Proposals for new intercity passenger rail corridors being sought by FRA

Dec. 21, 2022
The project proposals are for the newly established Corridor ID Program, which will guide the development of new intercity rail services to bolster economic growth throughout the U.S.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a Notice of Solicitation and Funding Opportunity to solicit project proposals for intercity passenger rail corridors for the Corridor Identification and Development (ID) Program. The Corridor ID Program was created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and will establish a pipeline of intercity passenger rail projects and guide where investments and technical assistance are applied. The intended result is to deliver passenger rail projects faster and with greater coordination.

“FRA has received extensive interest from states, local leaders and the public for intercity passenger rail service in their regions and communities, and the Corridor ID program will allow the federal government to help with the long-term planning and delivery of new passenger rail projects nationwide,” said FRA Administrator Amit Bose. “With President Biden’s infrastructure investments, we have an opportunity to support new intercity passenger rail corridors and develop a national strategy to make rail transportation more available and reliable, boosting economies, growing jobs and creating new connections to move people and goods with ease.”

The Corridor ID Program is a significant step in the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to improve America’s rail networks and reverse decades of underinvestment in the nation’s rail infrastructure. A high-quality, expanded rail system will help spur economic growth. It also presents a unique opportunity for selected projects to receive support at any stage in the project life cycle, from planning stages to construction and implementation. FRA will work with project sponsors up until the project’s completion, ensuring that investments yield benefits for communities impacted by new intercity passenger rail projects.

In May, FRA began soliciting expressions of interest in the Corridor ID Program and received positive responses from states, transit agencies and stakeholders in every major region of the country. Going forward, FRA will use the Corridor ID Program as the primary means for guiding financial support and technical assistance towards projects that propose the establishment of new intercity passenger rail corridors or that improve upon existing services.

In evaluating project proposals, the agency will target projects that bring tangible public benefits, and special emphasis will be paid to projects that benefit rural and underserved communities. Proposed corridors should make regional travel more sustainable and reduce congestion, boost local economies and create jobs, among other benefits.

Formal project proposals must be submitted to FRA no later than 5:00 p.m. ET, March 20, 2023, and FRA will provide technical assistance regarding program requirements to potential applicants.