Railway news: Passenger rail
President Joe Biden’s budget request for fiscal year 2022 includes $ 88 billion for the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) to expand rail and transit services and increase support for low-emission and zero-emission mass transit.
Sent to Congress last week, the budget provides $ 2.7 billion for Amtrak – a 35% increase in financial support for the railroad that will speed up track renewal, renovate aging stations, refresh existing capital stock and will meet system-wide maintenance needs, USDOT officials said in a statement.
It is also offering $ 625 million for a new competitive passenger rail improvement, modernization and expansion program – known as the PRIME Grants – to modernize and expand passenger rail service and expand existing rail corridors across the country. The funding is a down payment on the $ 20 billion the U.S. jobs plan would provide to expand passenger rail transportation, USDOT officials said.
In addition, the budget provides for:
• $ 13.5 billion for public transit, including $ 2.5 billion for capital grants – an increase of $ 459 million – to accelerate ongoing transit system projects and to support new projects that are ready to go through the approval pipeline; and $ 550 million for public transit infrastructure grants.
• $ 1 billion for the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grants – formerly known as the TIGER / BUILD grants – to help communities undertaking innovative infrastructure projects. The U.S. Jobs Plan calls for dramatically increasing funding available for the RAISE and Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) programs, as well as creating a $ 25 billion transformative projects fund for projects that are too large, complex or innovative to fit into existing programs.
Additional details on transport funding in the President’s budget request are available here.