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US DOT/FTA announced awards for two discretionary grant programs this week - Sandy Resiliency grants and Bus and Bus Facilities Ladders of Opportunity grants.
On Monday, FTA announced the recipients of $3.6B in resiliency grants in response to Hurricane Sandy. US DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx was in NYC to announce the additional federal funds for area transit systems to help prevent damage from future storms following the devastation caused by Sandy in 2012. Foxx was joined at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal by a variety of New York lawmakers, FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan and NYC DOT Commissioner (and former DOT undersecretary) Polly Trottenberg.
"While no one can predict the future with certainty, we believe these investments will help to harden transit facilities against future storms that Mother Nature dishes out, supporting President Obama's call to address climate change now and reducing the risk of service disruptions and future damage to some of the nation's busiest rail and bus services," Foxx said at the funding announcement.
Forty transit projects will receive a share of about $3.6B in federal funds with New York and New Jersey garnering about 90 percent of the federal dollars. The remaining funds will be divided among Washington D.C., Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.
New York's MTA will receive $1.6B to make a series of improvements including flood protections at street-level entries, upgrading its emergency management communication system and installing flood-proof signal rooms at key subway stations. New Jersey Transit was awarded about $1.3B for a range of projects that includes $400,000 to create a backup system to the regional power network operated by natural gas and solar power. To date, FTA has allocated about $9.3B in Sandy repair funds out of the $10.4B set aside by Congress in 2013.
Ladders of Opportunity Grants
This morning, Secretary Foxx announced the recipients of the $100M in competitive grants whose goal is to help connect people with jobs. The largest grant of $25.9M goes to the City of Detroit to purchase new buses. Here is a link to the FTA Section 5309 Bus and Bus Facility Ladders of Opportunity Grants. Here is a link to the US DOT press release.