Archives: Rail and Transit

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STB Jurisdiction Over Intrastate Passenger Rail

In Florida, All Aboard Florida, a private entity, is about to launch passenger rail service from Miami to West Palm Beach, with future service extending to Orlando. In California, the California High-Speed Rail Authority is currently constructing a high-speed passenger rail line with the long-term goal of connecting the metro areas of San Francisco and … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Transportation Solicits Project Applications for $850 Million in FASTLANE Grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is calling for project applications for $850 million in transportation infrastructure grants, representing the second opportunity for funding from a program that has already received tremendous interest from public project sponsors and the infrastructure community. The grants, announced in a Notice of Funding Opportunity posted on the USDOT website … Continue Reading

Maryland Purple Line Concessionaire Achieves Financial Close – Time to Build!

Financing for the Maryland Purple Line closed on Friday, June 17 – marking an important milestone for the Maryland Transit Administration’s (and Maryland Department of Transportation’s) plan to deliver a transit solution to ease travel between the Maryland suburbs and Washington, D.C. Once the project reached commercial close in early April, the winning concessionaire, Purple … Continue Reading

FAA Proposes More Flexible Eligibility Criteria For Expenditure Of Passenger Facility Charge Funds On Airport Rail Projects

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes to amend (81 Fed. Reg. at 26611) (May 3, 2016) a 2004 rule, restricting expenditure of proceeds from passenger facility charges (PFC) funds to airport access infrastructure used only by airport patrons and workers, in order to allow more flexibility on the use of PFCs on airport rail projects. … Continue Reading

FTA Releases Final EIS On Metropolitan Council’s Southwest LRT

On May 13th, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) published the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on the Metropolitan Council’s Southwest LRT Project, a major step forward for the $1.79 billion project. The Met Council is the regional policy-making body, planning agency, and a provider of essential services for the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan region. The FEIS … Continue Reading

California Gets Serious About Pilot Program to Replace State Gas Tax

For years, policymakers and economists around the country have been well aware that the federal gas tax is dying. In its report to Congress, the National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission, on which I was honored to serve, made clear that we must replace the 18.4 cent federal gas tax with other means of funding … Continue Reading

UPDATE: A New Color to be Added to Mid-Atlantic Transit: The Maryland Purple Line

On April 6, 2016, the Maryland Board of Public Works unanimously approved the public-private partnership (“P3”) agreement for the Maryland Purple Line light-rail transit project, concluding the 30-day review period described in our previous blog.  The contract documents previously signed by the concessionaire have now been signed by the Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Secretary … Continue Reading
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