According to the FTA, this funding will support new locomotives and passenger cars in order to replace older vehicles that have exceeded, or are near the end of their useful life, as well as improve reliability, safety, and accessibility.
South Florida is getting a huge infusion of funding for public transportation from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced last week.
The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, which operates the Tri-Rail commuter rail service in Miami and along the 72-mile South Florida Rail Corridor, and services 12,500 daily riders, will receive $71.7 million to replace 24 rail vehicles; that’s 32% of its fleet.
According to the FTA, this funding will support new locomotives and passenger cars in order to replace older vehicles that have exceeded, or are near the end of their useful lives.
“One-third of our nation’s subway and commuter rail vehicles are more than 25 years old,” FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez said in a statement. “This program focuses on transit agencies that lack the funding they need to address overdue railcar replacements. We are proud to select these projects to improve passenger rail service for riders across the nation.”
Commissioner Raquel Regalado, the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority Governing Board Chair said that in total, the project will cost about $172.9 million, and that a local match from the agency with support from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), unrestrictive reserve funds, and additional federal funds will help cover the remaining cost of the project.
Regalado said in a statement that the agency is “overjoyed to receive this magnificent news.”
“We will not only be better prepared to expand the system, but our regular passengers will have a much-improved passenger experience when we procure new equipment with state-of-the-art technology,” she said.
The other transit systems that are set to receive funding include The Sacramento Regional Transit District in California, The Chicago Transit Authority in Illinois, The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority in Ohio, The Bi-State Development Agency of the Missouri-Illinois Metropolitan District, and The Utah Transit Authority.
The FTA stated that these projects will improve reliability, safety, and accessibility on the nation’s rail transit systems. Also notable is the fact that this $703 million dollar total investment represents the first time funding has been awarded via the new Rail Vehicle Replacement Program, which was created to improve safety and customer satisfaction on public transit.