“This is a big win for Capital Metro,” said Doggett. “In these difficult budget times, getting a TIGER grant is as tough as catching a tiger by its tail. This funding means an even faster and more reliable ride on the Red Line."
State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin), who wrote a letter of support to the Department of Transportation, says the grant will have immediate benefits.
"Everyone knows congestion is growing in Central Texas — and it’s stretching the financial resources we have to fight it," he said. "This effort will help Capital Metro offer more transit options to more people. I'm pleased that the federal government, in providing this grant, has acknowledged the importance of it."
Austin City Council Member and Capital Metro Board Chairman Mike Martinez had high praise for the agency’s leadership, and its ongoing efforts to enhance services.
“This is another testament to the hard work of President Watson, her staff, the board of directors, and all the Capital Metro family towards providing a great transit service this community needs,” said Chairman Martinez. “We've come a long way and this support will allow even more citizens to come along for the ride.
In addition to Senator Watson, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and U.S. Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) also wrote letters of support on behalf of Capital Metro.
Other supporters who wrote letters include the Austin Chamber of Commerce, Austin Steam Train Association, Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), Lone Star Rail District, Watco, Hanson and Balcones Resources.
More than 585 applications totaling $9 billion in requests were received for this round's availability of $474 million grants. The money is designated as investments in high-impact port, road, rail and transit projects.