February 8, 2019 – This week, the director of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) told Congress that he has ordered the strengthening of cybersecurity requirements for its new transit procurement, but said that further attempts to ensure the survival of a domestic railcar manufacturing industry should come in the form of Congress passing a law.
Eno Transportation Weekly
February 8, 2019 – This week, President Trump gave an interview to local journalists where he appeared to say that money for the $11+ billion Hudson River Tunnel has already been “set aside.”
November 30, 2018 – This week, the Federal Transit Administration announced that they are formally allocating fiscal 2018 appropriations for the Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program for four new mass transit projects: the third section of the mammoth Los Angeles Westside Purple Line extension, plus smaller projects in Tempe, Arizona (a new streetcar system), Minneapolis, Minnesota (a new bus rapid transit system), and capacity upgrades in the Dallas, Texas DART rail system.
November 28, 2018 – Is the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program sitting on over a billion dollars of funding provided by Congress instead of providing that money to subway, light rail, and bus rapid transit projects across the country? Or is the CIG program a ticking time bomb with nearly $5 billion in unfunded liabilities that will come due in future years, when future Congresses are not legally bound to make good on those promises?
The Eno Center for Transportation on September 26 released a new study, The Implications of the Federal Ban on Chinese Railcars.
September 28, 2018 – On September 25, the Senate passed a bill setting standards for state mass transit safety oversight agencies (SSOAs) to use when investigating local transit agencies. The bill (S. 3139), called the Transit Rail Inspection Practices (TRIP) Act, passed by unanimous consent.
September 27, 2018 – The Federal Transit Administration on September 25 announced the winning applicants for $366 million in federal grants for the competitive portion of the bus and bus facility grants program. The $366.2 million consists of $246.5 million in contract authority from the Highway Trust Fund provided by the FAST Act and $161.4 million in general fund appropriations from the FY 2018 omnibus act, reduced by an oversight takedown and prior grant announcements totaling $41.7 million.
August 24, 2018 – Today, the Federal Transit Administration announced the recipients of $84.4 million in grants to local transit agencies for the purchase of low-emission or zero-emission buses and related equipment.
August 1, 2018 – Last night, the U.S. Senate agreed to a one-year ban on any new procurements of mass transit rail cars or buses from companies owned or subsidized by the government of the People’s Republic of China, if the procurement uses any Federal Transit Administration formula funding.
July 20, 2018 – The Federal Transit Administration this week finalized two long-awaited safety rules governing all transit agencies that receive federal funds.
Part 3 of our look back at the origins of the federal role in mass transit, this part examining the move of mass transit programs from HUD to DOT in 1968.
July 6, 2018 – Last Friday (after ETW went to press), the Federal Transit Administration sent out a “Dear Colleague” letter to transit agencies around the country formalizing the Trump Administration’s new approach to evaluating the local financial contribution to new mass transit projects.
June 29, 2018 – Today, the group of New York and New Jersey entities responsible for the Gateway Program (the $30+ billion portfolio of rail projects in those two states used by Amtrak and local transit agencies) submitted a revised plan for the first project in the portfolio and a status update on the second project (which is by far the biggest project in the portfolio, or indeed the country, at least as far as projects trying to get federal mass transit dollars goes).
June 21, 2018 – New Jersey Transit (and Amtrak) face a July 14 deadline for getting the Federal Transit Administration to approve their latest revised financial plan for the replacement of the Portal North Bridge, the first project of the $30+ billion Gateway Program of passenger rail projects in New York and New Jersey. The revised financial plan will take advantage of $600 million in state bonds approved by the state Economic Development Authority and the New Jersey Transit Board of Directors last week.
May 31, 2018 – The surprise inclusion in the draft fiscal 2019 Transportation-HUD appropriations act of a provision banning the use of federal transit dollars to purchase transit vehicles from Chinese companies could have enormous implications for transit agencies in Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles – but it’s also about a long-term strategy to prevent Chinese rail car makers from getting into the separate U.S.
May 24, 2018 – The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has made $25.8 million in grant funds available for transit planning efforts under the FTA’s Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning.
May 18, 2018 – The Federal Transit Administration signed two more Capital Investment Grant “small start” funding agreements this week, one of which represents the first FTA commitment of unallocated 2018 CIG appropriations.
May 10, 2018 – The Federal Transit Administration has at last distributed the full amount of fiscal year 2018 funding for mass transit programs provided by the omnibus appropriations bill enacted into law on March 23.
April 27, 2018 – The heads (or acting heads) of the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, and the Maritime Administration defended their agency’s fiscal 2019 budget requests before the House Appropriations Committee yesterday.
April 20, 2018 – Thelma Drake, the Trump Administration nominee to run the Federal Transit Administration, will likely face Democratic opposition on the Senate floor significant enough to force Majority Leader McConnell to put here in the long backlog of nominees that will have to move through the cumbersome “cloture” process.