Last year, in response to language contained in appropriations committee reports, FTA instituted a policy favoring projects that seek a federal New Starts share of no more than 60 percent of the total project cost—even though the law allows projects to seek up to 80 percent—in its recommendation for FFGAs. According to FTA officials, this policy allows more projects to receive funding and ensures that local governments play a major role in funding such projects. FTA describes the 60 percent policy as a general preference; however, FTA’s fiscal year 2005 New Starts report suggests that this policy is absolute in that projects proposing more than a 60 percent federal New Starts share will not be recommended for an FFGA.They will not fund anything over 60%. That is unless you make a deal like Salt Lake City where they will pay 80% for one project but it will equal 20% for all projects. Hopefully this helps folks realize that while highways still get 80% and bankrupting their funding account, the mass transit account has only been allowing 50% or less matches over the last 4 years. It's actually been lower in certain instances with Dulles asking for 30%. Why the feds are able to kill that project when they aren't even close to the majority financial stake is beyond me.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Contrary to popular hopeful sentiments from local officials we discussed the other day, getting 80% just isn't possible for the Gold Line. After being challenged over on Bottleneck blog by Damien Goodmon (Fix Expo) on my assertion that today federal projects have to have 50% local funding to get funded, maybe 60% if you have a good ridership project that can cover your ratings, I found a GAO report that stated what I remember hearing was true.