Letter to Hon. Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation - Rep. Payne, Jr. Pushes for Quicker Federal Funding of Gateway Program


Dear Secretary Buttigieg:

Thank you for your continued support of intercity passenger rail growth. We respectfully request that you publish a Northeast Corridor (NEC) Inventory to adhere to Section 22307(e)(1) of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). This would allow the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to expeditiously announce funding opportunities from the $7 billion available in FY 2022 funding for the Northeast Corridor set aside within the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail grants.

The IIJA provides a once-in-a-generation $66 billion investment in rail funding and additional $34 billion authorized for rail grant initiatives that are long-overdue. The region needs this essential investment in critical rail infrastructure as quickly as possible to ensure fast, frequent, and reliable rail service. It is our understanding that creating the NEC Inventory is holding up release of FY 2022 funds.

The Northeast Corridor Commission, which is comprised of representatives of DOT, in addition to representatives of the states, commuter rail agencies, Amtrak, and the freight railroads between Washington, DC and Boston, MA, has published no less than 15 capital investment plans and documentation of needed Northeast Corridor investments since 2013. Each successive plan has both contributed to better coordination and stakeholder understanding of funding and operating roles and responsibilities along the Northeast Corridor.

We believe there are enough plans available for DOT to publish a NEC Inventory, well before the November 2022 deadline, with existing information. This would allow DOT to announce support for critical NEC projects this summer. The IIJA allows DOT to update the plan as needed. The region is ready, and we need your support to move forward. Thank you for your attention to this matter.