USDOT Makes $2.3 Billion Available for Passenger Rail Projects

More About this Funding

The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) on Wednesday, announcing that $2.283 billion in funding has been made available through the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program.

Importantly, cities and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) are eligible to apply directly to this grant program. For example, Indianapolis could use these funds to restore a better connection into the city. The Alliance is focused on notifying local leaders across the country about all of the funding opportunities available to connect their communities with fast, frequent and affordable trains.

Previously this grant program has funded work on tracks, structures, and grade crossings for passenger rail projects, but the passage of the IIJA has made funds available for a broader range of projects.

The program has been expanded to allow eligible entities to:

  • Expand or establish new passenger rail services;
  • Improve the safety, reliability, and performance of existing services;
  • Fund planning elements, such as environmental review and final design.

This latest batch of funding is available only for projects outside of the Northeast Corridor (NEC), but funding from this program for projects along the NEC will be made available later this year.

“This is one of the two most significant investments in the past 50 years to modernize passenger train service across the country,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Americans deserve excellent passenger rail services, and through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re working to deliver it.”

“This Partnership Program NOFO offers exciting opportunities to expand federal support for intercity passenger and high-speed rail services to all parts of our nation,” said FRA Administrator Amit Bose. “FRA will work closely with States and stakeholders to provide sustained and dedicated investments in this vital mode of transportation, and together, we will reshape America’s passenger rail network for generations to come.”

The Notice of Funding Opportunity, with details on eligibility, the application process, and other information, is available here. The application deadline is 5pm ET on March 7, 2023.

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