On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) and Related Agencies approved the FY 2017 THUD appropriations bill with little change from the original text. The full Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to consider the measure on Thursday. The bill appropriates $56.5 billion for transportation, housing and urban development, and related agencies programs in FY 2017. The information provided below is preliminary, based on brief summaries provided by the subcommittee.
Federal Transit Administration
The bill appropriates a total of $12.3 billion for Federal Transit Administration (FTA) programs, an increase of $575 million over FY 2016 levels. The total includes $150 million for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), which is authorized under legislation separate from the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The FAST Act authorized $12.175 billion in FY 2017 for FTA programs. While we do not have funding details for all programs, it appears that federal transit programs are funded at levels very close to those in the FAST Act.
The bill provides $9.7 billion for the transit formula grants, which is $753 million over funding in the previous year and consistent with the FAST Act. It funds the Capital Investment Grants (New Starts/Small Starts/Core Capacity) at a level of $2.3 billion, $161 million more than FY 2016 and also of the level authorized under the FAST Act. Within funding for Capital Investment Grant program, the measure allocates $333 million for core capacity projects, $241 million for small starts, and $20 million for the expedited delivery pilot program. We do not yet have details on other general fund transit programs, or individual programs under the formula total.
Federal Rail Administration
The bill funds Amtrak at a level of $1.42 billion, $30 million more than FY 2016, but about $82 million less than authorized. Separately, it provides $50 million for the newly authorized Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement grants, which is authorized under the FAST Act at $190 million, and $20 million for the new Federal State Partnership for State of Good Repair (SOGR) Grants, which is authorized at $140 million. The measure also provides $15 million for the new Rail Restoration and Enhancement Grants, which were authorized at $20 million. For the implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC), the bill is consistent with the FAST Act in appropriating from the Mass Transit Account $199 million in FY 2017.
The bill also appropriates $525 million for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, $25 million more than in FY 2016.
We will provide more detailed information as it becomes available in a subsequent Legislative Alert. For more information on the appropriations bill, please visit the committee website here.