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Proposed Light Rail Recieves Funds from FTA Alternatives Analysis Program | Business

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Proposed Light Rail Recieves Funds from FTA Alternatives Analysis Program
Proposed Light Rail Recieves Funds from FTA Alternatives Analysis Program

Atlanta, GA --- Two proposed light rail lines in the metro Atlanta region received a boost today in the form of federal funding awards. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced $25.7 million in competitively awarded grants through the Alternative Analysis grant program to help community officials in 15 states evaluate and select the best options to help place new or expanded transit systems in their communities. Cobb and Gwinnett Counties were both beneficiaries of the program.

Gwinnett County, the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District (CID) and Gwinnett Place CID jointly received a $600,000 grant to fund the analysis for a line the groups have been studying for three years. The proposed line would parallel I-85, from the existing Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) station in Doraville to the Gwinnett Arena in Lawrenceville.

The Alternatives Analysis grant program is the first key milestone in the FTA New Starts process – the primary source for federally funded transit projects.  Conducting an “alternatives analysis” ensures that various costs and benefits, route options, and other important considerations are taken into account as part of FTA’s capital planning process, known as New Starts. The analysis is complete once a locally preferred alternative is selected and adopted as part of the affected region's long-range transportation plan. 

New Starts has provided between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion annually for major transit construction projects in recent years; an additional $750 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds were advanced to New Starts projects in 2009.

The 24 winning proposals were submitted by transit agencies from across the country as part of a nationwide competition. Winning proposals demonstrated need by identifying a substantial transportation challenge in a particular corridor and proposing technical work that would provide cost and benefit information on the alternatives studied to address the problem. Priority was given to project sponsors coordinating transit project development with relevant public housing agencies, or with relevant energy or environmental public agencies.

The agency reviewed 67 applications from 30 states seeking a total of $73 million in funds.

The winning project proposals are listed here: http://www.fta.dot.gov/news/news_events_12233.html

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