2019 saw new advances in the transportation industry move at lightning speed, yet some of the most significant changes for public transit in particular came from increased interest and investment from both federal and municipal governments.
Most critically for several of TRA’s longtime clients and transit agencies TRA partners with via state safety oversight (SSO), investment came in the form of expansions to existing transit lines, increases to service, and commitments to build entirely new rail or bus rapid transit. For DART in Dallas and Sound Transit in Seattle, new commuter and light rail lines respectively will add to existing transit opportunities for these growing regions. For SEPTA in Philadelphia and BART in the Bay Area, extensions to existing commuter rail lines will help their cities continue smart, transit-focused growth and bring carbon emissions down in the process.
Increased attention nationally to high-speed rail and renewed focus on revitalized transit infrastructure investment for bridges and tunnels have spurred further commitment of federal and state dollars. Though new money has been committed to renewing much transit infrastructure in the Unites States, the American Public Transit Association (APTA) still sees a profound need for – and benefit from – increased dollars. In APTA’s recent brief (found here), the group was encouraged that so many lawmakers agree on the need for infrastructure investment, and called for bipartisan efforts to address infrastructure spending needs. The group “found that $232 billion spent over 10 years would stimulate a 4-to-1 return of $928 billion in economic activity over the next 20 years.”
Meanwhile, TRA continues to help its transit agency and state DOT clients prioritize their operational, maintenance, and safety-related activities to gain the most impact from wise investments of capital and operating funds. For a look at one such project, check out TRA’s work with BART here.