While many of us were busy with holiday festivities, FTA was busy announcing seven major transit projects. From the December 27, 2010 FTA press release:
Projects Include Subway, Light Rail, Commuter Rail
WASHINGTON – The Federal Transit Administration today announced that is advancing a total of $182.4 million in New Starts funding for seven transit projects already under construction in New York, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Northern Virginia.
“By making these payments now, we’re not only fulfilling the federal government’s commitment to these projects sooner, but we’re also giving a well-timed boost to communities that have made an important investment in their transportation infrastructure,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We want to keep the projects moving and people working with these early investments, which will save these cities money over the long haul.”
The grants being awarded today will not increase the federal government’s overall share in the projects. Rather, a portion of the federal share for each project is being paid earlier than expected because of unallocated funds in FTA’s Fiscal Year 2010 budget for new construction.
“The advance payments being announced today will free up local funds that can now be used for other transit projects that will make it easier for families to get to work, to school, and to other important destinations,” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. “These advances will also result in the savings of financing costs that local sponsors would have otherwise incurred.”
These projects—which include subway, light rail, and commuter rail—have already been given “full funding grant agreements,” documents that establish the federal government’s share of funding as well as annual payment schedules.
In recent years, the FTA has provided between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion annually toward new public transportation projects through its New Starts Program, the primary source of federal assistance for local sponsors of transit construction. A summary of projects receiving advance payments can be found here: http://www.fta.dot.gov/news/news_events_12243.html.