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 2020 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 FY2020 omnibus packages:
METRO: The FY2020 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 nearly $2 billion. This fund recently provided an initial $120 million for the Prince George’s County-Montgomery County Purple Line that will bring more efficient, reliable public transit to thousands.
AMTRAK: $1.3 billion, including $700 million for the North East Corridor – a $50 million increase.
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.
HOWARD STREET TUNNEL: Congress added $100 million to the National Infrastructure Investments (INFRA) Grants program, bringing it up to $1 billion. This summer, Team Maryland announced a $125 million grant from this fund to expand the Howard Street Tunnel to make double-stacking freight trains into the Port of Baltimore possible.
LOW-EMISSION BUSES: Within the Federal Transit Administration $510 million Transit Infrastructure Grants program, $75 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 recent law enacted by the Maryland General Assembly that mandates that school buses purchased after October 1, 2019 must be “zero-emission vehicles.”
WESTERN MARYLAND: $1.3 million for Maryland toward the regional Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS), $1.15 billion for bridge repair and replacement, and $50 million to improve highway-railway crossings.
BW PARKWAY: $70 million was appropriated for the Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects (NSFLTP) program. 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. Funds are directed toward roadways that in the prior fiscal year have been closed or had speed restrictions due to unsafe travel conditions as a result of the roadway’s infrastructure condition and maintenance.