It's hard to believe another year has already come and gone at the Department of Transportation. And I couldn't be prouder of everything our team achieved in 2011. So in the coming days, I'll be looking back and sharing some of the top accomplishments from each of our agencies. First up: the Federal Transit Administration.
Public transit provides more than 10 billion passenger trips each year. In 2011, a year when high gas prices strained family budgets, Americans were looking for new transportation options, and--according to the American Public Transportation Association--transit ridership increased in each of the first three quarters. In the third quarter alone, passengers took 56 million more bus, streetcar, and train trips than during the same quarter last year.
To meet this growing demand, FTA stepped up to support cost-effective and energy-efficient solutions.
As FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff says, “We're committed to putting people back to work building and repairing the transit systems our country needs to connect people with jobs, reduce congestion, and spur future economic growth in communities nationwide.”
Following the announcement of new federal funding for the Wayne Junction Station in Philadelphia, PA,
FTA Administrator Rogoff meets with local community advocates to discuss plans for the surrounding area.
- Made a record-breaking commitment to capital transit projects.
FTA signed more grant agreements in 2011 than in any previous year in the agency's history. These grants, which included money for commuter rail, light rail, and bus rapid transit projects across the country, will support more than 25,000 jobs and billions of dollars in future economic development.
- Invested in projects promoting state-of-good-repair, livability, and sustainability.
After reviewing 1,300 applications representing nearly $6 billion in requests, FTA awarded $1.5 billion in discretionary funds for high-impact transit projects nationwide. These included state-of-good-repair grants to replace and improve existing bus and light rail infrastructure; livability grants to better connect people to jobs, housing, and entertainment through transit; tribal grants to help American Indian and Alaskan Native governments invest in public transportation on their lands; and Clean Fuels and TIGGER grants to curb greenhouse gas emissions, reduce energy consumption, create thousands of green jobs.
- Connected military families with better transportation options.
In November, FTA launched the new Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative. This $34 million discretionary program will build and expand "one-click, one-call" transportation resource centers in communities across the country, bringing more transportation choices and better job access to our military heroes, veterans, wounded warriors, and their families.
With more Americans choosing to ride buses, streetcars, and light rail lines each year, the work being done by the Federal Transit Administration is more important than ever. I congratulate Administrator Rogoff and all of our employees at FTA for their service and dedication, and I know they'll keep delivering in 2012 and beyond.