The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is calling on the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to support projects that will improve the nation’s public transit, passenger rail, and multimodal infrastructure in its selection of Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant recipients, according to its latest news release.
“The RAISE Grant program is an extremely valuable resource for communities to carry out critical public transportation programs, and we strongly urge the Department to direct a significantly greater percentage of RAISE grant funds to these vital, community-enhancing projects," APTA president/CEO Paul P. Skoutelas wrote in a letter to transportation secretary Peter Buttigieg.
In August 2022, DOT announced more than $2.2 billion in RAISE capital grant awards to 166 projects in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Of these funds, APTA estimates that DOT provided $418 million to 31 public transportation-related capital projects, equal to 18.6% of available funding. This is significantly less than the historical average, which was approximately 33%.
“We applaud the Department’s decision to prioritize improving racial equity, reducing the impacts of climate change, and creating good-paying jobs when evaluating RAISE project selections. Public transportation projects directly address each of these key priorities,” Skoutelas wrote. “Given the synergy of the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities and public transportation, we are confident that projects that support critical public transportation initiatives will rate very highly under RAISE grant criteria.”