President’s FY22 budget request includes $13.5 billion for transit, $2.7 billion for Amtrak

June 1, 2021
The budget seeks an increase in funding for the CIG program, the establishment of a new passenger rail grant program and additional funding for zero-emission fleets.

President Joe Biden released his Fiscal Year 2022 Budget request on Friday May 28, which includes $88 billion for the U.S. Department of Transportation. The administration says the budget request provides “a foundation for the investments proposed under the American Jobs Plan.”

U.S. Department of Transportation notes the budget request prioritizes Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s key principles of “ensuring safety; fostering economic strength and good-paying American jobs; creating equitable access to opportunity; tackling the climate crisis and making our infrastructure more resilient; and transforming our nation’s infrastructure.”

The request includes $13.92 billion for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), which the administration says will “support safe, equitable and reliable transportation options across the country.” The request also includes more than $4 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration, of which $2.7 billion is for Amtrak.

The proposal includes $110 million for a new program called “Thriving Communities” that will require a new office be established to support the elimination of persistent transportation barriers, while increasing access to jobs, schools and businesses.

“This budget reflects our administration’s priorities, and responds to our country’s needs,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg. “It will start giving America the tools to get back to work, modernize our infrastructure, combat the climate crisis and build equity into our transportation system so everyone can get around safely and affordably.”

What the budget proposes for transit

The president’s FY22 Budget request maintains FY21 enacted and FY20 actual formula funds of $10.15 billion. The budget requests $2.47 billion for the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program, which is about $459 million above FY21 enacted levels.

The CIG Program request includes:

  • $1.56 billion for 17 projects with existing Full Funding Grant Agreements (FFGA);
  • $158.12 million for Valley Metro’s Northwest Extension Phase 2 and Metropolitan Council’s METRO Gold Line Bus Rapid Transit project, which do not have existing FFGAs;
  • $303.00 million for six Small Starts projects not yet under construction grants;
  • $427.22 million in funding for other projects that may become ready for CIG or Expedited Project Delivery Pilot Program funding during FY 2022; and
  • $24.73 million for FTA oversight of these projects.

The budget proposal also requests $550 million for transit infrastructure grants, which includes $250 million for agencies to transition to zero-emission fleets and associated infrastructure. This is an increase over the $180 million FTA had available in FY21.

The budget proposal includes $30 million for transit research to support “research, demonstration and deployment projects that will leverage new mobility trends in a post-COVID-19 world.”

What the budget proposes for passenger rail

The proposed budget includes a 35 percent increase in funding for Amtrak. The $2.7 billion “will accelerate track renewal, renovate aging stations, refresh the existing capital fleet and address maintenance needs throughout the system.”

The budget request maintains the $375 million for Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements grants.

The proposal calls for the establishment of a new $625 million passenger rail grant program – Passenger Rail Improvement, Modernization and Expansion (PRIME) grants – that aims to modernize and develop passenger rail service and expand existing rail corridors.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.