Awards Mean FTA Has Met Aggressive Deadline to Put 100 Percent of Recovery Act Dollars to Work
WASHINGTON – Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced funding for 191 new Recovery Act transit projects in 42 states and Puerto Rico that will help transform the nation’s infrastructure and support thousands of jobs across the country. In making the over $600 million in new awards, the Federal Transit Administration met an aggressive deadline to award 100 percent of its Recovery Act transit formula dollars by March 5.
Since President Obama signed the Recovery Act in February 2009, the FTA has awarded 881 grants totaling $7.5 billion, which means all the formula transit funds provided by the Recovery Act have now been “obligated” or committed to specific transit projects. Once funds are obligated to a project, contracts can be bid, workers can be hired, buses and rail cars can be purchased and work can begin on transit construction projects that create jobs and drive economic growth. Recovery Act transit projects have already generated enough work to employ thousands of people nationwide and activity is expected to ramp up even further in the months ahead as new projects break ground and equipment orders are fulfilled.
“Investing in these transit upgrades not only puts construction workers on the job at project sites, but supports American manufacturing jobs all the way down the supply chain,” said Vice President Biden. “At a time when jobs are priority number one, that means twice the employment bang for the Recovery Act buck.”
“Because of transit projects being built with money from the Recovery Act, thousands of people can pay their mortgages or their rent, make their car payments, put food on the table for their families and maintain their quality of life,” said Secretary LaHood.
So far, Recovery Act funds have supported the purchase of nearly 12,000 buses, vans and rail vehicles, the construction or renovation of more than 850 transit facilities, and the performance of more than $620 million in preventive maintenance, which has helped to save transit service and jobs, and enhance service reliability.
In addition to the direct employment impact of the projects, domestic bus, seating and rail car manufacturers have received orders that are helping boost production and support jobs. For example, Orion Bus in Greensboro, NC has now received 10 contracts for nearly 300 buses with Recovery Act funds – orders the company says allowed it to maintain 176 jobs. Gillig Bus in Hayward, CA has received orders for 790 buses with Recovery Act funds – work the company says has allowed them to support 395 jobs. And American Seating Company in Grand Rapids, MI, a bus seating manufacturer, says they received $3 million in Recovery Act contracts last year, allowing them to add 11 full-time employees with additional job growth expected in 2010 thanks to the Recovery Act.
“Investing in modern, efficient transit systems will mean safe, reliable travel and clean air in our communities” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. “These projects are putting thousands of Americans to work right now while improving the lives of millions of Americans for years to come"
The U.S. Department of Transportation is making $48.1 billion available through the Recovery Act for all transportation projects, including highway and bridge, rail transit, small shipyards and airport construction and repairs nationwide. Of that, $36.8 billion already has been awarded.
For a complete list of FTA Recovery Act formula grants, please see the ARRA Grants Digest. Information about specific transit projects funded by the Recovery Act can be found here.