A combination of local, state and federal resources fund most station improvement and new construction projects.
Funds might be obtained through grants, loans, and tax credits. The purpose of each resource is different and the approach you take in planning your station project will determine your best option. A station owner might reevaluate a project to consider ways to make it eligible for greater funding.
Multimodalism, in which various transportation modes are linked together in one interconnected system, has long been a goal of federal transportation funding. When contemplating a station project, consider how it could benefit riders across many modes. For example, intercity passenger rail, commuter rail and local bus riders would all benefit from improvements to a shared facility, thus adding to a project’s utility.
|Typical Types of Station Restoration Funding|
|Grants||Requires local match|
|Loans||Generally set at favorable terms to encourage infrastructure investment|
|Tax Credits||Includes credits benefitting restoration / rehabilitation of historic properties|
Funding for station projects is generally available through federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) via the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). However, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Interior also issue viable grants, depending on the project. Detailed information about federal grant opportunities can be found here.
Federal programs are currently funded under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, signed into law in late 2015 and covering Fiscal Years 2016-2020. The FAST Act builds on the foundation established under the predecessor Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act. The FAST and MAP-21 acts emphasize the following:
- Funding predictability by replacing discretionary programs with formula programs;
- Streamlined programs and approval processes;
- Performance-based planning and programming;
- Multimodalism; and
- Maintenance of existing infrastructure to ensure safety and efficiency.
Programs with a History of Success
Communities seeking to fund station improvements have found success with two programs in particular:
- Transportation Alternatives (TA, formerly known as Transportation Enhancements and administered by the FHWA) – Provides grants to support the preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities.
- Bus and Bus Facilities (Overseen by the FTA) – Works to rehabilitate or construct intermodal stations that are or will be served by local, regional, or intercity bus providers.