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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Federal Transit Administration Updates Project Ratings for Six Projects in the Capital Investment Grants Program

Thursday, January 20, 2022

New York-New Jersey Hudson Tunnel project moving forward in the process to receive potential grant

WASHINGTON – The Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) today announced new ratings for six projects seeking funding from the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program, helping them through the process of receiving a grant to expand or build new transit systems. 

The popular CIG program has helped communities build or expand more than 150 transit projects around the country, including heavy rail, commuter rail, light rail, streetcar, and bus rapid transit (BRT). President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides up to $23 billion over five years – more than double the current funding to support these and other transit expansion projects. The CIG program helps build transit projects that transform communities by expanding access to jobs, school, healthcare and other opportunities.

 The newly rated and updated projects are:

  • Hudson Tunnels Commuter Rail, Secaucus, NJ and New York City, NY – updated rating, received Medium-High 
  • ART North South Corridor BRT, San Antonio, TX – first time rated, received Medium-High
  • Innovation Corridor BRT, Memphis, TN – first time rated, received Medium
  • UTA Mid-Valley Connector BRT, Salt Lake City, UT – first time rated, received Medium-Low
  • RapidRide I Line BRT, Seattle, WA – updated rating, received Medium-High (no change from prior year ratings)
  • RapidRide Roosevelt J Line BRT, Seattle, WA – updated rating, received High (no change from prior year ratings)

"Well-planned, large public transportation projects can transform lives and entire regions by reducing commute times, increasing safety, opening economic opportunities, reducing emissions, and making travel more affordable – and thanks to President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we can help more communities deliver these benefits," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "For example, the Hudson Tunnel Project will enable a safe, comfortable commute for hundreds of thousands of Americans currently traveling through a tunnel that was built more than 110 years ago." 
"Communities all across our nation are dreaming big and making concrete plans, putting in the time and planning to create transit projects that help people get to work, to shopping, and to visit family and friends more quickly, easily and safely," said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. "FTA is proud to support those efforts through the CIG program and thankful to Congress and the Biden-Harris Administration for giving us the tools we need to do so."

Project ratings are required at multiple points during the multi-year, multi-step process before a CIG funding commitment can be made. The ratings are based on a set of statutorily-defined project justification and local financial commitment criteria. Projects must receive and maintain a “medium” or better overall rating to advance through the process and be eligible for funding. Ratings are point-in-time evaluations by FTA and may change as proposed projects proceed through planning and design, as information concerning costs, benefits, financial plans, and impacts is refined.
FTA has worked with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) and the other project partners as they seek to advance the Hudson River Tunnel project through the program. Following PANYNJ's request for an updated rating for the project last August, FTA completed the evaluation and rating process and has released an updated rating to "medium-high." The PANYNJ must complete several CIG program requirements before the project is eligible to advance into the next phase of the CIG process, which is entry into Engineering. 

Typically, project ratings are announced in the President’s budget. This year, because of passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the significant increase in funding for the CIG program, FTA is releasing the project ratings in advance of the President’s budget release.