The United States 2017 Federal Budget package that will be considered for approval by Congress this week includes a $100 million investment in the Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project (PCEP).
Approximately $73 million in Federal Core Capacity funding has already been set aside for the project in prior years.
Approval of the 2017 budget and execution of a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) by the Federal Transit Administration would make over 25% of Caltrain’s total $647 million Federal funding request immediately available to start construction of the project, which would create more than 9,600 jobs.
In January, after a full assessment of the project’s merits, the FFGA was recommended for approval, but the Administration delayed a final decision while the President’s 2018 budget recommendations were being developed. Those recommendations are expected to be announced this month.
Caltrain Executive Director Jim Hartnett, said:
“We are cautiously optimistic, that bipartisan approval of the budget will be a signal that the Administration plans to follow through with a commitment to invest Caltrain electrification so we can put thousands of Americans to work and do our part to help drive the national economy”
“Since the news of the delay in authorising our FFGA, this is an encouraging sign that the efforts of our Congressional delegation and the employers and riders who have joined us in advocating for this project are having an impact.”
Over $1.3 billion has been secured to modernise Caltrain and operate electric trains that will expand capacity and deliver faster, more frequent service to Peninsula communities. The project is ready to start construction, and the final step is approval of the federal grant.
The inclusion of funding or the project in the 2017 budget provides Caltrain with the best indication yet that Federal investment in transit infrastructure will continue.
The Electrification Project is an opportunity to increase the capacity of the system and transform the way Bay Area experiences transit. Caltrain is already the mobility option of choice for over 65,000 daily riders. By connecting communities with more service to more stations and reducing travel times, electrification will make Caltrain even more attractive, equipping the system to accommodate more riders and providing significant relief to drivers on busy local streets and roads and increasingly congested freeways.
Original article © Caltrain.
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