The Federal Transit Administration Holding Transit Dollars, Putting Projects at Risk

The federal government approved $1.4 billion in funding for public transit projects as part of the omnibus spending bill signed by President Trump in March. The Federal Transit Administration still hasn't sent the money to local officials.

2 minute read

August 16, 2018, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Seattle Light Rail Construction

brewbooks / Flickr

Laura Bliss examines the state of transportation funding in year two of the Trump administration.

After noting that a promised a $1 trillion infrastructure investment plan, promised by President Trump throughout the campaign and into his first months in office, is all but dead in Congress, Bliss reports that the administration is now leaving funding a different kind of spending promise unfulfilled:

Like a nasty pothole, Trump’s unkept promises on road-and-rail dollars have given transportation fans a mild case of whiplash. But there may be worse harm in another infrastructure lapse on the part of this administration, this one more basic: $1.4 billion promised to transit projects across the U.S., still unallocated by the Federal Transit Administration for no clear reason.

Specifically, "17 rail and rapid bus projects are awaiting grants promised by the federal appropriations bill signed into law by Trump in March 2018," according to Bliss.

Transportation for America has created a countdown clock, which is actually more of a countup clock, to track how long the $1.4 billion in funding has been stuck in Trump administration limbo. Transportation for America has also collected the full list of projects waiting for their promised, as in signed into law, funding:

  • Albuquerque, NM Central Avenue BRT
  • Dallas, TX DART Red & Blue Line Platform Extensions
  • El Paso, TX BRT Extension
  • Jacksonville, FL Southwest BRT
  • Los Angeles, CA Purple Line Extension (LRT), Section 3
  • Minneapolis, MN Blue Line (LRT) Extension
  • Minneapolis, MN Green Line (LRT) Extension
  • Minneapolis, MN Orange Line BRT
  • New York City, NY Canarsie (L) Line Improvements
  • Orange County, CA Streetcar
  • Reno, NV Virginia Street BRT
  • Sacramento, CA Riverfront Streetcar
  • Seattle, WA Lynnwood LRT extension
  • Seattle, WA Madison Street BRT
  • South Shore (IN/IL) Commuter Rail Double Tracking
  • St. Petersburg, FL Central Avenue BRT
  • Tempe, AZ Streetcar

While the need for this funding to complete these otherwise funded, planned, and, in some cases, already under construction projects is clear, the reasoning behind the Federal Transit Administration's delays is not.

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