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FTA reports ARRA deadline met

WASHINGTON — U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has achieved a crucial milestone. It beat the Sept. 1 deadline to provide all states and local communities 50 percent of their American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) transit formula dollars.

In fact, FTA provided nearly 90 percent of its $7.5-billion transit stimulus money to states and local communities. FTA is managing an additional $900 million in discretionary funds for New Starts projects, the Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction and Tribal Transit programs and oversight for a total of $8.4 billion.

Since President Obama signed the ARRA into law Feb. 17, grants totaling more than $6.7 billion have been made available for transit improvements throughout the country. The majority of these grants will be used to purchase new vehicles, increase safety and security initiatives and construct, rehabilitate and maintain the various transit systems.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has made $48.1 billion available for highway, road, transit, bridge and airport construction and repairs nationwide. Of that, $26.5 billion already has been obligated to fund more than 7,988 approved projects in 55 U.S. states and territories.

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