Here are the preliminary calculations for Grant Allocations for Transit Money in the federal stimulus. The first thing that jumps to me is that this is about $25 million less than I thought we would get. Shows what I know. Our area is getting $124.7 million in “transit capital assistance”, $6.7 million in “fixed guideway infrastructure assistance” and the state is getting another $14.3 million, some of which could be spent in our area.

This stimulus bill is officially a major disappointment from the transit side, high-speed-rail grants notwithstanding. The formula that the FTA used gives $4.57 per person in urban areas over 1,000,000, but $8.42 per per person in urban areas under 200,000 and $5.89 in rural areas. If you look at $124.7 million in light of King Country Metro cutting $80 million in capital projects, and other agencies are in the same boat, it ends up basically being a wash compared to what would have happened if the economy hadn’t spun into collapse. There still are two “discretionary grants” that Seattle-area projects could qualify for, the $100 million in transit energy efficiency grants, and the $1.5 billion discretionary grants for all transportation projects.  Let’s hope we get something out of them.

Via The Transport Politic.

6 Replies to “FTA Preliminary Grant Allocations”

  1. Gee, this is a big surprise. NOT. I think transit proponents should look for wasteful spending to advocate cutting (local example: the viaduct tunnel; national example: the iraq war) rather than hoping we win the bailout lottery.

    Resources spent digging holes for cars and blowing up things in Iraq are resources not spent building Seattle transit.

  2. Everyone keeps saying the same thing about the bailout, “you shouldn’t have expected transit to win the bailout lottery”. that doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed with just $131 million in transit cash.

    especially when the tax breaks for buying new cars is going to be $250 mn for our area, and the CEO of the AIG, who’s company has received $130 bn in public money, has made $230 bn over the last 5 years, it’s a disappointment. It’s not a lot of money, and it’s especially disappointing to see that the FTA cheif based the formula grant almost entirely on population rather than transit usage.

    1. Hopefully the transportation bill re-authorization will fix some of the stupid in the stimulus bill.

      I fully expect there won’t be much for new road construction or highway widening. There could be quite a bit for maintenance, repair, and reconstruction projects to prevent future I-35 bridge disasters.

      I hope a lot of the money that would normally go for new roads will go toward transit. Grants for new construction and extension. Grants for replacing worn out equipment. Grants for refurbishing physical plant (stations, signals, rails, maintenance bases). Maybe some operating funds to fill the large budget holes most transit agencies have.

Comments are closed.