Rail

No quick bounce from TIGGER

Posted on June 4, 2009 by Cliff Henke

The recent stimulus bill contains a new transit grant program that represents both the targeted smart, big-payback small investments that President Obama's administration has advocated since it took office. It is also the kind of investment that the bill's critics were outing as not stimulative in the short term. In a way, both are correct.

Under the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) Program, $100 million was allocated for new grants to reduce the receiving agency's carbon footprint or energy consumption. TIGGER grants allow up to 100 percent federal share, but must be a minimum of $2 million or no more than $25 million per grant. Rules for the new program were proposed in March. As with many of the new law's pots of money, proposals for TIGGER grants had a quick turnaround, due by May 22, 2009.

Grants for two purposes

The stimulus legislation authorizes two purposes for these new grants. The first is for capital investments that will help reduce a transit operation's energy consumption, while the second purpose is for capital investments that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions of a public transportation system. Applications can be submitted to address either or both categories.

The energy reduction category can include various projects ranging from replacement of existing buses with more energy efficient buses, such as hybrids, to conversion to more efficient power consumption on electric rail vehicles. The project's scope must describe how the energy efficiency can be measured, but only that portion of the fleet need be and will be measured.

For example, if the application proposes that wayside energy storage for a rail line in a network be upgraded to capture regenerated energy, then the energy use of that single rail line would be measured, not the whole network. The same goes for the greenhouse gas reduction projects as well. The FTA has provided a spreadsheet that grantees need to complete and attach to the proposal.

Additional economic activity

This and other transit and energy grants are already resulting in additional economic activity in the transit industry, notes Jeff Wharton, executive vice president at IMPulse NC, a Mount Olive, N.C.-based supplier of catenary, substations and other power distribution equipment.

The key is to get the grant money out the door. The FTA's development of new regulations and guidance where needed has been encouraging. The scene now shifts to the transit agencies, and here the pace must pick up if obligation targets are to be met in the stimulus bill. As of this writing, only 4 percent of the $8.4 billion has been obligated but another 13 percent was classified as pending. Much more needs to be awarded, and soon.

 

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Feds wants more proof of local money for Durham-Orange light rail line

Go Triangle expects its Board of Trustees to vote April 26 on a $70 million engineering contract, which would be executed only after the FTA allows the project to advance.

SEPTA trains collide, injuring 4

Crews are still working to remove the 18 cars involved, with each car weighing about 37 tons. The NTSB is on the scene and fully in charge of the investigation.

Minn. legislators attempting to move $900M from rail to roads, bridges

GOP legislators have long sought to block planning and funding for light-rail projects, saying they put metro-area priorities above rural Minnesota.

Alstom secures $105M Australian trainset contract

The contract will expand PTV’s fleet to 101 trains (606 cars) delivered from Alstom’s manufacturing facility in Ballarat since 2002.

DC Streetcar fares to remain free

The decision to hold off on charging fares was based on two reasons — District Department of Transportation feared charging even $1 per ride would scare away passengers and charging a fare would actually cost the District money.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close