Posts Tagged ‘Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx’

Columbus Wins Smart City Challenge

June 27, 2016

Columbus has won the Smart City Challenge offered by the U.S. Department of Transportation and will receive millions of dollars in federal grant money to be used to reshape its transportation system.

US DOTThe city has already raised $90 million that will be supplemented with up to $40 million from U.S. DOT and up to $10 million from Vulcan, Incorporated.

In reshaping its transportation network, Columbus officials will be expected to integrate innovative technologies and use data, technology and creativity “to re-imagine how people and goods” move through the city.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said in a news release that the city is collaborating with public, private and nonprofit sectors.

“Smart Columbus will deliver an unprecedented multimodal transportation system that will not only benefit the people of central Ohio, but potentially all mid-sized cities,” he said.

Columbus nudged out Austin, Texas; Denver; Kansas City, Missouri; Pittsburgh; Portland, Oregon; and San Francisco for the award.

In a statement, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said that finalists provided “thoughtful, intelligent, and innovative ideas that defined a vision for the future of the American city and formed a blueprint to show the world what a fully integrated, forward-looking transportation network looks like.

“The bold initiatives they proposed demonstrated that the future of transportation is not just about using technology to make our systems safer and more efficient – it’s about using these advanced tools to make life better for all people, especially those living in under served communities.”

585 Applicants Seek 2016 TIGER Grants

June 9, 2016

A total of 585 applications seeking $9.3 million have been submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation for the 2016 round of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants.

Tiger grantsDOT said the requests are 18 times more than the $500 million in TIGER grant funding that is available.

The grant breakdown is 337 from urban areas and 248 from rural communities.  The TIGER program is now in its eighth year.

“As we have seen year after year, there are far more worthy projects than we can fund through TIGER, demonstrating the need for a serious, long-term investment in transportation funding,” said Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx in a statement.

The competitive grants are used for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and must have a significant impact on the nation, city or a region.

This year’s program is focusing on capital projects that generate economic development and improve access to reliable, safe and affordable transportation in urban or rural communities.

More than $4.6 billion in TIGER grants have awarded since 2009 for 381 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

TIGER Grant Requests Exceed Funds Available

August 3, 2015

As in previous years, there are far more applicants for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recover (TIGER) grants than there are funds.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said it has received requests totaling $9.8 billion, which is almost 20 times the amount of the $500 million in funding available.

Among the 625 applications received this year, 60 percent are road projects, 18 percent are transit projects and 8 percent are rail projects. Port and bicycle-pedestrian applications each represented 6 percent of the total, DOT said in a news release.

The number of applications is up from the 565 received in 2014 and came from all 50 states and U.S. territories.

Last year DOT awarded $584.1 million for 72 capital and planning projects in 46 states and the District of Columbia.

The TIGER program offers federal funding possibilities for large multimodal projects that are considered “transformative” in nature.

The federal dollars leverage money from private-sector partners, state and local government, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies.

“The consistent number of high quality projects we’re unable to fund through TIGER every year demonstrates the need for Congress to act to give more communities access to this vital lifeline,” said Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.

Since 2009, the TIGER program has provided a $4.1 billion to 342 projects. During the previous six rounds, USDOT received more than 6,000 applications requesting more than $124 billion.

$500M Up for Grabs in Federal TIGER Grants

April 9, 2015

The seventh round of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants will have $500 million available this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation has announced.

TIGER grants are used to fund capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure. They are awarded in a competitive process to projects U.S. DOT deems to have a significant impact on the nation, a region or metropolitan area.

Since 2009, the TIGER grant program has provided $4.1 billion to 342 projects. Demand for the grants is high with the agency having received more than 6,000 applications requesting more than $124 billion for transportation projects across the country.

“The TIGER program has funded innovative projects, sparked new partnerships, created intermodal connections and enabled hard-to-fund projects that are changing the face of communities all across the country,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. ”

Last week, U.S. DOT reintroduced a six-year, $478-billion surface transportation reauthorization bill, the GROW AMERICA Act. The bill would provide $7.5 billion in funding over six years for the TIGER grant program.

Current TIGER funding is provided in the FY 2015 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act. Pre-Applications are due on May 4, 2015. Final applications are due June 5, 2015.

“The consistent number of high quality projects we’re unable to fund through TIGER every year demonstrates the need for Congress to act to give more communities access to this vital lifeline,” Foxx said. “That is why we proposed doubling TIGER in the GROW AMERICA Act.”

INDOT Open to Continuing the Hoosier State

March 12, 2015

The Hoosier State may not be doomed after all. An Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman told Trains magazine that the state would consider continuing its support of the Chicago-Indianapolis train provided that Indiana gets relief from a Federal Railroad Administration decree that in supporting the train the state is a new railroad.

“The state would consider another short-term extension of the existing service if the FRA changed its position,” INDOT spokesman Will Winfield told the magazine. “The state and local communities are working together to get the maximum value for the taxpayer dollars being invested.” INDOT had been negotiating with Amtrak to continue operating the train and with Iowa Pacific Holdings to provide equipment and marketing support.

Then last week INDOT said that Hoosier State would makes its last trips on April 1, citing what INDOT termed the imposition of “burdensome” FRA regulations.

INDOT Commissioner Karl Browning has written to Federal DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx to protest the FRA regulations.

In his letter, Browing said the insistence by the FRA that INDOT serve as the principal entity of record for the purposes of ensuring compliance with federal railroad safety requirements had prompted Indiana’s termination notice for the quad-weekly Hoosier State.

“INDOT cannot agree to become a railroad or a railroad carrier as that would require a significantly higher commitment of resources, the assumption of additional liability, and uncertainty over employment practices,” Browning wrote.

Trains noted that Foxx was mayor of Charlotte, N.C., when the FRA tried to impose similar regulations on the North Carolina Department of Transportation, which funds Amtrak service between Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C. After North Carolina threatened to sue, the FRA backed off.

“We are experiencing the same regulatory impediments that the North Carolina Department of Transportation faced in 2008 in its discussions with the FRA,” Browning wrote to Foxx. “As you may recall, the FRA insisted that NCDOT serve as the railroad carrier. That matter was ultimately resolved when NCDOT contested that FRA determination.”

Some observers have described the FRA’s latest ploy to make Indiana a “railroad” because it funds Amtrak service as the opening act in decreeing that all states that fund rail passenger service are “railroads.”

In response to INDOT’s Hoosier State termination notice, Amtrak President Joseph Boardman issued a statement saying that continued operation of the Hoosier State can be done on a month by month basis.

Wingfield told Trains that Amtrak, FRA, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials made an initial inspection of Iowa Pacific equipment on Jan. 27 in Chicago with additional inspections scheduled this month.

Indiana’s fight with the FRA has also begun to attract support from officials with other agencies that fund rail passenger service. Among them is Patricia Quinn, chair of the States for Passenger Rail Coalition Inc., and Executive Director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority,  sponsors Amtrak’s Downeaster between Boston and Maine

“It is a sad day when the federal agency which administers federal funding for Amtrak, and who has played such a critical role in providing grants to states to develop and improve intercity passenger rail services, also is determined to require states and intercity service sponsors who contract with Amtrak to become railroads,” Quinn said in a statement. “We trust that this conflict between federal and state governments can be worked out.”


Foxx Calls for Funding of Passenger Rail

February 22, 2015

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx is calling for federal funding of rail passenger service during his “GROW America” bus tour.

Foxx called passenger rail “an important piece of our transportation puzzle.”

He said that it makes sense for cities and states to invest in passenger rail at a time of record Amtrak ridership. More people are riding public transportation than at any time in the past 50 years.

“Sure, we can continue investing less in our passenger rail system than we should and watch our country’s competitiveness slip lower and lower. Or, we can choose to build projects like the that would bring our passenger train services into the 21st century,” Foxx said during an appearance in Charlotte, N.C.

Foxx Visits Columbus NS Intermodal Facility

April 18, 2014

Federal Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx visited a intermodal facility in Columbus this week as part of his Invest in America, Commit to the Future bus tour.

The stop at the Rickenbacker Intermodal Facility was part of a five-day tour through eight states during which Foxx visited bridges, freight facilities and highway projects in an effort to raise awareness about the nation’s transportation infrastructure needs.

The facility is located on Norfolk Southern and can handle 250,000 containers annually. In a news release, Foxx noted that the number of containers that go through the facility may increase to 400,000 in coming years.

Foxx also viewed construction of the $29.8 million Pickaway County Connector that will link U.S. 23 with the intermodal facility.

Construction on the connector’s first phase began in late 2012 and is expected to be completed this year. That project received a $16 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant in 2012.

“This increased capacity is especially important as the U.S. is expected to move an additional 14 billion tons of freight by 2050,” Fox said in a statement. “By making it easier for trucks to avoid stopping at the area’s major railroad crossings to wait for trains to pass, the new connector will cut delivery times and costs dramatically and, by reducing emissions from idling engines, will also enhance the region’s air quality.”