49 U.S. Code § 24911. Federal-State partnership for state of good repair

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(a) Definitions.—In this section:
(1) Applicant.—The term “applicant” means—
a State (including the District of Columbia);
a group of States;
an Interstate Compact;
a public agency or publicly chartered authority established by 1 or more States;
a political subdivision of a State;
Amtrak, acting on its own behalf or under a cooperative agreement with 1 or more States; or
any combination of the entities described in subparagraphs (A) through (F).
(2) Capital project.—The term “capital project” means—
a project primarily intended to replace, rehabilitate, or repair major infrastructure assets utilized for providing intercity rail passenger service, including tunnels, bridges, stations, and other assets, as determined by the Secretary; or
a project primarily intended to improve intercity passenger rail performance, including reduced trip times, increased train frequencies, higher operating speeds, and other improvements, as determined by the Secretary.
(3) Intercity rail passenger transportation.—
The term “intercity rail passenger transportation” has the meaning given the term in section 24102.
(4) Northeast corridor.—The term “Northeast Corridor” means—
the main rail line between Boston, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia;
the branch rail lines connecting to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Springfield, Massachusetts, and Spuyten Duyvil, New York; and
facilities and services used to operate and maintain lines described in subparagraphs (A) and (B).
(5) Qualified railroad asset.—The term “qualified railroad asset” means infrastructure, equipment, or a facility that—
is owned or controlled by an eligible applicant;
is contained in the planning document developed under section 24904 and for which a cost-allocation policy has been developed under section 24905(c), or is contained in an equivalent planning document and for which a similar cost-allocation policy has been developed; and
was not in a state of good repair on the date of enactment of the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015.
(b) Grant Program Authorized.—
The Secretary of Transportation shall develop and implement a program for issuing grants to applicants, on a competitive basis, to fund capital projects that reduce the state of good repair backlog with respect to qualified railroad assets.
(c) Eligible Projects.—Projects eligible for grants under this section include capital projects to replace or rehabilitate qualified railroad assets, including—
capital projects to replace existing assets in-kind;
capital projects to replace existing assets with assets that increase capacity or provide a higher level of service;
capital projects to ensure that service can be maintained while existing assets are brought to a state of good repair; and
capital projects to bring existing assets into a state of good repair.
(d) Project Selection Criteria.—In selecting an applicant for a grant under this section, the Secretary shall—
(1) give preference to eligible projects for which—
Amtrak is not the sole applicant;
applications were submitted jointly by multiple applicants; and
the proposed Federal share of total project costs does not exceed 50 percent; and
(2) take into account—
(A) the cost-benefit analysis of the proposed project, including anticipated private and public benefits relative to the costs of the proposed project, including—
effects on system and service performance;
effects on safety, competitiveness, reliability, trip or transit time, and resilience;
efficiencies from improved integration with other modes; and
ability to meet existing or anticipated demand;
the degree to which the proposed project’s business plan considers potential private sector participation in the financing, construction, or operation of the proposed project;
the applicant’s past performance in developing and delivering similar projects, and previous financial contributions;
(D) whether the applicant has, or will have—
the legal, financial, and technical capacity to carry out the project;
satisfactory continuing control over the use of the equipment or facilities; and
the capability and willingness to maintain the equipment or facilities;
if applicable, the consistency of the project with planning guidance and documents set forth by the Secretary or required by law; and
any other relevant factors, as determined by the Secretary.
(e) Northeast Corridor Projects.—
(1) Compliance with usage agreements.—
Grant funds may not be provided under this section to an eligible recipient for an eligible project located on the Northeast Corridor unless Amtrak and the public authorities providing commuter rail passenger transportation at the eligible project location on the Northeast Corridor are in compliance with section 24905(c)(2).
(2) Capital investment plan.—
When selecting projects located on the Northeast Corridor, the Secretary shall consider the appropriate sequence and phasing of projects as contained in the Northeast Corridor capital investment plan developed pursuant to section 24904(a).
(f) Federal Share of Total Project Costs.—
(1) Total project cost.—
The Secretary shall estimate the total cost of a project under this section based on the best available information, including engineering studies, studies of economic feasibility, environmental analyses, and information on the expected use of equipment or facilities.
(2) Federal share.—
The Federal share of total costs for a project under this section shall not exceed 80 percent.
(3) Treatment of amtrak revenue.—
If Amtrak is an applicant under this section, Amtrak may use ticket and other revenues generated from its operations and other sources to satisfy the non-Federal share requirements.
(g) Letters of Intent.—
(1) In general.—The Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, issue a letter of intent to a grantee under this section that—
announces an intention to obligate, for a major capital project under this section, an amount from future available budget authority specified in law that is not more than the amount stipulated as the financial participation of the Secretary in the project; and
(B) states that the contingent commitment—
is not an obligation of the Federal Government; and
is subject to the availability of appropriations for grants under this section and subject to Federal laws in force or enacted after the date of the contingent commitment.
(2) Congressional notification.—
(A) In general.—Not later than 30 days before issuing a letter under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall submit written notification to—
the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate;
the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;
the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives; and
the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.
(B) Contents.—The notification submitted pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall include—
a copy of the proposed letter;
the criteria used under subsection (d) for selecting the project for a grant award; and
a description of how the project meets such criteria.
(3) Appropriations required.—
An obligation or administrative commitment may be made under this section only when amounts are appropriated for such purpose.
(h) Availability.—
Amounts appropriated for carrying out this section shall remain available until expended.
(i) Grant Conditions.—
Except as specifically provided in this section, the use of any amounts appropriated for grants under this section shall be subject to the grant conditions under section 22905.
References in Text

The date of enactment of the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015, referred to in subsec. (a)(5)(C), is the date of enactment of title XI of div. A of Pub. L. 114–94, which was approved Dec. 4, 2015.


2019—Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 115–420 substituted “22905” for “24405”.

2018—Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 115–141 substituted “transportation at the eligible project location” for “transportation”.

Effective Date

Section effective Oct. 1, 2015, see section 1003 of Pub. L. 114–94, set out as an Effective Date of 2015 Amendment note under section 5313 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.