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Biden administration proposes billion-dollar plan that would revolutionize the way Americans travel — here's what it entails

"The request supports FTA's ability to fund transit infrastructure enhancements."

"The request supports FTA's ability to fund transit infrastructure enhancements."

Photo Credit: iStock

On March 11, President Joe Biden requested $16.8 billion for public transportation and $3.2 billion for passenger and freight rail programs in his budget for the 2025 fiscal year, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) reported.

The former is a $198 million increase from the previous fiscal year and brings the entire financial investment in the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to $21.1 billion in 2025 when adding the requests outlined in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

"The request supports FTA's ability to fund transit infrastructure enhancements, ensure continued safety and compliance oversight, and provide technical assistance to nearly 4,000 local transit systems that operate buses, subways, light rail, commuter rail, and ferries, as well as on-demand service for seniors and individuals with disabilities," the budget report read.

Of the total, $14.3 billion will go to Transit Formula Grants to improve elements within public transportation like service levels and ridership numbers and expand the nation's fleet of zero-pollution buses, according to the report.

Another $2.4 billion will be invested in Capital Investment Grants to boost transit ridership, economic growth, affordability, and job creation. 

The remaining amount will help "new policy provisions for several … programs," according to the APTA. Some examples include improving Tribal transit agencies' access to bus funding and supporting funding for micromobility systems like bicycles and scooters and their associated infrastructure. 

Meanwhile, the request to fund passenger and freight rail programs is $180 million more than last year's and brings the aggregate to $16.4 billion for 2025 when combined with the BIL's advance appropriations of $13.2 billion, as the report noted

Much of President Biden's most recent request for this sector will go to replacing Amtrak's outdated vehicles, updating stations to meet the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and cutting into Amtrak's logjam of deferred maintenance projects. 

The other components of the request include $250 million for the Consolidated Rail

Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program "to improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of the Nation's rail system" and $100 million for the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail.

Should the Biden Administration meet its fiscal goals, it should help the country transition from vehicles reliant on dirty energy sources to energy-efficient forms of transportation that limit the amount of planet-warming gases that enter the atmosphere. 

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