Today (June 5), the Subcommittee on Transportation,Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) of the Senate Committee on Appropriations marked up the fiscal year (FY) 2019 THUD Appropriations bill. The Senate THUD Appropriations bill has not been released yet, but the Committee has provided a summary of the bill. We will provide more information as it becomes available.
The Senate THUD Appropriations bill, like the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018 (“2018 THUD Appropriations Act”) (P.L. 115-141,Division L), provides additional funding for public transportation, above the levels authorized by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act)(P.L. 114-94). The bill provides approximately $16 billion for public transportation and intercity passenger rail, including $13.5 billion for public transportation and $2.5 billion for intercity passenger rail grants. The total FY 2019 public transportation and intercity passenger rail funding levels are approximately $1.2 billion more than authorized by the FAST Act for FY 2019.
The Full Committee on Appropriations is scheduled to consider this bill on Thursday, June 7. The House Committee on Appropriations approved its version of the THUD Appropriations bill on May 24. For more information on the House bill, please click here.
Call to Action
We strongly encourage you to contact Members of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and other Senators and urge them to support increased funding levels for public transportation and intercity passenger rail in the Senate THUD Appropriations bill. We urge Congress to identify additional resources to increase funding for these critical infrastructure investments in our nation’s bus and rail systems.
The Senate THUD Appropriations bill provides $13.5 billion for public transportation, including both formula and competitive grants administered by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). This funding level is approximately $33 million more than the historic FY 2018 funding levels and $1 billion more than authorized by the FAST Act 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 Grants ($400 million)
- State of Good Repair Grants ($362 million); and
- Capital Investment Grants (CIG) (approximately$250 million).
The Senate THUD Appropriations bill provides $2.55 billion for CIG projects, $1.55 billion more than the Administration’s request (which proposed no funding for new CIG projects). The bill fully funds all current Full Funding Grant Agreements (FFGAs), as well as new projects that meet the program criteria.
Intercity Passenger Rail
The Senate THUD Appropriations bill provides approximately$2.5 billion for intercity passenger rail grants administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). This funding level is approximately $225 million more than the amount 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 $255 million for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grants, $300 million for the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair grants, and $10 million for Restoration and Enhancement Grants.
The Senate THUD Appropriations bill provides $1 billion for TIGER/BUILD grants. As of now, it is unclear if the bill includes any setasides within this funding for specific purposes. The House THUD Appropriations bill specified that $250 million of the $750 million of the House bill’s appropriation for TIGER/BUILD grants be made available for projects in large,metropolitan communities (urbanized areas with a population of more than 200,000).
FTA Finalizes Rule on Private Investment Project Procedures
On May 30, the FTA published its final rule to address potential impediments to public-private partnerships. The rule creates a procedure for project sponsors to seek modifications of federal requirements to “accelerate the project development process, attract private investment and lead to increased project management flexibility, more innovation, improved efficiency, and/or new revenue streams.”FTA anticipates using the lessons learned from these experimental procedures to develop more effective approaches to include private participation in transit projects. To view the final rule in its entirety, please click here.
Emergency Relief Funding for Transit Systems Damaged by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria
On May 31, FTA announced$277.5 million in Emergency Relief funding for public transportation systems damaged by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. APTA issued a statement in support of the announcement. To view the Federal Register notice, please click here.