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American Public Transportation Association

 House THUD Appropriations Subcommittee Action on FY 19 Transportation Appropriations Bill

(Download Document in PDF Format)


Tonight (May 16), the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) of the House Committee on Appropriations marked up the fiscal year (FY) 2019 THUD Appropriations bill.

 

The House THUD Appropriations bill builds on the historic public transportation and passenger rail investments made in the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018 (“2018 THUD Appropriations Act”) (P.L. 115-141, Division L). The bill provides $16.5 billion for public transportation and intercity passenger rail, including $13.6 billion for public transportation and $2.9 billion for intercity passenger rail. The total FY 2019 public transportation and intercity passenger rail funding levels are $203 million more than the historic investments provided earlier this year and $2.5 billion more than provided in FY 2017.

 

The Full Committee on Appropriations is likely to consider this bill next week. In addition, the Senate Committee on Appropriations is expected to begin the process of considering its THUD Appropriations bill in early June.

 

 

CALL TO ACTION

 

We strongly encourage you to contact Members of the House Committee on Appropriations and other Members of Congress and urge them to support the increased funding levels provided in the House THUD bill for public transportation and intercity passenger rail. In addition, we urge Congress to identify additional resources to further increase funding for these critical infrastructure investments in our Nation’s bus and rail systems.

 

 

 

Public Transportation

 

The House THUD Appropriations bill provides $13.6 billion for public transportation, including both formula and competitive grants administered by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). This funding level is $141 millionmore than FY 2018 funding levels and $1.1 billion more than authorized by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) (P.L. 114-94) for FY 2019.

 

Similar to the 2018 THUD Appropriations Act, the bill provides additional funding above the FAST Act's FY 2019 authorized levels for several APTA priorities, including:

 

§  Bus and Bus Facilities Competitive Grants ($350 million)

(including $50 million for No and Low Emission Bus Competitive Grants);

§  State of Good Repair Grants ($200 million);

§  Urbanized Area Formula Grants ($150 million);

§  Rural Area Formula Grants ($50 million); and

§  Capital Investment Grants (CIG) ($312 million).

 

The THUD Appropriations bill provides $2.6 billion for CIG projects, $1.6 billion more than the Administration’s request (which proposed no funding for new CIG projects). In addition, the bill includes a provision requiring FTA to obligate 85 percent of the CIG funds by December 31, 2020, and instructs the agency to use almost 60 percent of CIG funds on new projects that do not have existing full funding grant agreements.

 

Finally, the bill includes a provision (sec. 165) that prohibits any transit funding to be used to procure any transit, passenger rail, or freight rail asset from an entity that is owned, directed, or subsidized by a country identified as a priority watch list country by the United States Trade Representative and is subject to monitoring under section 306 of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2416) (i.e., China). APTA staff is reviewing the effect of this provision.

 

Intercity Passenger Rail

 

The House THUD Appropriations bill provides $2.9 billion for intercity passenger rail grants administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). This funding level is $62 million more than FY 2018 funding levels and $617 million more than authorized by the FAST Act for FY 2019.

 

The bill provides $1.94 billion for Amtrak for FY 2019, including $1.3 billion for the National Network and $650 million for the Northeast Corridor. The bill also provides $300 million for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grants, and sets aside one-half of this amount ($150 million) for implementation of positive train control (PTC). Commuter railroads are specifically eligible for these CRISI PTC grants. In addition, the bill provides $500 million for the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair grants.

 

Finally, the THUD Appropriations bill includes a provision (sec. 152) that prohibits any THUD funding to be used for California high-speed rail. It also prohibits any funding to administer the tapered match agreement between FRA and the California High Speed Rail Authority.

 

TIGER/BUILD

 

The THUD Appropriations bill provides $750 million for TIGER/BUILD grants, including $250 million that is specifically provided for large, metropolitan communities (urbanized areas with a population of more than 200,000). Although $750 million funding level is only one-half of the amount provided in FY 2018 for TIGER/BUILD grants, historically, the House has not provided any funding for the TIGER program during its consideration of the THUD Appropriations bill. The Senate is the primary advocate for funding TIGER/BUILD grants in the bill.

 

The following table provides specific information on the public transportation and intercity passenger rail funding provided in the House THUD Appropriations bill.

 

Programs

FY 2018
THUD Appropriations
Enacted
(P.L. 115-141)

FY 2019
President's Budget
Request

FY 2019
FAST Act
Authorized
(P.L. 114-94)

FY 2019
House
THUD Appropriations
(H.R. ____)

H.R. ____
Increase/(Decrease) from FY 2018
THUD Appropriations 
Enacted

 

 

Public Transportation

 

Formula Programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Urbanized Area Formula Grants

$4,726,907,174

$4,827,117,606

$4,827,117,606

$4,977,117,606

$250,210,432

 

State of Good Repair Formula Grants

2,993,703,558

2,638,366,859

2,638,366,859

2,838,366,859

(155,336,699)

 

Rural Area Formula Grants

645,634,578

659,322,031

659,322,031

709,322,031

63,687,453

 

Growing States/High-Density States 
Formula Grants

582,783,547

561,315,120

561,315,120

611,315,120

28,531,573

 

Growing State Apportionments

286,132,747

293,311,066

293,311,066

293,311,066

7,178,319

 

High-Density State Apportionments

296,650,800

268,004,054

268,004,054

318,004,054

21,353,254

 

Bus and Bus Facilities Formula Grants

654,623,476

454,964,489

454,964,489

454,964,489

(199,658,987)

 

Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities 
Formula Grants

273,840,764

279,646,188

279,646,188

279,646,188

5,805,424

 

Planning Formula Grants

136,200,310

139,087,757

139,087,757

139,087,757

2,887,447

 

Competitive Programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capital Investment Grants

$2,644,960,000

$1,000,000,000

$2,301,785,760

$2,613,650,000

($31,310,000)

 

Bus and Bus Facilities Competitive Grants

492,410,000

322,059,980

322,059,980

672,059,980

179,649,980

 

No and Low Emission Bus Competitive Grant Program

84,450,000

55,000,000

55,000,000

105,000,000

20,550,000

 

Transit-Oriented Development Pilot Program

10,000,000

10,000,000

10,000,000

10,000,000

0

 

Technical Assistance and Workforce Development

14,000,000

9,000,000

14,000,000

14,000,000

0

 

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

150,000,000

120,000,000

150,000,000

150,000,000

0

 

Administrative Expenses and Other Programs

155,415,000

150,242,260

173,516,543

151,665,000

(3,750,000)

 

Public Transportation Total

$13,480,478,407

$11,171,122,290

$12,531,182,333

$13,621,195,030

$140,716,623

 

Intercity Passenger Rail

 

Amtrak Grants

$1,941,600,000

$737,897,000

$1,700,000,000

$1,941,600,000

$0

 

Northeast Corridor Amtrak Grants

650,000,000

200,000,000

557,000,000

650,000,000

0

 

National Network Amtrak Grants

1,291,600,000

537,897,000

1,143,000,000

1,291,600,000

0

 

CRISI Grants

592,547,000

0

255,000,000

300,000,000

(292,547,000)

 

Positive Train Control CRISI Grants (including Commuter Rail)

250,000,000

0

0

150,000,000

(100,000,000)

 

Federal-State Partnership for 
State of Good Repair

250,000,000

0

300,000,000

500,000,000

250,000,000

 

Restoration and Enhancement Grants

20,000,000

0

20,000,000

0

(20,000,000)

 

RRIF Credit Subsidy

25,000,000

0

0

0

(25,000,000)

 

Maglev Technology Deployment Program

0

0

0

150,000,000

150,000,000

 

Intercity Passenger Rail Total

$2,829,147,000

$737,897,000

$2,275,000,000

$2,891,600,000

$62,453,000

 

Public Transportation and 
Intercity Passenger Rail 
Grand Total

$16,309,625,407

$11,909,019,290

$14,806,182,333

$16,512,795,030

$203,169,623

 

 

FRA Positive Train Control Grant Notice of Funding Opportunity

On May 15, the FRA issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for $250 million in PTC grants made available under the CRISI program, in accordance with the 2018 THUD Appropriations Act. Commuter railroads are specifically eligible to apply for these CRISI PTC grants. During the FY 2018 appropriations process, APTA worked extensively to secure PTC-specific funding and expand the eligibility of the CRISI grant program to include commuter railroads. Applications for PTC grants are due no later than 45 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register (anticipated to be May 18). The NOFO, as submitted to the Federal Register, can be found here.

 

Senate Banking Committee Action on Nomination of the Honorable Thelma Drake as Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration

On May 15, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs approved President Trump’s nominee to be FTA Administrator, the Honorable Thelma Drake, by a vote of 24-1. Senator Robert Menendez opposed her nomination. Her nomination will now proceed to consideration by the full Senate. Before becoming the City of Norfolk’s Assistant Director of Transportation, Ms. Drake represented the Norfolk area in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Virginia House of Delegates. President Trump nominated Ms. Drake on February 13, 2018.

 

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