$13.2 Million in Repurposed Federal Earmark Funds support Capital Projects
BOSTON- Tuesday, October 2, 2012- Governor Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced today that the Department will award $13.2 million to 10 Massachusetts Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs) to make needed capital investments including new bus purchases and facility repairs.
The funds are available as part of the Obama Administration’s “We Can’t Wait” initiative that allows states to repurpose unused federal transportation earmarks (from 2003 to 2006) for use on highway and transit projects that are able to obligate the funds by the end of the year.
In keeping with the Patrick-Murray administration’s goal to support and improve public transit across the Commonwealth, MassDOT chose to dedicate the funds to RTA projects.
“The Obama Administration has made a smart decision to put unspent dollars into necessary projects that create jobs,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “These projects reflect our commitment to improve public transportation for residents across the Commonwealth.”
Projects selected represent RTAs across the Commonwealth and are focused on state of good repair including bus replacements and customer service improvements, and support major projects like the Gallagher Terminal Garage in Lowell and Wachusett Commuter Rail Extension.
“Regional Transit Authorities provide a critical service to residents of every region of the Commonwealth who depend on transit to get to work and school,” said MassDOT CEO and Secretary Richard A. Davey. “MassDOT is pleased to partner with the RTAs in moving these projects forward.”
The repurposed earmark funds are 100% federal funding, require no state match and must be used for capital needs. MassDOT selected the 11 projects from a list of 28 project requests totaling $45.6 million from the state’s 15 RTAs.
The 11 projects were selected based on the likelihood of the individual RTA’s ability to obligate funds by the end of December and spend all funds in the near-term.
The funded project list includes the following:
Berkshire RTA- Four 14-passenger vans w/ fare boxes, $420,000
Berkshire RTA- Maintenance facility roof, $250,000
Brockton Area Transit- Three 35’ Hybrid transit buses and two 35’ diesel transit buses, $2.6 million
Cape Ann Transportation Authority- Maintenance facility roof, $408,179
Greater Attleboro-Taunton RTA- Two 30’ transit buses, $740,000
Lowell RTA- Gallagher Terminal parking garage replacement, $2.5 million
Martha’s Vineyard RTA- Three 27’ buses and one 30’ bus, $1,085,000
Montachusett RTA- Wachusett Commuter Rail Extension, $3.6 million
Nantucket RTA- Four 25’ transit buses, $749,000
Pioneer Valley Transit Authority- Real-time customer information signs, $450,000
Southeastern Regional Transit Authority- Parking deck resurface, fireproofing replacement, $370,000
The projects include fleet procurements of buses and vans for five RTAs totaling $5.6 million, four infrastructure projects totaling $3.5 million, and significant funds for two service enhancement projects totaling $4.1 million – real-time customer signage at the PVTA and additional funding for the Wachusett Extension of the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line, which received a federal TIGER grant and is currently under construction.
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