Trump budget proposes cuts to urban transport grants

19 Mar 2017

USA: In a blueprint for its proposed Financial Year 2018 budget, the Trump administration is planning to cut funding for the Department of Transportation to $16bn, a 13% reduction on that available for FY2017.

Under the proposals, swingeing cuts would be made both to passenger train and municipal transport operations and to federal grants for capital investment in both main line and urban rail projects. Richard White, Acting President & CEO of the American Public Transportation Association, said he was ‘surprised and disappointed’ by the planned cutbacks, given President Trump’s concomitant endorsement of significantly increased infrastructure spending.

In what is described as a ‘skinny budget’, the administration is seeking to withdraw the established New Starts and TIGER funding programmes, which have supported many commuter rail and urban transport projects in recent years. The Trump administration suggests that only those projects which have already secured Full Funding Grant Agreements would proceed; any other investment would need to be underwritten by states, other local authorities or the private sector. APTA says that more than 50 public transport projects in 23 states are now under threat of cancellation.

The FY2018 budget blueprint will now be submitted to Congress and the Senate for further consideration. Initial reports suggest that it is unlikely to pass without significant alteration.

Selected rail projects awaiting Full Funding Grant Agreements
StateCity/RegionProject
AZPhoenixSouth Central LRT Extension
AZTempeTempe Streetcar
CALos AngelesRegional Connector Transit Corridor
CALos AngelesDowntown Streetcar
CALos AngelesWestside Purple Line Extensions
CASacramentoDowntown Riverfront Streetcar
CASan BernardinoRedlands Passenger Rail
CABay AreaPeninsula Corridor Electrification Project
CASan DiegoMid-Coast Corridor Transit
CASan FranciscoThird Street Light Rail Phase 2 - Central Subway
CASan JoseBART Silicon Valley Phase II - Extension
CASan RafaelSMART Larkspur Extension
CASanta AnaSanta Ana/Garden Grove Streetcar
CODenverEagle Commuter Rail
FLFort LauderdaleWave Streetcar
FLOrlandoSunRail Phase II
ILChicagoRed and Purple Line Modernisation
INGary/Michigan CitySouth Shore Line Connectivity Plan
LABaton RougeTramLinkBR Streetcar
MABostonMedford – Cambridge Green Line Extension
MDMarylandNational Capital Purple Line
MNMinneapolisBlue Line Extension
MNMinneapolisSouthwest LRT
NCCharlotteLYNX Blue Line Northeast Extension
NCDurhamDurham-Orange LRT Project
NJ-NYNew York/NewarkHudson Tunnel Gateway Project
NYNew YorkCanarsie Subway Upgrading
NYNew YorkSecond Avenue Subway Phase 2
ORPortlandMilwaukie Light Rail extension
TXDallasCBD Second Light Rail Alignment
TXFort WorthTEX Rail
WASeattleCentre City Streetcar Connector

Source: APTA

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