U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Recommends $38.2 Million Toward Construction of Two Bus Rapid Transit Lines in Jacksonville, Florida
President’s FY 2013 Budget Recommends $2.2 Billion Recommended for 29 Capital Transit Projects Across America that Will Create Jobs, Opportunities
Contact: Angela Gates
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today recommended $38.2 million in new transit construction funding for Jacksonville’s North Corridor and Southeast Corridor Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines, which together would expand transit service in densely populated, commuter-rich communities that serve many employers, retailers, health care providers, and schools.
The President’s spending plans also recommends that the Central Florida Commuter Rail Transit project in Orlando, which has received FTA grant funding in prior years, should receive $30 million in continued New Starts funding in FY2013.
“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 Florida, 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 President’s budget recommendation would provide funds to the Jacksonville Transportation Authority as follows:
- $19.1 million to connect the downtown BRT project under way to a new line running north of downtown Jacksonville to I-295. The North Corridor has the highest density of transit trips in Jacksonville’s entire system, serves the highest concentration of households without cars, and serves a population where nearly half of residents use transit to commute to work.
- $19.1 million for a new BRT line running southeast of downtown Jacksonville to Southside Blvd. The Southeast corridor serves a mix of residential, commercial, industrial, office and retail businesses as well as health-related services and colleges. Many Southeast corridor residents are low-income and transit-dependent.
“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. “Jacksonville’s two new BRT projects are a great start to building a high-capacity regional rapid transit system that connects with other transit services and powers Jacksonville’s ability to continue serving as a major economic engine for North Florida.”
The projects are included in President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget submitted to Congress yesterday, which recommends $2.2 billion in funding to initiate or advance construction of 29 significant rail and bus rapid transit projects in 15 states.
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.
Secretary LaHood and FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff recently proposed changes to this program to cut red tape in order to allow approved projects to begin construction sooner and help FTA focus more on local needs, such as economic development, community revitalization, and responding to historically underserved populations.