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Grand Rapidian

Mass Transit Questions

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I can speak for the federal portion. If you are talking about a transit system for a city such as light rail or commuter rail, there are basically 2 established ways to get federal funding.

  • FTA New Starts - This is where most funding comes from and is for systems asking for more than $75M from the Federal govenment or the system costs more than $250M. Planning to use this source for funding will add years to the project as it is designed to only fund systems that are cost effective. The definition of cost effectiveness has changed several times over the last few years.

  • FTA Small Starts - This is a new program for systems where the request from federal government is less than $75M and total system cost is less than $250M. It should be noted the Bush administration has only provided $100M of funding for this program so it too is very difficult to get approval by this program.

The FTA also provides grants to fund studies for transit. All funding requested by the FTA must be approved by congress.

If you want to see how federal funding for local transit systems when in 2007 then look in this thread. As you can see Michigan did not do so well. This most likely was because there were no local requests.

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