WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, lauded the final Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations package that avoids a government shutdown and provides robust investments in multimodal transportation infrastructure for Maryland and the nation.
“Keeping Marylanders moving takes more than a one-size-fits-all approach. Congress and the federal government continue to be reliable partners in funding the type of transportation infrastructure that local communities request and need. Cars are only one piece of an effective multimodal plan. The focus for all is reliability, safety, less gridlock and less pollution,” said Senator Cardin.
Below are some of the important transportation-related provisions in the FY2021 omnibus packages:
METRO: The FY2021 spending bill continues the federal government’s annual $150 million investment in the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA/Metro). Senator Cardin authored the original 10-year, $1.5 billion funding stream for Metro and currently is working with his colleagues on a reauthorization for the next 10 years.
PURPLE LINE: The Capital Improvement Grant Program (CIG) received $2 billion. This will fund an additional $120 million for the Prince George’s County-Montgomery County Purple Line that will bring more efficient, reliable public transit to thousands. This raises the total federal investment to date to $688 million.
PORT OF BALTIMORE: Congress provided $1 billion for the National Infrastructure Investments grant program. For FY 2021, Senator Cardin was able to secure $30 million in funding for competitively awarded planning grants to allow communities to develop plans for future investments in major infrastructure projects. This September, Team Maryland announced a $10 million grant from this fund to improve infrastructure at the Port of Baltimore to improve infrastructure at the Port of Baltimore and prevent storm surges from threatening the Dundalk Marine Terminal’s berths.
AMTRAK: $2 billion total, with $700 million set aside for Northeast Corridor Grants that serve Maryland.
MARC: The package provides $200 million for the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair that funds the replacement, rehabilitation, and report of major infrastructure assets that are utilized for providing intercity passenger rail service.
LOW-EMISSION BUSES: Within the Federal Transit Administration $516 million Transit Infrastructure Grants program, $125 million is set aside for the purchase of Low- or No-Emission vehicles. Maryland jurisdictions have received millions of dollars of grants from this program, which supports the 2019 law enacted by the Maryland General Assembly that mandates that school buses purchased after October 1, 2019 must be “zero-emission vehicles.” This is a $50 million increase from the previous fiscal year.
WESTERN MARYLAND: $1.3 million for Maryland towards the regional Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS), $1billion for bridge repair and replacement, and $50 million to improve highway-railway crossings.
BW PARKWAY: $100 million was appropriated for the Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects (NSFLTP) program, a $30 million increase. The National Park Service could choose to apply for such funds to address the Clara Barton Parkway in Montgomery County/DC and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in Prince George’s County, which had major repair issues in the spring and summer of 2019. Funds are directed toward roadways that in the prior three fiscal years have been closed or had speed restrictions due to unsafe travel conditions as a result of the roadway’s infrastructure condition and maintenance.