The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a total of $300 million in federal funding allocations to three rail transit projects in Arizona, California, and Washington. Funding is provided through FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program.
FTA is allocating $100 million in appropriated Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 CIG funding for each of the following projects: The South Central Light Rail Extension in Phoenix; the Westside Subway Section 3 Project in Los Angeles; and the Federal Way Light Rail Project in Seattle.
The funding represents a significant commitment toward pending multi-year Full Funding Agreements for the projects, including $790 million for Sound Transit. In Los Angeles, the funding represents the second $100 million allocation from the FTA for Section Three since November 2018.
With this announcement, FTA has advanced funding for 25 new CIG projects throughout the U.S. under this administration since Jan. 20, totaling approximately $7.63 billion in funding commitments.
The CIG Program provides funding for major transit infrastructure capital investments nationwide. Projects accepted into the program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process according to requirements in law to be eligible for consideration to receive program funds.
CIG Projects Receiving Allocations
Los Angeles — Westside Subway Section 3 Project
L.A.'s funding will go toward Metro’s existing Section Three tunneling contract, its stations, track and systems contract as well as advanced utility relocation work.
Section Three of the Purple Line Extension will span 2.56 miles between Century City and Westwood/VA Hospital and will include two new subway stations. Section Three has already begun some construction activities, which includes utility relocation work and preconstruction activities. Both the second and third project sections are being built by Tutor Perini O&G, a Joint Venture. The entire nine-mile line is on track to open by 2027, in time for the 2028 L.A. Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles.
Metro has worked closely with the FTA to process ongoing federal requirements to fund this final portion of the project. Metro has requested $1.3 billion in funding through the FTA’s New Starts Program. The total cost for this section of the project is $3.6 billion. Metro anticipates a grant agreement will be forthcoming in the months ahead.
Seattle — Federal Way Light Rail Project
This project is a 7.8-mile light rail extension from the Angle Lake station through the cities of SeaTac, Des Moines, Kent, and Federal Way, and includes three stations.
In April the FTA moved the project forward in its rigorous funding process by advancing it to the engineering phase, locking in the $790 million CIG funding level requested by Sound Transit. In the coming months Sound Transit will continue to work closely with the FTA and the region’s congressional delegation toward executing the FFGA. Execution of the FFGA is required before Sound Transit can access the $100 million allocation and begin to be reimbursed for the costs of the project.
The Federal Way Link Extension earned a “Medium-High” rating in the FTA’s competitive process, among the highest awarded to transit projects around the nation. The CIG program is the federal government’s primary financial resource for supporting transit capital projects that are locally planned, implemented, and operated.
Phoenix — Valley Metro South Central Light Rail Extension
This project is a 5.5-mile light rail extension from downtown Phoenix to the South Mountain Village Core, and includes nine stations. Upon final FTA approval of a construction grant agreement, the project will receive $100 million in FY 2019 CIG funds.
A full funding grant agreement is expected in 2020. Pre-construction work, including street improvements to relieve congestion along 7th Street and 7th Avenue, began this summer. Relocation of underground utilities will begin in downtown Phoenix in fall 2019. Construction is scheduled for portions of the line in spring 2020.