The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), an agency within the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), recently announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program (Partnership Program). The NOFO provides $396 million in grant funding for railroad improvements across the country ().
The purpose of the Partnership Program is to improve passenger rail infrastructure, equipment, and facilities in both rural and urban communities throughout the United States. “This $396 million in federal funding will provide a tremendous boost to private, state and local investments to improve America’s rail infrastructure,” United Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao said.
The Partnership Program will provide funds for eligible projects that “repair, replace, or rehabilitate qualified railroad assets to reduce the state of good repair backlog and improve intercity passenger rail performance.” Eligible capital projects will include those that:
- replace existing assets in-kind
- replace existing assets with assets that raise capacity or provide a higher level of service
- ensure service is maintained while existing assets are brought to a state of good repair
- bring existing assets to a state of good repair
No more than 80 percent of the total costs of a project can be provided by the Partnership Program, and preference will be given to projects with federal contributions of less than 50 percent. USDOT will consider the degree to which potential projects support the following objectives:
- enhancing economic vitality
- leveraging federal funding
- using innovative approaches to improve safety and expedite project delivery
- holding grant recipients accountable for achieving specific, measurable outcomes
“I strongly encourage all eligible parties to take full advantage of this opportunity,” FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory said. “These grants offer a win-win situation for the nation’s rail network as well as communities around the country, both urban and rural, to improve safety.”
USDOT and FRA are doing their part to promote safety by providing federal funds to improve railroad equipment and infrastructure. Unfortunately, these kinds of government programs are only necessary because the railroad industry continues to prioritize profits over the safety of American train passengers.
If you have been injured in a railroad accident, it is critical that you hire an experienced attorney. Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.