on the entire 38-mile line between the communities of Riverside/Highgrove and San Jacinto. RCTC plans to implement Phase I of the project, which involves railbed improvements, Metrolink connections, track and signal improvements and stations for the first 19 miles between Riverside/Highgrove Moreno Valley, March Air Reserve Base and Perris. Total capital costs for Phase I are estimated at $43 million. The capital cost for the entire 38-mile project is estimated at $108 million. RCTC purchased the route from the ATSF in 1992 using local and state bond funds. ATSF retained freight operating rights. It’s successor railroad, BNSF, continues to operate freight service and maintain the line under agreements with RCTC. The proposed project is included in the Southern California Association of Governments’ Regional Transportation Plan. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $0.5 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Folsom Extension

Sacramento, California

The Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT) is proposing a series of multiple improvements to the existing light rail transit (LRT) corridor between downtown Sacramento and the Mather Field Station, with a potential extension of the LRT line from the current Mather Field LRT station to downtown Folsom. The proposed project also includes a potential extension of the LRT line in downtown Sacramento. The majority of the needed right-of-way for the proposed project has already been acquired using State and local funds. A portion of right-of-way acquisition is required in downtown Folsom. Improvements to the existing LRT system in the Folsom corridor will include double-tracking two portions of the existing line at Bee Bridge and 65th-to-Watt. These improvements will allow the RT to operate limited-stop express rail service from downtown Folsom to downtown Sacramento.

 

Placer County Corridor

Sacramento, California

The Federal Transit Administration has not received any information on this effort.

 

Cross County Corridor

St. Louis, Missouri

The East-West Gateway Coordinating Council (EWGCC) - the local Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and the Missouri Highway and Transportation Department (MoDOT) have completed a Major Investment Study (MIS) in the Cross County Corridor including St. Louis City and County. The east-west corridor connection is through Clayton, Missouri to the existing Metrolink system. The study evaluated transportation alternatives such as light rail transit (LRT), busway, highway, Transportation Systems Management alternatives and a No-Build alternative. Phase I of the MIS was completed in March 1997. A Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA), which included highway and transit improvements, was selected in September 1997. The transit LPA is a 28.8-mile LRT line that extends Metrolink west in the City of St. Louis through downtown Clayton in St. Louis County, and then south from Clayton beyond the Interstate 55/Interstate 270 interchange in southeast St. Louis County and north from Clayton to beyond the I-170/I-270 interchange in North St. Louis County. Total estimated capital cost range from $1 billion to $1.2 billion. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $2.45 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

 

Draper Light Rail Extension

Salt Lake City, Utah

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) is conducting a feasibility study to examine the option of extending the North/South light rail transit (LRT) line (currently under construction), approximately seven miles to the suburban communities of Draper and Sandy, Utah. The proposed project would be constructed on an extension of the existing railroad right-of-way owned by UTA and being developed for the North/South LRT. The proposed Draper extension will have six stations complete with park-and-ride lots and bus transfer facilities. The total capital costs for the Draper Extension are estimated at $156.30 million.

 

Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo Commuter Rail

Salt Lake City, Utah

The Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC) and the Moutainlands Association of Governments (MAG) the two metropolitan planning organizations that oversee transportation planning for more than 85% of the State of Utah’s population, along with the Utah Transit Authority and the Utah Department of Transportation, are conducting an Alternatives Analysis (AA) study to evaluate transportation improvements in a proposed 120-mile corridor encompassing the Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo urbanized areas. The study will evaluate highway, bus, and rail alternatives in the proposed corridor. WFRC and MAG completed a Long Range Transit Analysis in 1996, identifying commuter rail as an effective means of serving the transportation demands in the proposed corridor between Brigham City and Payson. Project sponsors are considering the option of implementing an interim commuter rail segment from Provo to Salt Lake City to mitigate the impacts to traffic flow of the reconstruction of Interstate 15 and for the Olympic Games. Six to seven stations are anticipated for construction. Initial discussions with Union Pacific Railroad have begun concerning the acquisition of track for commuter rail and/or actual purchase of right-of-way to implement commuter rail, light rail or other transportation improvements. The September 1998 update of the region’s Long Range Transportation Plan included commuter rail service in the proposed corridor. A more detailed feasibility study of commuter rail options and costs has substantiated the recommendation of the regional transportation plan. The AA study is scheduled for completion in 1999. Total capital costs are estimated at $292 million. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $3.9 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

West Jordan Light Rail Extension

Salt Lake City, Utah

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) is conducting a feasibility study to examine the option of extending the North/South light Rail transit (LRT) line (currently under construction) approximately seven miles through the City of Midvale to the City of West Jordan. It would be constructed at-grade and will have five stations with bus transfer facilities and park-and-ride lots. Total capital costs are estimated at $187.5 million.

 

CalTrain Extension to Hollister

San Francisco-San Jose, California

The Council of San Benito County Governments is proposing an extension of Caltrain service approximately 13 miles south from the current terminus in Gilroy, along an existing rail line, to the City of Hollister, located in the southeast portion of the San Francisco Bay Region. Hollister is the population center for San Benito County, the fasted growing county in California over the past five years. Hollister has grown in response to the increasing demand for affordable housing for Silicon Valley workers. Further planning, regional consensus building, and public involvement are needed to determine the specific technology and frequency of rail service for the proposed corridor. Total capital costs for upgrading the existing freight rail line are estimated at $15 million.

 

Regional Transit Corridor

San Joaquin, California

The Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) Authority is proposing a series of service improvements to the existing commuter rail line operating in the Silicon and Tri-Valley areas. ACE serves eight cities and many of the major employers in the Silicon Valley, Central Valley and Tri-Valley areas. The proposed project includes the purchase of an additional trainset and associated track improvements, which are estimated to result in a nearly 50% increase in ridership and a corresponding increase in fare revenues.

 

Santa Cruz Fixed Guideway

Santa Cruz, California

The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, in coordination with the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District, conducted a Major Investment Study (MIS) to evaluate improvements in the Watsonville to Santa Cruz Corridor. A state highway and an underutilized freight rail line run through the length of most of the corridor. The MIS looked at seven different alternatives, including three fixed guideway options. The study also considered the feasibility of initiating inter-city weekend rail service between Santa Cruz and San Jose, via Watsonville and Gilroy. The study was completed in summer of 1999. The final project includes the purchase of the rail right-of-way for future transportation uses, including a bike/pedestrian path along the ROW and partial funding for High Occupancy Toll lanes on the parallel highway. Major bus improvements within the corridor also received a high priority for future funding.

 

Santa Fe – El Dorado Rail Link

Santa Fe, New Mexico

The City of Santa Fe, in cooperation with the Santa Fe Southern Railway, Santa Fe County, the New Mexico State Highway and the Transportation Department is proposing to develop commuter rail service along an existing 13-mile rail line between El Dorado and Santa Fe. The proposed project was identified in the local Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Long Range Transportation Plan and the City’s proposed General Plan. The proposed undertaking resulted from a commuter rail demonstration project that established the need for providing public transportation services in the Santa Fe/El Dorado Corridor. Project sponsors anticipate that the proposed project will provide connections between Santa Fe and El Dorado to major employment centers in both cities, thereby removing automobile traffic from a highly congested roadway network. In addition, the proposed project is expected to meet the long range regional planning goals of reducing sprawl and concentrating future growth in areas that will be serviceable by existing infrastructure. The proposed Santa Fe/El Dorado Rail Link is included in the region’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and is anticipated to be included in the State TIP. Total capital costs for the proposed project are estimated at $10 million. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $2.94 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Laurel Line Intermodal Corridor

Scranton, Pennsylvania

Lackawanna County is proposing the restoration of historic trolley passenger service on an old interurban trolley line between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre with major destination points at Montage, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport and Wilkes-Barre, a total distance of approximately 16 miles. The proposed corridor is located along a right-of-way (ROW) that largely parallels Interstate 81 from Scranton to the vicinity of the Airport. Luzerne County owns approximately 11 miles of the ROW, while Lackawanna County owns the remaining five miles. Currently, there is light, but active freight service along most of the route. The first 1.5 miles of track from Scranton/Steamtown are now electrified. Lackawanna County will be seeking bids for design of the electrification of the next portion of track in the near future.

 

SEATAC – Personal Rapid Transit

Seatac, Washington

The City of SeaTac, Washington in cooperation with other local agencies, has conducted a Major Investment Study (MIS) to examine several options to improve the mobility of the City’s commercial core which includes the activity centers located around the International Boulevard area and the City of SeaTac International Airport. The MIS, completed in July 1997, resulted in a Locally Preferred Transportation Strategy recommending a Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) System. The total estimated capital cost for Phase I of the PRT system is $307.5 million. Phase I of the proposed project includes the acquisition of 210 PRT vehicles, operating along 12.1 miles of "one-way" guideway and serving a forecasted ridership of 24,000 patrons, utilizing 21 PRT stations. The City of SeaTac has incorporated the proposed PRT system into its Municipal Comprehensive and Transportation Plans. The City is also proposing that the project be included in the Regional Plan for Seattle. Since the primary beneficiaries of the proposed PRT system are local businesses, a "Partnership Franchise" between the public and private entities was recommended as part of the implementation approach. The proposed project is included in the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Long Range Transportation Plan. Through FY 2000, Congress has provided $0.6 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Southworth Highspeed Ferry (Trans-Puget Sound)

Seattle/Kitsap County, Washington

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) - Marine Division has completed a 20-year plan for the proposed Southworth Highspeed Ferry system. The plan included an extensive public involvement process, including publication of the documented plan. Alternatives for the system were considered and several passenger-only ferry routes were proposed in lieu of costly auto ferry service on some routes. The Washington State legislature is responsible for the $2 billion program of improvements. During 1998, State transportation bonding authority, based on motor vehicle excise tax receipts, was enacted to enable the WSDOT Marine Division to carry out several of the projects, including the Southworth Highspeed Ferry, in the proposed program. However, the recently passed voter referendum (Initiative 695) rescinded the State’s ability to levy motor vehicle excise taxes, a portion of which had been used to support the ferry system. The State of Washington is reassessing its capital program priorities, including the Southworth Highspeed Ferry project, in light of the referendum’s passage.

 

Micro Rail Trolley System

Sioux City, Iowa

The City of Sioux is examining the feasibility of implementing a Micro Rail Trolley system in an as yet undefined corridor that could potentially include the city’s downtown Central Business District. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $0.25 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

Southeastern North Carolina Corridor

Southeast North Carolina

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is proposing to implement high-speed intercity passenger rail service along the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor (SEHSR) from Washington, D.C. to Charlotte, North Carolina. The SEHSR was one of five national high-speed rail corridors designated under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). Existing Amtrak intercity passenger rail serves the urbanized corridor stretching between Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte. The SEHSR corridor is anticipated to connect with this service via the Northeast Corridor in Washington, D.C. and is being planned to interface with rail transit systems currently under development in the urbanized areas of North Carolina. North Carolina and Virginia are coordinating their efforts on the implementation of the SEHSR. NCDOT will conduct an Environmental Impact Statement for the entire corridor from Washington, D.C. to Charlotte, NC. The NCDOT has conducted feasibility studies on the SEHSR corridor in North Carolina, including evaluations of time savings, ridership increases, environmental benefits, operating efficiencies, and environmental impact screenings and other analyses. These studies are summarized in the SEHSR Corridor Status Report (April 1999). In July 1999, NCDOT published a notice of intent to prepare a Tiered Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the SEHSR Corridor from Washington, D.C. to Charlotte, NC. This work is a joint effort between NCDOT, Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, Virginia DOT, Federal Railroad Administration and the Federal Highway Administration. . A joint scoping meeting was held between North Carolina DOT and Virginia DOT in October 1999. Analyses prepared for the Tier I EIS will build upon the analyses of the feasibility studies to consider a full range of issues under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended. The SEHSR Tier I EIS is scheduled for completion in 2002. The study will include extensive public involvement and interagency coordination. In 1998, the U.S. Department of Transportation extended the SEHSR south from Charlotte through Greenville and Spartan, South Carolina to Atlanta and Macon, Georgia and south from Raleigh through Columbia, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia to Jacksonville, Florida. North Carolina and Virginia have begun to work with Georgia and South Carolina on the development of the fully extended corridor.

 

South Valley Corridor Light Rail

Spokane, Washington

The Spokane Regional Transportation Council has conducted a Major Investment Study (MIS) to examine the impacts of high capacity transportation on a proposed 16-mile corridor between the Central Business District of Spokane, Washington and Liberty Lake. The proposed corridor would connect major residential and employment centers within the Spokane Valley. Spokane has been classified as a "serious" nonattainment area for carbon monoxide. Trips along the corridor nearly double based on the population and employment forecasts between the years 1990 and 2020. The MIS considered three alternatives including: High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, express busways, and light rail. Based on the results of the MIS, light rail was selected as the preferred alternative with strong public support. The MIS was included in the region’s Long-Range Metropolitan Transportation Plan in November 1997. The total estimated capital cost for the light rail project, including local, state and Federal funds, ranges between $200 and $300 million. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $2.95 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

Altamont Commuter Rail

Stockton, California

The San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC), the Alameda Congestion Management Agency (ACCMA), and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) have proposed to implement a commuter rail system along an existing Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way operating between the three counties. A Joint Powers Board (JPA) comprised of members from each of the three agencies was also created to operate the proposed Altamont Commuter Express (ACE). The SJRRC would be the managing agency for the initial 36-month term of an agreement executed between the three agencies. In addition to identifying potential sources for capital and operating funds, the member agencies will define the methods for allocating future costs and the shares of future capital improvement contributions from the member agencies. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $0.98 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Pinellas County – Mobility Initiative

Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida

The Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organization is conducting an Alternatives Analysis study to identify transportation solutions to mobility issues in multiple corridors. A major focus of the study is the enhancement of alternative modes of travel to the single occupant vehicle. The study will consider the early coordination of alternatives with economic development prospects to ensure the compatibility of future land uses activities with the preferred transportation alternatives. Emphasis is given to strategies that enhance primarily north-south intracounty mobility, and secondarily improve east-west intercounty connectivity to Hillsborough County. Based on the study’s first tier analysis, fixed guideway transit concepts were identified for further evaluation within corridors in the north and central portions of the county, east-west corridors in the mid-portions of the county, and north-south corridors between St. Petersburg and Clearwater. Identification of the preferred alternative and completion of the study is anticipated for early 2000. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $2.45 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Williamsburg-Newport News-Hampton LRT

Tidewater, Virginia

In September 1996, the cities of Newport News, Williamsburg and Hampton initiated a Major Investment Study (MIS) on a proposed 32-mile corridor along the CSX rail right-of-way. The Hampton Roads Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) identified the CSX Corridor, from Williamsburg to Newport News, as a priority transportation corridor for providing long range alternatives to widening existing roadways. The Hampton Roads MPO determined that a MIS was needed to establish feasible alternatives leading to the development of a multimodal transportation system on the Virginia Peninsula. The CSX Corridor MIS evaluated six alternatives, ranging from the No-build to a fully automated fixed guideway system. The MIS, completed in December 1997, recommended Light Rail Transit (LRT) as the locally preferred alternative. The MIS also recommended a number of steps that would both prepare for the eventual introduction of LRT and immediately improve the current public transit system on the Peninsula. This included providing an enhanced bus system, developing transit-supportive land use, and protecting future right-of-way along the CSX Corridor, supporting regional transit initiatives, and developing a stronger funding base for transit in the Hampton Roads area. The Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads, in cooperation with local and state officials, is currently developing a plan to implement the recommendations of the MIS.

 

Toledo – Central Business District to Zoo

Toledo, Ohio

The Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG) is planning to conduct an Alternatives Analysis (AA) study to examine transportation options in an approximately four-mile proposed corridor in Toledo. The study will examine the potential of a fixed guideway circulator in downtown Toledo to connect major activity centers including the Toledo convention center, science museum and Amtrak rail station. The study will also examine the potential of fixed guideway transit in radial corridors leading from downtown Toledo to the Toledo Zoo and Toledo art museum, which would connect with the downtown circulator. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $0.99 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Georgetown-Ft. Lincoln

Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area

The District of Columbia, in cooperation with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, is planning to conduct an Alternatives Analysis Study for a fixed guideway rail transit system operating from Georgetown to Ft. Lincoln New Town in Washington, D.C. The proposed corridor extends approximately 6.5 miles from Georgetown via M Street in northwest, to the new Washington Convention Center at Mt. Vernon Square (currently under construction) and then continues along the New York Avenue corridor to Ft. Lincoln near South Dakota Avenue in northeast Washington, D.C. The proposed rail line would support existing and planned housing and economic development at the new Convention Center, New York Avenue and Ft. Lincoln as well as provide alternative transit to Georgetown’s commercial and residential areas. The proposed alignment would provide east-west crosstown rail transit service north of existing Metrorail lines in downtown Washington, D.C. and would provide potential connections to existing Metrorail service in the vicinity of Mt. Vernon Square and New York Avenue. The study will also consider alternative alignments, station locations, terminal locations and alternative modes of transit operation.

Maryland Route 5 Corridor (Waldorf Corridor Study)

Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area

The Maryland Mass Transit Administration (MTA) is currently conducting the Maryland Route 5/Waldorf Corridor study. The study is one of several recommendations resulting from the US 301 South Corridor Transportation Study, a Major Investment Study (MIS) that was completed in 1996. The study corridor extends approximately 19.5 miles from inside the Capital Beltway in Prince George’s County, Maryland along Maryland Route 5 and continues along US 301 and the Pope’s Creek Branch freight rail line to White Plains in Charles County, Maryland. The alignment connects to the Washington Metrorail system at the Branch Avenue Metrorail Station, which is currently under construction. The purpose of the study is to identify a future light rail transit (LRT) alignment, station sites, and a maintenance yard, which can be reserved for development of an LRT system. Information on the environmental features, roadway improvements and utilities has been collected. Preliminary corridor ridership is projected at 25,000 total daily trips for the year 2020, based on the US 301 South Corridor Transportation Study. The proposed LRT is anticipated to provide access to jobs in downtown Washington, D.C., and its surrounding suburban areas by connecting to the regional Metrorail system. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $0.99 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Washington-Richmond Corridor Improvements

Washington, DC Metropolitan Area

Due to increased congestion throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region, the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) is proposing to expand commuter rail service to include the entire Washington, D.C.-Richmond, Virginia corridor. VRE currently operates commuter rail service between Washington, D.C. and Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (VDRPT) initiated the Washington, D.C.-Richmond, VA - Rail Corridor Study to identify specific improvements required to increase the maximum speed of passenger trains and to reduce the running time between Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Virginia, thus making it feasible for commuter rail service. The Commonwealth’s Corridor Study, completed in April 1996, recommended a six-phase rail improvement program along the existing CSX right-of-way. The improvements include, but are not limited to, straightening certain curve tracks, adding new signals, rail-crossing safety measures, constructing new track in several areas of the existing right-of-way, incrementally adding a third track, and purchasing new rolling stock and passenger facilities. To date, the Commonwealth has allocated $13 million for the initial phase of the proposed project. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $9.10 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

In addition to the Commonwealth’s initiative, the Federal Railroad Administration completed a congressionally requested study of the Washington-Richmond corridor in May 1999. The study, developed in coordination with VDRPT, VRE and other regional transportation agencies, focused on the capital requirements needed for commuter rail service and intercity passenger rail service along the corridor.

Other Project Authorization

Albuquerque Alvarado Intermodal Center

Albuquerque, New Mexico

The City of Albuquerque, in coordination with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the State Historic Preservation Officer of New Mexico, is constructing an intermodal transfer facility to serve the city’s downtown core. The project will include a bus transfer site, and will also include retail and office space, bus circulation elements, taxi service, a downtown bus circulator a passenger plaza for transit patrons, and a surface parking lot. The project will also serve to revitalize the area and create a positive atmosphere and a safe and clean environment for visitors and citizens. The facility is envisioned as a transportation hub for the metropolitan area and will also serve as a site for the current Amtrak rail service, intercity transport services and future modes of urban and regional rail services. The primary design concept behind the project is to make the facility work as a transportation center and to further design the facility to include transit-oriented development, which will incorporate other transit-related amenities so that the facility becomes a major activity center within the Central Business District. The construction of the Alvarado intermodal facility is a key component in the City’s plan to achieve and maintain National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The project is scheduled for completion in the year 2000.

 

Intermodal Corridor

Bridgeport, Connecticut

The proposed project involves the construction of a $34 million multi-phased Intermodal Transportation Center in downtown Bridgeport. In order to complete this facility, the City proposes to fund this project in two phases: Phase I - $14 million parking garage; and Phase II - $20 million bus facility. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $5.6 million in Bus funds for Phase I of this project.

 

Old Saybrook-Hartford Rail Extension

Hartford, Connecticut

The proposed project involves the reconstruction of the existing rail line between Old Saybrook and Hartford. Future passenger uses, however, remain uncertain. The line is currently inactive except for a short tourist operation near Old Saybrook. At this time, definitive planning efforts have not been undertaken for this effort and it has not been included in Hartford’s Long-Range Transportation Plan. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $0.49 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

Waterfront Access

New London, Connecticut

At this time, a waterfront access mass transit project in the City of New London has not been defined. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $0.49 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Philadelphia-Pittsburgh Highspeed Rail

Philadelphia-Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Federal Transit Administration has not received any information on this effort.

 

Integrated Intermodal Transportation

Rhode Island

At this time, a New Start intermodal mass transit project in Rhode Island has not been defined. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation and the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority are in the process of defining the project and justifying its New Start eligibility.

 

Fixed Guideway Connector (Stamford Urban Transitway)

Stamford, Connecticut

The Stamford Corridor Project involves the construction of urban transitway to improve access to the Stamford Transportation Center, which is currently being rehabilitated to accommodate high speed rail service and to provide additional commuter parking. A Brownfields area is adjacent to the Center. The Stamford Urban Transitway Project will include exclusive lanes for buses and other high occupancy vehicles. The Connecticut Department of Transportation, the Southwestern Regional Planning Agency, the Metropolitan Planning Organization, and the City of Stamford have coordinated the development of the proposed project. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $1.97 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Other Project Authorizations for FY 2000

Girdwood Commuter Rail Project

Anchorage/Girdwood, Alaska

The Alaska Railroad currently operates passenger services along its main line south of Anchorage. The line is being rehabilitated to permit safer, faster and more efficient operation. The operation of commuter rail service on the existing Alaska Railroad right-of-way from north of Anchorage south as far as Girdwood, a residential and recreational community, is currently under study. Extension of trackage from the Alaska Railroad main line into Girdwood has also been proposed. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $9.81 million in New Starts funds for this effort. This effort was not authorized in TEA-21.

 

Branch Rail Line Regional Transit Program

Calais, Maine

As part of the Regional Transit Program, the Maine Department of Transportation is proposing to initiate transit service along a 45-mile abandoned rail right-of-way between Bangor and Bar Harbor. The purpose of the project is to reduce seasonal congestion by providing an alternative mode of travel to Mt. Desert Island, Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. The project is currently in the initial planning and environmental phase. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $0.49 million in New Starts funds for this effort. The Calais Branch Rail Line Regional Transit Program was not authorized in TEA-21.

 

Dayton Aviation Heritage Corridor Transportation/Light Rail Study

Dayton, Ohio

The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission is conducting a Major Investment Study of transportation options along a corridor linking the core sites of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. The Park was established by Congress in 1992 by the Dayton Heritage Preservation Act. The corridor, which generally runs in an east-west direction through downtown Dayton, includes the Wright Brothers Cycle Company shop, the Paul Lawrence Dunbar House and the U.S. Air Force Museum at Wright/Patterson Air Force Base. Alternatives currently under consideration include diesel bus, electric trolley bus and light rail. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $1.97 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds for this effort. This effort was not authorized in TEA-21.

Homer Dock Improvements

Homer, Alaska

The Alaska Marine Highway System is planning to initiate terminal improvements in Homer, Alaska. Environmental information has been completed and submitted to FTA for review. An application for Federal financial assistance has also been submitted. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $20 million in New Starts funds for the development of new ferry service for the Alaska and Hawaii areas. This effort was not authorized in TEA-21.

 

Knoxville-Memphis Commuter Rail Feasibility Study

Knoxville-Memphis, Tennessee

The Tennessee Department of Transportation is planning to evaluate the feasibility of re-initiating freight service on an abandoned rail right-of-way along an east-west railroad from Knoxville to Memphis. The potential for future passenger rail service will also be explored. Ownership of a potential rail line has not been determined. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $0.49 million in New Starts funds for this effort. This effort was not authorized in TEA-21.

 

Washington County – Wilsonville-Beaverton Commuter Rail Study

Portland, Oregon

Portland Metro, the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Portland area, is currently developing an Environmental Analysis for a proposed 17.8-mile commuter rail line between Wilsonville and Beaverton. The southern terminus of the proposed project is located in Wilsonville and extends north to Beaverton tying into the Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) light rail transit line. The proposed project would utilize an existing and active branch rail line, and would include the construction of five to six stations, including park-and-ride facilities. The proposed project also includes multiple capital improvements, including the construction of a maintenance/storage facility and double tracking portions of the alignment. The northern portion of the rail corridor is owned by the Union Pacific Railroad. The Oregon Department of Transportation owns the southern portion of the corridor. As part of the Environmental Analysis, the MPO is also developing an alternatives analysis (AA) evaluating the commuter rail alternative against a No-build, Transportation System Management and potentially other alternatives. The Oregon DOT and Washington County have performed two feasibility studies that served as a basis for the definition of the commuter rail alternative in the current AA study. A locally preferred strategy is anticipated in March 2000. Total capital costs for the commuter rail alternative are currently estimated at $75 million. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $0.49 million in New Starts funds for this effort.

 

Wilmington Transit Connector

Wilmington, Delaware

The Delaware Department of Transportation and the City of Wilmington have conducted a Major Investment Study to address transportation needs between major employment, commercial and entertainment venues in the city. The locally preferred alternative is a trolley line, approximately 2.1 miles in length, 0.6 miles of exclusive right-of-way. Total capital costs are currently estimated at $37 million. No environmental work has been undertaken for this effort. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $0.98 million in New Starts funds for this effort. This effort was not authorized in TEA-21.

 

Valdez Dock Improvements

Valdez, Alaska

The Alaska Marine Highway System has developed a transportation plan for Southcentral Alaska. Based upon the plan, the Marine Highway System is planning to intiate terminal improvements in Valdez, Alaska. Environmental information has been completed and submitted to FTA for review. An application for Federal financial assistance has also been submitted. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $20 million in New Starts funds for the development of new ferry service for the Alaska and Hawaii areas. This effort was not authorized in TEA-21.