Trump draft budget proposes zeroing new federal transit funding

The administration’s draft budget outline proposes to zero out the federal government’s major transit capital funding, including the programs that would fund Caltrain electrification and other major Bay Area projects: BART to Silicon Valley, the Downtown Extension of the Caltrain tracks to Transbay Terminal, and increases to Transbay core capacity, as reported on this evening by the Washington Post.   Any project that doesn’t have final grant approval – including Caltrain electrification which is missing the final signature from the Transportation Secretary – would not get federal funding (see excerpt below).

These cuts would go far beyond Bay Area projects – transit programs in places including Arizona, Indiana, North Carolina and Texas would be slashed – to our understanding, everything in the table below that doesn’t say FFGA, which means “Full Funding Grant Agreement”, meaning final grant approval.

Other proposed transportation cuts include a half-billion from the popular, competitive TIGER grant program, which if we’re reading right, looks like the entire program, as well as  Amtrak’s long-distance rail service outside the Northeast Corridor. Highway funding remains untouched.

The paradoxical bright side in these draconian proposed cuts is that they affect so many areas of the country that there is likely to be massive, hopefully coordinated pushback. This document has a long list of regions that would be hurt by cuts, plus regions that have benefited from federal transit funding in recent years, along with contact information for legislators in those regions.  And this document has a starter list of transit advocacy groups around the country who have an interest in vocally objecting to their legislators in Congress.

Stay tuned for actions you can take in solidarity with others around the country to oppose cuts to federal transit funding before the formal administration budget proposal is expected out in May.

Of course, before the budget becomes law, it needs to be approved by Congress. The administration has already gotten strong pushback on other previewed budget cuts such as slashing State Department spending by over a third.   Readers following the news will also notice the proposal to cut the Environmental Protection Agency by 30%, and deep cuts to medical and scientific research, among other proposed major changes.  Public response around the country will affect which changes survive congressional review.

The risk to Caltrain electrification funding is even greater than all the other projects on the chopping block, because, according to earlier word from the Trump Administration, the grant application would only be signed if there was funding for the program in the President’s officially submitted budget which is expected in May.  Our understanding is that the guillotine moment would be May, not today.

A decision to axe electrification based on the president’s budget would be an administrative decision, not an issue of funding availability. The money is available with funds previously appropriated by Congress. But until the Transportation Secretary signs the application, the administration has the power to deny the grant.

State City Project Name Stage of Development Project Profile
AZ Flagstaff Transit Spine BRT SSPD PDF
AZ Phoenix South Central LRT Extension NSPD PDF
AZ Tempe Tempe Streetcar SSPD PDF
CA Los Angeles Regional Connector Transit Corridor FFGA PDF
CA Los Angeles Downtown Streetcar SSPD PDF
CA Los Angeles Westside Purple Line Extension Section 1 FFGA PDF
CA Los Angeles Westside Purple Line Extension Section 2 FFGA PDF
CA Los Angeles Westside Purple Line Extension Section 3 NSPD PDF
CA Sacramento Downtown Riverfront Streetcar Project SSPD PDF
CA San Bernardino Redlands Passenger Rail Project SSPD PDF
CA San Carlos Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project CCE PDF
CA San Diego Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project FFGA PDF
CA San Francisco Third Street Light Rail Phase 2 – Central Subway FFGA PDF
CA San Francisco Transbay Corridor Core Capacity Project CCPD PDF
CA San Jose BART Silicon Valley Phase II – Extension to San Jose and Santa Clara NSPD PDF
CA San Jose El Camino Real Corridor BRT Project SSPD PDF
CA San Jose Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension Project FFGA PDF
CA San Rafael SMART Regional Rail – San Rafael to Larkspur Extension SSPD PDF
CA Santa Ana Santa Ana/Garden Grove Streetcar Project NSE PDF
CO Denver Eagle Commuter Rail FFGA PDF
FL Fort Lauderdale Central Broward Transit – Phase I NSPD PDF
FL Fort Lauderdale Wave Streetcar SSPD PDF
FL Jacksonville First Coast Flyer East Corridor BRT SSPD PDF
FL Jacksonville First Coast Flyer Southwest Corridor BRT SSPD PDF
FL Orlando SunRail Connector to the Orlando International Airport SSPD PDF
FL Orlando SunRail Phase II North SSPD PDF
FL Orlando SunRail Phase II South FFGA PDF
FL St. Petersburg Central Avenue BRT project SSPD PDF
HI Honolulu High Capacity Transit Corridor Project FFGA PDF
IL Chicago Red and Purple Line Modernization Project Phase One FFGA PDF
IN Gary–Michigan City South Shore Line Northwest Indiana Connectivity Plan CCPD PDF
IN Indianapolis Red Line All-Electric BRT SSPD PDF
IN Lake County West Lake Corridor Project NSPD PDF
LA Baton Rouge TramLinkBR Streetcar SSPD PDF
MA Cambridge to Medford Green Line Extension FFGA PDF
MD Maryland National Capital Purple Line NSE PDF
MI Grand Rapids Laker Line BRT SSPD PDF
MI Lansing Michigan Avenue/Grand River Avenue BRT SSPD PDF
MN Minneapolis METRO Blue Line Extension NSE PDF
MN Minneapolis METRO Orange Line BRT SSPD PDF
MN Minneapolis Southwest LRT NSE PDF
MO Kansas City Prospect MAX SSPD PDF
NC Chapel Hill North-South Bus Rapid Transit Project SSPD PDF
NC Durham Durham-Orange LRT Project NSPD PDF
NJ-NY Secaucus Hudson Tunnel Project NSPD PDF
NJ Hudson County Portal North Bridge Project NSPD PDF
NM Albuquerque Rapid Transit Project SSPD PDF
NV Reno Virginia Street BRT Extension SSPD PDF
NY Albany River Corridor/Blue Line Bus Rapid Transit SSPD PDF
NY Albany Washington/Western Bus Rapid Transit Line SSPD PDF
NY New York Canarsie Line Power and Station Improvements CCPD PDF
NY New York Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 NSPD PDF
NY New York Woodhaven Boulevard Select Bus Service NSPD PDF
OR Portland Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project FFGA PDF
OR Portland Powell-Division Transit and Development SSPD PDF
TX Dallas CBD Second Light Rail Alignment (D2) CCPD PDF
TX Dallas DART Red and Blue Line Platform Extensions CCPD PDF
TX El Paso Montana RTS Corridor SSPD PDF
TX Fort Worth TEX Rail FFGA PDF
VA Alexandria West End Transitway SSPD PDF
WA Everett Swift II BRT SSPD PDF
WA Seattle Federal Way Link Extension NSPD PDF
WA Seattle Lynnwood Link Extension NSE PDF
WA Seattle Madison Street Corridor Bus Rapid Transit SSPD PDF
WA Seattle Seattle Streetcar Center City Connector SSPD PDF
WA Spokane Spokane Central City Line SSPD PDF
WA Tacoma Tacoma Link Expansion SSPD PDF
WI Milwaukee East-West Bus Rapid Transit SSPD PDF