FY 2010 Annual Report Excerpt: New FFGA and ESWA Recommendations

New FFGA Recommendations

Five projects are likely to be ready for a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) or Early Systems Work Agreement (ESWA)†in FY 2010.† These projects are in Final Design or expected to be approved into Final Design before summer 2009, the environmental process has been completed, and any needed railroad agreements have been negotiated and are at or near completion.† For these projects, FTA recommends a total of $430.00 million in New Starts funding in FY 2010.† Appendix A provides detailed descriptions of the projects, including their most recent New Starts evaluation and rating.† A brief description of each is provided below, along with a discussion of the recommended funding for each.

California: Sacramento South Corridor Phase 2

The Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT) is proposing to implement an extension of its existing South Corridor light rail transit (LRT) line from its current terminus at Meadowview Road south and east to Cosumnes River College (CRC), near the intersection of State Highway 99 and Calvine Road.† The four-station, 4.3-mile project would operate in an exclusive, primarily at-grade right-of-way requiring six street crossings along the alignment.† The proposed extension will use existing RT vehicles and operate on 10-minute peak-period frequencies.† Approximately 2,700 park-and-ride spaces would be constructed at three of the four proposed stations as part of the project.

The capital cost for the project is $270.00 million, with a proposed New Starts share of $135.00 million, or 50 percent.† Congress has appropriated $11.34 million for the project through FY 2009.† FTA recommends $40.00 million of New Starts funding for the project in FY 2010.

Florida: Orlando Central Florida Commuter Rail Transit Initial Operating Segment

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is proposing to construct a new commuter rail system along the existing CSX ďAĒ line Corridor from Volusia County through Lake County and Seminole County, to Orange County and downtown Orlando.† The project would operate entirely at-grade, sharing track with existing freight and Amtrak services.† The project includes the purchase of 10 vehicles and construction of 12 stations and approximately 2,100 parking spaces.† In the opening year, service would operate every 30 minutes in the peak period and every 120 minutes during the off-peak, with no weekend service.† By the forecast year of 2030, service would operate every 15 minutes in the peak period and every 30 minutes during the off-peak, with service every 60 minutes in the evenings and weekends.

The capital cost for the project is $357.22 million, with a proposed New Starts share of $178.61 million, or 50 percent.† Congress has appropriated $26.62 million for the project through FY 2009.† FTA recommends $40.00 million of New Starts funding for the project in FY 2010.

New Jersey: Northern New Jersey Access to the Regionís Core

The New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJT) is proposing to construct a new 9.0-mile commuter rail line adjacent to the existing Northeast (Rail) Corridor (NEC) between Secaucus, New Jersey and Manhattan.† The Trans Hudson Express Tunnel, also known as Access to the Regionís Core (ARC), includes the construction of two new tunnels under the Hudson River; new rail tracks between Secaucus Junction and New York Penn Station (PSNY); a new rail station underneath 34th Street in midtown Manhattan (with pedestrian linkages to PSNY); a storage yard in Kearny, New Jersey; and the purchase of specialized dual-powered rail locomotives (electric and diesel) and bi-level coaches.† The purpose of the ARC project is to double rail capacity between New Jersey and New York City, thereby relieving congestion and transit delays, while providing for more direct, one-seat service to midtown Manhattan.†

The capital cost for the project is $8,699.98 million, with a proposed New Starts share of $3,000 million, or 35 percent.† Congress has appropriated $80.39 million for the project through FY 2009.† FTA recommends $200.00 million of New Starts funding for the project in FY 2010.

Texas: Houston North Corridor Light Rail Transit

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) is proposing to construct a 5.2 mile, eight station, double-track light rail transit (LRT) line from the existing University of Houston-Downtown station in the Houston central business district (CBD) to the Northline Mall Transit Center.† The proposed LRT line would operate in an exclusive guideway with limited mixed traffic operations.† The majority of the LRT line would operate at-grade (4.2 miles), while the remaining 0.86 miles would be elevated to avoid two freight railroads (the Southern Pacific Railroad and the Burlington-Northern Santa Fe Railway).† The project also includes the purchase of 24 light rail vehicles.† Service would operate every six minutes during peak and off peak periods, including weekends, and would interline with the current METRO Rail Red Line in the CBD.† No parking spaces would be built as part of the project.

The project profile contained in Appendix A of this report† reflects conditions as of March 2008, when the North Corridor LRT project was approved into preliminary engineering.† METRO plans to use an innovative project delivery method whereby a Facility Provider, comprised of a team of engineering, construction, construction management and vehicle manufacturing firms, would complete design, finalize the construction phasing approach, and expedite construction of several rapid transit improvements throughout Houston.† The Facility Provider would also be responsible for operation and maintenance of the proposed LRT line.† METRO completed contract negotiations with the Facility Provider and submitted documentation to FTA of the negotiations in October 2008.† As of April 2008 when this report was finalized, FTA was still conducting a review of METROís Facility Provider contracts and financial plan, and an updated evaluation and rating was not possible.†

The capital cost for the project has increased to approximately $896.7 million, although this has not be finalized.† As described in the paragraph above, the New Starts share is still being negotiated.† Congress has appropriated $17.23 million for the project through FY 2009.† FTA recommends $75.00 million of New Starts funding for the project in FY 2010.

Texas: Houston Southeast Corridor Light Rail Transit

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) is proposing to construct a 6.2-mile, light rail transit (LRT) line from the Houston central business district (CBD) to the Palm Center in the vicinity of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard/Griggs Road.† The proposed LRT line would operate in an exclusive guideway with limited mixed traffic operations.† The majority of the LRT line would operate at-grade (6.12 miles), while the remaining 0.14 miles would be elevated to avoid a natural habitat (Brays Bayou).† The project includes the purchase of 29 light rail vehicles and construction of 13 stations and a maintenance facility.† Service would operate every six minutes during peak and off peak periods, including weekends, and would provide a transfer to the current METRO Rail Red Line via the existing Main Street Square station in the CBD.† No parking spaces would be built as part of the project.† The proposed LRT lineís Palm Center terminus would be adjacent to METROís current Southeast Transit Center that includes a 1,100-space park-n-ride lot.†

The project profile contained in Appendix A of this report† reflects conditions as of March 2008, when the Southeast Corridor LRT project was approved into preliminary engineering.† METRO plans to use an innovative project delivery method whereby a Facility Provider, comprised of a team of engineering, construction, construction management and vehicle manufacturing firms, would complete design, finalize the construction phasing approach, and expedite construction of several rapid transit improvements throughout Houston.† The Facility Provider would also be responsible for operation and maintenance of the proposed LRT line.† METRO completed contract negotiations with the Facility Provider and submitted documentation to FTA of the negotiations in October 2008.† As of April 2008 when this report was finalized, FTA was still conducting a review of METROís Facility Provider contracts and financial plan, and an updated evaluation and rating was not possible.†

The capital cost for the project has increased to approximately $911.2 million, although this has not been finalized.† As described in the paragraph above, the proposed New Starts share is still being negotiated.† Congress has appropriated $17.23 million for the project through FY 2009.† FTA recommends $75.00 million of New Starts funding for the project in FY 2010.††