- President Joe Biden carved out $142 billion for the U.S. Department of Transportation in his proposed $5.8 trillion budget for the 2023 fiscal year.
- Public transportation would receive a $13.6 billion injection, a $607 million increase from FY2022. And Amtrak would receive $3 billion in its annual appropriation, a $669 million increase from the prior fiscal year.
- “The investments in the president’s budget make traveling safer, easier, cleaner and more affordable for the American people,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.
On Monday, Buttigieg recommended $4.5 billion for new and expanded public transit projects to be funded under the president’s proposed FY2023 budget.
The proposed budget would grant $400 million toward the $6.9 billion extension of the Second Avenue Subway in New York City. The budget request further includes $200 million to extend Bay Area Rapid Transit service in Silicon Valley and $250 million for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to add 6.7 miles of light rail in the East San Fernando Valley.
Three bus rapid transit (BRT) projects are also named: an 8-mile BRT line connecting downtown, the Memphis Medical District, and the University of Memphis in Tennessee; an 11.7-mile line from the San Antonio International Airport through downtown San Antonio; and a 5.2-mile BRT line connecting downtown Seattle to the University District neighborhood.
“Providing the necessary investment to modernize our public transit and passenger rail systems will allow systems across the country to meet growing community demands for increased mobility choices that will reap economic and environmental benefits nationwide,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas in a statement.
The White House request also includes $100 million in the fiscal 2023 budget for the Hudson Tunnel project, which will construct two new tunnels under the Hudson River to Penn Station, serving New Jersey Transit and Amtrak, and renovate the existing tunnels damaged by Superstorm Sandy.
Including the advance appropriations from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure law, Biden requests $7.4 billion for Amtrak, which would help fund the railroad’s expansion plans.
But these are just requests by the president. Congress will have the final say, and negotiations could be complicated by this year’s midterm elections in which the latest poll shows Republicans favored to retake the House of Representatives.
Inflation will also take a bite out of funding for infrastructure projects. “Think about a project currently in this environment that might last three years, four years perhaps to build something,” said Ron Williams, people and places solutions Americas senior vice president and general manager at Jacobs, a global engineering and construction firm. “You’re paying significant amounts of inflation in the cost of that project.