U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Recommends $15.2 Million Toward Construction of Bus Rapid Transit in El Paso, Texas

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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 $15.2 million in new transit construction funding for the 12-mile Dyer Corridor Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line, which will improve access to downtown El Paso and nearby Fort Bliss, one of the nation’s largest Army military bases.

The President’s spending plan also recommends that three major transit projects in Texas that have received FTA grant funds in prior years should receive continued New Starts funds in FY2013: $79 million for the Dallas Northwest/Southeast Light Rail Transit (LRT); $100 million for the Houston North Corridor LRT; and $100 million for the Houston Southeast Corridor LRT.

“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 Texas, 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 Dyer Corridor, a combination of urban and suburban neighborhoods, and civilian and military residents, is also home to many low-income workers and families—all of whom stand to benefit from the addition of reliable, convenient BRT service.

“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. “El Paso’s new BRT service will greatly improve access to jobs and training for families that cannot afford to own a car, while also offering speedier and more convenient access to the thousands of military personnel traveling daily between the U.S. Army Base at Fort Bliss, the Five Points Transfer Center, and all the attractions in downtown El Paso.”

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.

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.

Secretary LaHood and FTA Administrator 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.

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