There are a lot of questions about the President’s budget proposal, so let’s talk.
Elimination of New Start grants from the FTA would be harsh. In the past, this helped pay for BART to SFO.
Presently, we are applying for $1 billion in New Start grants with the goal of 2-minute intervals between transbay trains.
That goal involves purchasing 306 new cars, maintenance facilities, new train control systems, and power infrastructure upgrades.
We’re currently putting big chunks of our own money toward those projects, but a $1 billion loss would be difficult to absorb.
@Caltrain is seeing effects of insecure federal funding w/ electrification. That puts financial pressure on local agencies like us.
In the near future, VTA’s Phase II of BART to Silicon Valley will apply for $1.5 billion in federal funds to bring us to San Jose.
Ending New Start would severely undermine BART to Silicon Valley, eliminating funding for 32% of the entire project.
In conclusion, the president’s change in policy would drastically shift funding downstream, and likely hit local users the hardest.
Congress must now decide whether that’s a direction they should take, as they look at their options moving forward.