Federal Updates

 

Midwest FRA-Led Multistate Planning

The Midwest has been chosen as one of two regions that will participate in a Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)-led multistate rail planning process!  The region was chosen based on MIPRC’s Statement of Interest and Qualifications submitted on behalf of the Midwest in November 2014.

The Midwest’s regional rail plan will help the region and FRA determine the priorities, studies and investment needed to advance projects within a multi-state network.

The twelve Midwestern state DOTs and MIPRC are the lead stakeholders for the project. Thirty supporting stakeholders include local governments, MPOs, railroads, public and private passenger rail operators, transit agencies, and other regional and statewide planning organizations. For a full list of stakeholders, click here.

For information on the Midwest Regional Rail Planning Study, visit the FRA’s website on the project: www.midwestrailplan.org.

Overview of Midwest’s FRA-Led Planning Project

Surface Transportation Reauthorization

In December 2015, Congress passed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, a five-year surface transportation law which included intercity passenger rail and Amtrak reauthorization language for the first time in transportation legislative history (See FAST Act, below). The law is due for renewal in 2020. MIPRC began communicating its renewal principles  to Midwestern members of Congress in October 2019 during its Annual Meeting, held in Washington, D.C. 

MIPRC asks that Congress continue to work with the states to sustain and improve passenger rail service in our region and country, increasing the development of a truly multi-modal transportation system in our nation. We ask that Congress preserve and expand the passenger rail-related authorizations contained in the FAST Act, so our states can continue to build on their passenger rail development successes.

MIPRC federal surface transportation reauthorization principles (April 2020)
MIPRC federal surface transportation reauthorization principles (January 2020)

MIPRC letter to Midwestern members of Congress in support of Division D (the TRAINS Act) of H.R. 2
Midwestern passenger rail projects ready for funding or in scoping phases (as of June 10, 2020)

FAST Act 

In December of 2015, Congress laid the groundwork for the development of a truly multi-modal transportation system in our nation with passage of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. Since its inception, MIPRC has advocated for intercity passenger rail to be included in federal surface transportation reauthorization legislation. For the first time in transportation legislative history, intercity passenger rail and Amtrak reauthorization language are included as part of this comprehensive five-year surface transportation bill.

Three new intercity passenger rail grant programs were established in the FAST Act. Limited funding for these grants was provided within the FFY 2016 & FFY 2017 transportation appropriations. MIPRC is pleased that, for FFY 2018 & FFY 2019, Congress approved funding for these grants above the authorized levels. We ask that funding at or above the authorized levels for these important programs continue to be included within federal transportation appropriations, so our states can continue to build on their passenger rail development successes.

Authorized and enacted funding for FAST Act discretionary grant programs (FFY 2016-2020)
NOFOs (Notices Of Funding Opportunities) and grant awards for FAST Act discretionary grant programs (as of June 10, 2020)
NOFOs (Notices Of Funding Opportunities) and grant awards for FAST Act discretionary grant programs (as of April 20, 2020)
Midwestern pasenger rail projects ready for funding or in scoping phases (as of June 10, 2020)
Midwestern passenger rail projects ready for funding or in scoping phases (2019)

Recent MIPRC Federal Input

MIPRC letter to Midwestern members of Congress in support of Division D (the TRAINS Act) of H.R. 2 6/29/20

MIPRC comments supporting FRA's proposed rule on Metrics & Minimum Standards for Intercity Passenger Rail Service 6/1/20

MIPRC testimony supporting FRA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Metrics & Minimum Standards for Intercity Passenger Rail Service 4/30/20

MIPRC letter to Congress supporting $1 billion in emergency funding due to COVID-19 3/21/20

MIPRC federal surface transportation reauthorization principles 1/20/2020

MIPRC holds Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., to amplify Midwest's voice as FAST Act renewal begins 10/31/19

MIPRC submits FFY 2020 funding request 4/29/19

MIPRC to Congress, FRA, Amtrak: Sustain the federal-state partnership for passenger rail 6/13/18

MIPRC visits Congress to promote passenger rail 6/2/17

MIPRC asks Midwest Members of Congress to protect funding for long-distance service 4/7/17

MIPRC asks Midwest Members of Congress to protect passenger rail funding in FFY 2017 Appropriations 5/11/16

MIPRC Chair Testifies Before U.S. Senate Transportation Committee 2/25/2016

MIPRC Submits Comments to STB re: OTP and Amtrak Preference 2/23/2016

MIPRC urges Midwestern Members of Congress to Support Extension of PTC Implementation Deadline 10/12/2015


Information on Midwestern States' HSIPR Applications/Awards

See the awards Midwestern states have received thus far from the federal government to build the region's system of fast, frequent passenger rail service!

Click here for information on the Midwestern states’ 2010-2011 High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) awards

Click here to read background information on federal passenger rail progress (2008-2009)


Secretariat services provided by The Council Of State Governments' Midwestern Office.