The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced on May 31 the grant recipients who will receive $197 million in competitive grant funding to help commuter and intercity passenger railroads meet the December 31, 2018 deadline to implement Positive Train Control (PTC) systems to improve safety.
The $197 million in PTC grant funding, authorized under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, will be provided to 17 projects in 13 states. The FRA and FTA received 27 eligible applications requesting $455 million, more than double the $197 million that Congress authorized. The FRA was responsible for the selection of the grant recipients, and the FTA will award and administer the grants during Fiscal Year 2017.
“The number of passengers depending on rail has increased dramatically, which means PTC is needed now more than ever,” said Patrick Warren, FRA Executive Director. “This funding will get us closer to PTC implementation on some of the most significant railroads in the country that transport several million passengers to and from work every day.”
PTC systems are designed to prevent certain train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, incursions into established work zones, and trains routed to the wrong tracks because a switch was left in the wrong position. The grants under this program will be used to install PTC technology, including back office systems and wayside, communications, and onboard hardware equipment associated with railroads’ PTC systems.
“Millions of people rely on our nation’s commuter railroads and Positive Train Control will help ensure safe and reliable service,” said FTA Executive Director Matthew Welbes. “Today’s announcement means that commuter railroads can move forward with the implementation of an important rail safety feature.”
Grants will be awarded in the amounts stated below to the following commuter railroads and state and regional transportation entities:
- Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (JPB) – Calif.
- Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) – Calif
- Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) – Fla.
- South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) – Fla.
- Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) – Ill.
- Regional Transportation Authority (Metra) – Ill.
- Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) – Mass.
- Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) – Md.
- Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) – Mo.
- New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) – N.J.
- Rio Metro Regional Transit District (Rio Metro) – N.M.
- New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) – N.Y.
- Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) – Ore.
- Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) – Ore.
- Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) – Pa.
- Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro) – Texas
- Utah Transit Authority (UTA) – Utah
(Source: US DoT)