U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on May 28 announced that President Biden’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget includes $75.2 million the Pacific Avenue/State Route 7 BRT project in Pierce County, which would bring BRT service to communities along a 14.3-mile corridor along Pacific Avenue/State Route 7 (SR 7) from downtown Tacoma south to the Spanaway Walmart Supercenter.
The project is among 25 rail, BRT and streetcar projects in 12 states recommended to receive a share of $2.5 billion in competitive funding through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program. These projects will create hundreds of construction and operations-related jobs and help communities expand transportation options that improve access and mobility for residents.
“Across the country, communities are seeking to expand public transit as a way to create economic opportunity, improve safety, advance equity, reduce congestion and pollution, and lower the cost of living for their residents,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These capital projects will improve life in 25 communities and are the start of what we hope will be a once-in-a-generation investment to modernize and expand public transit across the country.”
FTA’s FY 2022 Annual Report on Funding Recommendations includes $1.56 billion for 17 CIG projects with existing grant agreements, and $461.1 million for eight new CIG projects estimated to be ready for grants in FY 2022. An additional $427.2 million is recommended for other CIG and Expedited Project Delivery (EPD) Pilot Program projects that may become ready for funding during FY 2022.
“FTA is proud to partner with communities in Washington to bring more environmentally friendly public transportation options to residents,” said FTA Deputy Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “These investments will improve mobility and quality of life for growing areas, provide an alternative to traffic congestion, and spur more economically vibrant communities.”
The President’s budget includes FY 2022 funding recommendations for four transit projects in Washington. These include:
- $55.6 million for The RapidRide I Line BRT project in South King County, which would bring BRT service to suburban communities along a 17-mile corridor between the cities of Renton, Kent, and Auburn. The project includes 23 diesel electric hybrid buses, 1.95 miles of transit exclusive lanes, level boarding stations, off-board fare payment, and transit signal priority and queue jumps.
- $75.2 million for the Pacific Avenue/State Route 7 BRT project in Pierce County, which would bring BRT service to communities along a 14.3-mile corridor along Pacific Avenue/State Route 7 (SR 7) from downtown Tacoma south to the Spanaway Walmart Supercenter. The project includes the construction of 5.6 miles of dedicated transit lanes, purchase of 17 60-foot articulated BRT vehicles, intersection and pedestrian access improvements, off board fare collection, and transit signal priority.
- $100 million for the Seattle Federal Way Link Extension, which is currently under construction and will extend Sound Transit’s Link light rail system 7.8 miles from the existing Angle Lake station through the cities of SeaTac, Des Moines, Kent, and Federal Way in South King County. FTA signed a construction grant agreement for the project in January 2020.
- $100 million for the Lynnwood Link Extension, which is also under construction and will extend Sound Transit’s light rail system 8.5 miles between Seattle and some of its most populated northern suburbs, including Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, and Lynnwood. FTA signed a construction grant agreement for the project in December 2018.
The CIG Program is the federal government’s primary grant program for supporting transit capital projects that are locally planned, implemented and operated. It provides funding for investments such as new and expanded heavy rail, commuter rail, light rail, streetcars, bus rapid transit, and ferries, as well as corridor-based BRT investments that emulate the features of rail. The program includes funding for three categories of eligible projects, as defined by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act: New Starts, Small Starts and Core Capacity.
FTA’s Annual Report on Funding Recommendations for the Fiscal Year 2022 CIG Program, including links to individual project profiles, is available on FTA’s website.