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Austin Light Rail Phase 1 accepted into Project Development by Federal Transit Administration

Project Connect is a transit expansion program by the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (CapMetro) in Austin, Texas, U.S. The program was approved by voters on November 3, 2020, in a local election concurrent with the 2020 presidential election and includes the construction of two new light rail lines, three BRT services and an additional commuter rail line in addition to the existing Red Line.

Austin Transit Partnership (ATP) is the local government corporation responsible for implementing Project Connect and leading Austin Light Rail. ATP is responsible for the day-to-day implementation, planning, financing, execution, and oversight of Austin Light Rail. Austin Light Rail Phase 1 of the first 15.8 km of new double track has officially entered the Project Development phase under the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grants New Starts program – the competitive grant program that funds transit capital investments.

© Austin Transit Partnership
Pleasant Valley | © Austin Transit Partnership (artist conceptual rendering)

As planned, local funding will leverage federal dollars to fund the project. ATP is now eligible for future reimbursement of allowable costs incurred for the planning and design work to develop the project. This Project Development phase is an initial step towards the execution of a final grant agreement with the FTA.

“This milestone signals federal support for this voter-approved project and brings Austin Light Rail one step closer to delivering billions in infrastructure investments and jobs to Texas,” Greg Canally, executive director of the Austin Transit Partnership, said. “Our extensive work with our community, along with the expertise and diligence of the ATP team and partnership with FTA, has allowed us to reach this important milestone.”

·rd and Congress Avenue Station | © Austin Transit Partnership (artist conceptual rendering)

Over the next two years, ATP will complete the Project Development phase, to include completing National Environmental Policy Act requirements and advancing architectural and engineering design of the system. Completing these and other activities will ensure sufficient information for FTA to evaluate and rate the light rail project under the Capital Investment Grants criteria. FTA will remain in contact with ATP, providing technical assistance and project oversight as Austin Light Rail Phase I moves through Project Development.

(Info: ATP)

Northshore | © Austin Transit Partnership (artist conceptual rendering)
Oltorf | © Austin Transit Partnership (artist conceptual rendering)