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Does the IIJA earmark any other funding sources for New Starts projects?

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“IIJA”) authorizes $3 billion per year through 2026 for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fixed Guideway Capital Investment Grant (“CIG”) program. The IIJA also authorizes an additional $1.6 billion in advance appropriations for the CIG program, which may become available to municipalities between fiscal years 2022 through 2026.[1], [2]

New Starts activities are eligible for CIG funding.[3] New Starts activities are projects that design and construct new systems or expand existing systems, with a total estimated project cost of $400,000,000 or more or that seek CIG funding of $150,000,000 or more.[4]

Under the White House Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Guidebook, the funding mechanism for all CIG grants are competitive as required by law.[5], [6] Accordingly, there are no earmarked funding mechanisms under the IIJA for New Starts activities.  

Municipalities should also note that the CIG is “one of the government’s most complex and rigorous grant programs.”[7] As such:

[A] proposed project must be evaluated and receive an overall rating by FTA based on both the project justification and the local financial commitment criteria at several points during the process. A project must receive a ‘Medium’ or better overall rating to advance to the next step in the process, including before it can be considered for a construction grant agreement.[8]

Municipalities can view the list of currently available funding under the IIJA in the White House Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Guidebook.[9] Municipalities may also search for strategic opportunities and filter by funding mechanism using the White House Guidebook Data Set.[10]

Last Updated: April 19, 2022

[1] Federal Transit Administration, Fact Sheet: Capital Investment Grants Program, available at: https://www.transit.dot.gov/funding/grants/fact-sheet-capital-investment-grants-program.

[2] An advance appropriation is “one made to become available one year or more beyond the year for which the appropriations act is passed.” See The White House, “Advance Appropriations,” available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/aaa_fy22.pdf.

[3] FR Doc. 2021-15079 at 2-3, available at: https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2021-15079.pdf.

[4] Federal Transit Administration, Fact Sheet: Capital Investment Grants Program, available at: https://www.transit.dot.gov/funding/grants/fact-sheet-capital-investment-grants-program.

[6] Federal Transit Administration, Oversight of the Federal Transit Administration's Capital Investment Grant Program, available at: Oversight of the Federal Transit Administration's Capital Investment Grant Program | US Department of Transportation.

[7] Id.

[8] Id.

[9] The White House, Guidebook to The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law For State, Local, Tribal, And Territorial Governments, and Other Partners, at 66, available at: BUILDING-A-BETTER-AMERICA_FINAL.pdf (whitehouse.gov).