U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Recommends $346.7 Million For Five California Transit Infrastructure Projects

President’s FY 2013 Budget Recommends $2.2 Billion Recommended for 29 Capital Transit Projects Across America that Will Create Jobs, Opportunities

2/14/2012
Contact: Angela Gates
(202) 366-3669

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today recommended $346.7 million in funding to initiate construction for five significant rail and bus rapid transit (BRT) projects in California. The projects are included in President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget, which will put thousands of Americans to work building the vital infrastructure our nation needs to improve access to jobs while reducing our dependence on oil and spurring new economic development.

“President Obama called on us to rebuild America by putting people back to work on transportation infrastructure projects that are built to last,” said Secretary LaHood. “Throughout California, there is work to be done on projects like these. The budget proposal released yesterday demonstrates our commitment to putting people back to work building the infrastructure we need to improve our transit systems, highways, railways, airports and ports well in to the future. At this make-or-break moment for the middle class, we can afford to do no less.”

The spending plan included in President Obama’s budget submitted to Congress yesterday recommends $2.2 billion in funding to initiate or advance construction for 29 significant rail and bus rapid transit projects in 15 states.

“The Obama Administration continues to make transformational investments in our nation’s transit infrastructure that open the door to more jobs and opportunities for millions of Americans,” said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff. “Northern California is a tremendous economic growth engine for the state as a whole, and building robust transit networks—light rail, heavy rail, and BRT—is essential to attracting and retaining the region’s high-tech work force, while also improving access to jobs, training, and education that future generations will need to get ahead.”

The President’s funding recommendation for projects that would greatly improve transit accessibility in California include:

  • $150 million to advance the second phase of construction of the San Francisco Central Subway light rail project, which will provide a vitally important direct rapid transit link connecting the Financial District, Union Square, and Chinatown in one of the city’s densest corridors where demands on existing transit are extremely high and additional capacity is essential.
  • $150 million for the Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension Project, which will greatly increase heavy rail transit service between the greater San Francisco Bay area and Santa Clara County, thereby relieving congestion along the I-880 and I-660 corridors.
  • $45.6 million to extend the Sacramento South Corridor light rail transit line by 4.3 miles to the south, which will improve access to all the new jobs forecasted for downtown Sacramento, spur anticipated economic development along Route 99 and I-5, and add park-and-ride facilities for commuters.
  • $10 million to construct the new Blackstone/Kings Canyon BRT service, a speedier, more efficient alternative to current local bus service that will use dedicated lanes and fewer stops to get riders to their destinations faster between North Fresno, downtown Fresno, and the Southeast growth area, where the population is growing rapidly.
  • $10 million for San Francisco’s new BRT service along Van Ness Ave.—the first BRT service along a primary north-south transit route in the northern half of San Francisco. The service will reduce travel times and improve reliability in high-density neighborhoods where nearly half the residents do not own car.
  • Two other projects that may also be eligible for an additional $81 million in funding if they meet the New Starts criteria in Fiscal Year 2013 are:

$50 million for Los Angeles’ Westside Subway Extension, which could add 6 miles of subway along Los Angeles’ highest transit ridership corridor.

$31 million for the Regional Transit Corridor, linking Los Angeles’ two highest ridership light rail lines through underground connections in downtown LA.

All the recommendations are part of the FTA’s Annual Report on Funding Recommendations for Fiscal Year 2013, available online here. Individual detailed project descriptions are available here.

The New Starts and Small Starts capital investment program is one of the largest discretionary grant programs in the U.S. Government. Proposed projects, such as rapid rail, light rail, commuter rail, bus rapid transit, and ferries, are evaluated and rated on a number of measures at several steps in the process as they seek FTA approval for a federal funding commitment to finance project construction.

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