Federal Transit Programs Public Transportation Fared well under the Omnibus31-Jan-2014 Public transportation fared well under the omnibus. The Federal Transit Administration receives the full funding authorized for core formula programs, under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), at $8.595 billion. Capital Investment Grants (New Starts), which receive funding from the General Fund, are funded at the higher Senate-proposed level of $1.943 billion. This level is $128 billion more than originally appropriated by the House. Additionally, the omnibus makes prior year unobligated balances available to New Starts, thereby fully funding the President’s Budget request at a total of $2.132 billion for Capital Investment Grants. It is expected that, consistent with the President’s request, this funding level also makes $120 million available for new “core capacity” projects that were made eligible under MAP-21.
Also among the General Funded programs, transit research received $43 million, of which $40 million is for the Section 5312 Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment Program, and $3 million was allocated to the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP). This funding level for TCRP is far below historic levels, more than fifty percent below FY 2012, and also below FY 2013. APTA has repeatedly expressed concerns about this trend affecting the TCRP program and will continue to work with our members to educate Congress on the importance and value of TCRP research. Technical Assistance and Standards Development (Sec. 5314 of MAP-21) receives $3 million and Human Resources and Training (Sec. 5322) receives $2 million.
The bill also provides $150 million for grants to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) for capital investments, as authorized under legislation separate from MAP-21.