The Train’s Leaving So Don’t Get Left Behind!

October 18, 2012 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

The future of public transportation has reached a critical juncture, and public transit agencies should be wary of what funds are available and how to get their portion of these funds.

A recent blog post from Deron Lovaas on the Natural Resource Defense Council blog Switchboard brings to light how important it is for state and regional public transit agencies to act now to secure Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) funds. Although the funds are loans rather than grants, transit agencies could definitely benefit by obtaining them. In 2013, $750 million in TIFIA loans will be available, compared to only $122 million in 2012, and that figure shoots up to $1 billion in 2014.

Lovaas goes on to note that the funds will be allocated on a “first come-first serve” basis, “and the bar it set high for credit worthiness, which is certain to be a key in determining recipients and could potentially affect how quickly applicants can fulfill the requirements.” He also urged the American Public Transportation Association or the Federal Transit Administration to provide a template or guide on how to write and submit a successful TIFIA application.

Lovaas makes some good points in his post, considering the importance of public transportation in easing the congestion on American roadways. However, the time to act is now so interested stakeholders should check out the links on the NRDC blog post to find out more.

How do you think these TIFIA loans can aid transit programs? Let us know.

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