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Rail Projects Included in 2022 RAISE Grants

August 11, 2022

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced more than $2.2 billion in grant funding from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program to help urban and rural communities modernize roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports, and intermodal transportation. Of the 166 awards announced in this round of funding, 37 projects included a rail component.

We’ve included USDOT project descriptions for a selection of some of the most significant passenger rail projects below.

--California High-Speed Rail: Merced Extension Design Project

RAISE Award Amount: $25,000,000

Applicant: California High-Speed Rail Authority State: California

Urban or Rural: Rural

Project Description: This planning project will fund design efforts including the completion of a configuration footprint, mapping right of way, identifying utility relocation agreements, and other necessary third-party agreements for the Merced Extension of the California High-Speed Rail project. The project will design civil infrastructure, track and systems and station platforms from Madera to Merced, on the Merced-Fresno-Bakersfield early operating segment.

Project Benefits: The project will provide a new, high-quality, zero-emissions transit link where one does not currently exist, increasing connectivity and reducing emissions from driving. The project is expected to reduce vehicle miles traveled by over 200 million miles per year, and the high-speed rail system will run on entirely renewable energy. The project also demonstrates strong partnership; with at least 11 Federal and state partners, a variety of funding sources, collaboration with the Port and Airport, and engagement with residents. The project is innovative because it is pioneering a new rail service while adding energy generation so that it does not increase demand on the existing power grid.

--Harvey Intermodal Transportation Center

RAISE Award Amount: $20,000,000

Applicant: Pace Suburban Bus Division of the RTA State: Illinois

Urban or Rural: Urban

Project Description: This project will reconstruct existing bus transfer and rail station facilities into a cohesive intermodal transit facility with three main components. The first component will reconfigure the existing bus facility to provide better access to the Metra station, construct 14 new bus bays for fixed routes and 4 layover bus bays, create a paratransit vehicle boarding area, and add a dedicated lane for riders disembarking. The second component will make Metra station improvements, including modernizing amenities and demolishing the existing elevated platform and replacing it with a heated platform. The platform will also be extended by approximately 36 feet to allow all doors to open. The third component includes parking and site improvements to replace the two existing lots with one 226-space lot, including more ADA parking and access.

Project Benefits: The project improves access to transit alternatives for the local overburdened community. Replacing the two old, outdated facilities with a new modern one, redesigned to provide ease of access, a better travel experience, and is up to ADA standards will help residents get where they need to go more efficiently and affordably.

--Improved Bicycle/ Pedestrian Routes to Rail & Transit Technology Upgrades

RAISE Award Amount: $25,000,000

Applicant: North Central Texas Council of Governments State: Texas

Urban or Rural: Urban

Project Description: The project will construct over 30 miles of sidewalk in the half-mile radius of DART’s 8th & Corinth, Morrell, Illinois, and Kiest Stations. It will also extend the Cedar Crest Trail approximately 1.5 miles, and improve transit accommodations with upgrades and safety features at nearby bus stops on DART route 217 and Blue Line light rail stations including Kiest, VA Medical Center, and Morrell Stations.

Project Benefits: The project enhancements will address safety concerns caused by inadequate or missing sidewalks, and improve the safety of pedestrians and transit riders. The project will improve transit access in a community where 17% of the population lacks access to a personal vehicle. The project is the result of collaboration between NCTCOG, the City of Dallas and DART, and has included robust public engagement processes. It includes innovative technologies such as Next Generation SMART Shelters at the stations.

--Inglewood Transit Connector Project

RAISE Award Amount: $15,000,000

Applicant: City of Inglewood

State: California Urban or Rural: Urban

Project Description: This project will complete an approximately 1.6-mile fully-elevated, automated transit system with three stations to compete a critical gap in the region’s transit system, on segments along Market Street, Manchester Boulevard, and Prairie Avenue. It includes construction of three center platform stations.

Project Benefits: The project provides a new transportation option, creates an alternative to personal vehicle use, and was designed in consultation with local underserved and disadvantaged communities. The project will provide important first-/last- mile connectivity between the K- Line Metro and places of interest such as the Forum/SoFi Arena, residential areas of Inglewood, and employment centers. The application included an explicit commitment to a Community Workforce Agreement to hire 35% local residents, 10% disadvantaged workers, and 20% apprentice workers to complete the work of building the project.

--New Carrollton Multi-Modal Transportation Station Project

RAISE Award Amount: $20,500,000 Applicant: Prince George's County State: Maryland

Urban or Rural: Urban

Project Description: The project will construct multimodal transit station improvements for New Carrollton Station. The project includes a new Train Hall for the existing MARC, Metrorail, and Amtrak service, incorporating connections to Metrobus, TheBus, and Greyhound bus services and the future Maryland Purple Line light rail. It will also make new sidewalks, bike lanes, lighting, signalization, and traffic calming improvements on Garden City Drive to access the station, and improve the Train Hall plaza space to be more welcoming to users.

Project Benefits: According to the applicant, there have been more than 150 crashes, 2 fatalities, and 50 injuries in the last three years on Garden City Drive near the station. The project will improve safety by adding striped bicycle lanes, bicycle boxes, wider sidewalks and safer pedestrian crossings, and a center median on the road. The project supports transit-oriented development in the area, including access to new residential and office space that is currently under development and expected to increase ridership at the station. The project makes transit a more attractive option, particularly for the underserved community in the area, by facilitating non-motorized first/last mile access to the station.

--Northern Michigan Rail Planning Phase II Study and Service Development Plan

RAISE Award Amount: $1,300,000 Applicant: Cadillac/Wexford Transit Authority State: Michigan

Urban or Rural: Rural

Project Description: This planning project will develop a Service Development Plan to consider new train services through fifteen counties between southeast Michigan and northern lower Michigan.

Project Benefits: The project will help reduce vehicle miles traveled, reduce emissions, reduce crashes, and increase mobility options. Additionally, it could help expand access to essential services, such as educational and employment opportunities.

--North Carolina Regional S-Line Mobility Hub Plan

RAISE Award Amount: $3,400,000 Applicant: Town of Wake Forest State: North Carolina

Urban or Rural: Rural

Project Description: This planning project will fund the planning of mobility hubs in seven communities along the passenger rail S-Line. The planning activities include feasibility and site assessments for all the partner communities, NEPA compliance, and preliminary engineering for four of the seven communities.

Project Benefits: The project will increase access to active transportation options, commuter rail and transit services. The addition of these mobility hubs will offer more transportation options for residents and reduce emissions in a rapidly growing corridor. The project will explicitly consider equity and minimize displacement when considering transit-oriented development strategies to ensure improved quality of life for the community. The project will repair roadways which will improve safety and ease congestion, and includes long-term maintenance plans.