ARRA appropriated $750 Million for Capital Investment Grants. The funds are for major capital projects eligible under the discretionary Section 5309 New Starts/Small Starts program, with statutory consideration to be given to projects already under construction and that could obligate funds by July 17, 2009.
FTA announced its allocation of these funds in the Federal Register on May 11, 2009 (PDF) [HTML version of Federal Register], based on an analysis of construction schedules and cash flow needs of New Starts and Small Starts projects currently under construction. In the Federal Register Notice, FTA indicated that it may deobligate and reallocate any funds that are not disbursed by May 11, 2010.
All of the funds were allocated to projects with existing Full Funding Grant Agreements (FFGAs) that were able to spend the funds quickly. The amounts allocated under the ARRA program did not increase the total Federal investment in these FFGAs, but rather was substituted for Section 5309 funds scheduled to be appropriated in future years in order to expedite project delivery. The New Starts funds freed up by the substitution as well as the additional commitment authority provided by the ARRA appropriation, make additional New Starts funding available for other new projects not currently under an FFGA.