Transit Briefs: Amtrak, MARTA, USDOT, SkyTrain


Written by

Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor

Amtrak unveiled its second series of installations at New York Penn Station for its Art at Amtrak initiative in September. (Amtrak photo)

Amtrak unveiled its second sequence of installations at New York Penn Station for its Artwork at Amtrak initiative in September. (Amtrak picture)

Amtrak unveils second sequence of artwork installations at New York Penn Station. Additionally, the Metropolitan Atlanta Speedy Transit Authority (MARTA) declares one other transaction of better Atlanta transit-oriented reasonably priced housing preservation fund; the U.S. Division of Transportation (USDOT) expands its financing program to assist infrastructure tasks transfer ahead; and the Province of British Columbia launches a second procurement for the Surrey Langley SkyTrain mission.


In September 2022, Amtrak unveiled its second sequence of installations at New York Penn Station (NYP) for Artwork at Amtrak, a year-round public artwork initiative that “brings a wide range of visible works to NYP and offers an unparalleled artistic platform for New York and New Jersey artists.” Constructing upon the “extremely profitable” public artwork program at Moynihan Prepare Corridor, Amtrak says, the rotating momentary installations commissioned for Artwork at Amtrak “additional enlivens the hub that serves because the entrance door to New York Metropolis.”

Ghost of a Dream (Lauren Was and Adam Eckstrom) put in Aligned by the Solar (Connections), a site-specific new work of their Aligned by the Solar mission, for which they requested artists around the globe to seize and submit quick movies of the solar. Exhibited within the concourse, a location from which one can journey anyplace, Aligned by the Solar (Connections) takes stills from these 223 movies and connects the pictures by way of the horizon line to create a steady panorama that surrounds the Amtrak departure corridor and locations viewers metaphorically within the middle of the planet. Multidisciplinary artist and educator Dennis RedMoon Darkeem created Patchwork Vacationers, which attracts colours, patterns and icons, resembling totems, earth mounds, and the drugs wheel from his twin heritage as ​​an Indigenous and African American into an expansive, visually wealthy work.

Artwork At Amtrak – Above the ticketed ready room. (Amtrak picture)

“Artwork at Amtrak continues to advance our dedication to making sure all vacationers have a contemporary, inspiring, protected and accessible expertise to the cultural capital of the world,” mentioned Amtrak Director, Planning and Improvement, NYP Sharon Tepper. “In its first few months, this initiative has made Penn Station a web site for up to date artwork that engages guests from around the globe, and we look ahead to seeing the station retransformed.”

All through the final 5 years, Amtrak says it has made greater than $300 million in capital enchancment investments at NYP, along with its funding in Moynihan Prepare Corridor, together with a brand new ticketed ready space for Amtrak and NJ Transit passengers; new wayfinding and signage all through the power; improved accessibility, together with renovations of elevators and escalators; and main rail state-of-good-repair enhancements to reinforce the reliability of service.


MARTA introduced on Oct. 3 that the Better Atlanta Transit-Oriented Inexpensive Housing Preservation Fund has supplied financing for Ulysses Improvement Group (UDG) and Dawn Inexpensive Housing (SAH) to amass Orchard Stroll Residences, for the preservation of a 204-unit reasonably priced housing mission positioned on Flat Shoals Parkway simply south of the deliberate transit hub close to the Gallery at South DeKalb Mall and MARTA bus route 114. The mortgage to an affiliate of UDG and SAH is $24 million.

The property, Orchard Stroll Residences, is positioned at 3800 Flat Shoals Parkway within the Metropolis of Decatur and close to the intersection of Flat Shoals Parkway and I-285. In accordance with MARTA, by the low-income housing tax credit score (LIHTC) regulatory settlement, 163 of the mission items are topic to earnings restrictions at 60% space median earnings (AMI). UDG, together with SAH, each “main, mission-driven” reasonably priced housing builders, “intend to keep up the long-term affordability on the property and consider a tax credit score syndication to facilitate additional rehabilitation of the property,” MARTA says.

In January 2021, MARTA, Morgan Stanley and its accomplice, Nationwide Fairness Fund (NEF) launched the Better Atlanta Transit-Oriented Inexpensive Housing Preservation Fund to “enhance MARTA’s reasonably priced housing effort as a part of its transit-oriented growth (TOD) program,” the company says. The partnership, MARTA say, “helps long-term preservation of reasonably priced housing close to MARTA rail stations by incentivizing and offering hole funding for homeowners of reasonably priced housing.” The Fund closed on its first transaction in December 2021 to protect 201 items close to West Finish Station within the Metropolis of Atlanta.

“We’re thrilled to see the advantages of this program preserving reasonably priced items in South DeKalb alongside our transit service and close to our deliberate South DeKalb Transit Hub,” mentioned MARTA Interim Basic Supervisor and CEO Collie Greenwood. “This transaction demonstrates how complementary this effort is to our floor up TOD growth program. We thank our companions at Morgan Stanley and the Nationwide Fairness Fund for supporting the reasonably priced housing objectives of our jurisdictional companions and of MARTA.”

“Our partnership with Morgan Stanley continues to carry our shared mission and values to life by delivering progressive, collaborative monetary options to increase the creation and preservation of reasonably priced housing,” mentioned Nationwide Fairness Fund President and CEO Matt Reilein. “Now, the residents of the 204 housing items in Orchard Stroll can hold their reasonably priced housing for the long-term, making certain a protected and steady future.”

In accordance with the company, Morgan Stanley Neighborhood Improvement Finance dedicated $100 million by NEF to help regional companions in preserving transit-oriented, reasonably priced, multi-family housing prone to the next: market-rate conversion or monetary/bodily misery; expiring Federal LIHTC and U.S. Housing and City Improvement (HUD)-funded reasonably priced housing, together with properties at, or close to, the top of the LIHTC compliance interval; or properties with or with out rental subsidies.

Over the previous 12 months, MARTA says it has preserved or constructed 913 houses, 519 of that are reasonably priced items. The Fund is now 48% invested, with a remaining $52 million obtainable.


U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg introduced on Oct. 4 that the USDOT’s Construct America Bureau “will provide low-cost and versatile financing for transit and TOD tasks on the most degree licensed beneath regulation” as a part of a brand new initiative beneath the Division’s Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg

In accordance with USDOT, the brand new initiative, titled TIFIA 49, authorizes borrowing as much as 49% of eligible mission prices for tasks that meet sure eligibility necessities, serving to extra tasks get off the bottom. With few exceptions, TIFIA loans have traditionally been capped at 33% of eligible mission prices, in keeping with USDOT.

“There are numerous promising transportation tasks with the potential to raised join individuals to housing, jobs, colleges and extra–however that by no means get off the bottom due to an absence of financing,” mentioned Buttigieg in a launch. “The DOT has lengthy provided versatile, low-cost financing to assist carry a few of these concepts to life, and now, with TIFIA 49, we’ll be capable of help extra of them than ever, and decrease prices for taxpayers.”

“With its important lending capability, USDOT can play an integral position in supporting tasks that make our transportation system extra accessible, resilient and sustainable,” mentioned Construct America Bureau Government Director Morteza Farajian. “The Bureau crew is able to accomplice with mission sponsors on efficient and environment friendly ideas, present technical help on progressive approaches, and help them by the mortgage approval course of.”  

In accordance with USDOT, sponsors of tasks that embrace the actions listed under could be deemed eligible to use for loans as much as 49% of mission prices beneath the TIFIA 49 initiative:


  • Tasks which might be eligible for help beneath Chapter 53 of Title 49, U.S. Code.
  • Tasks that assemble or enhance public transportation techniques, together with any capital mission or related enchancment eligible for FTA funding, resembling infrastructure and automobiles for bus, subway, gentle rail, commuter rail, trolley, or ferry techniques.

Transit Oriented Improvement:

  • Tasks which might be eligible for help beneath 23 U.S.C. §601(a)(12)(E).
  • Joint growth tasks that contain coordinated enchancment of transit infrastructure and non-transit amenities, together with industrial and residential tasks, which have mutual advantages and shared prices between transit businesses and builders. 

Till now, USDOT says, the one tasks eligible for financing of as much as 49% included rural tasks, in addition to INFRA, Mega and Rural Grant “Additional” tasks, that are “highly-rated tasks that weren’t granted discretionary funds on account of restricted assets.”

In accordance with USDOT, the Bureau will conduct common data-based assessments of the initiative’s effectiveness by Key Efficiency Indicators (KPIs) and can make modifications as acceptable. Along with financing, the Bureau additionally “offers technical help for mission sponsors and plans to increase outreach and technical help capabilities to help mission sponsors to take full benefit of this initiative,” USDOT says.



The Canadian Province of British Columbia not too long ago issued a request for {qualifications} (RFQ) for the second procurement of the Surrey Langley SkyTrain mission, a 16-kilometer extension of the Expo Line from King George Station to Langley Metropolis Middle that “will present high-quality, low-cost transportation for individuals in Surrey, Langley and Metro Vancouver.” It’s the first speedy transit enlargement south of the Fraser River in 30 years, in keeping with the Province.

As a part of the aggressive choice course of, the RFQ seeks to establish a contractor for the development of eight new SkyTrain stations, together with energetic transportation parts, resembling biking and strolling paths across the stations.

Rendering Courtesy of TransLink

Following the RFQ analysis, the Province says as many as three groups might be chosen to take part within the subsequent section of the aggressive choice course of, which is the request for proposal (RFP) stage. Responses to the second RFQ are due by Jan. 5, 2023.

In accordance with the Province, the Surrey Langley SkyTrain mission might be constructed utilizing a multi-contract strategy, “which can improve competitors and allow a broader vary of corporations to bid on totally different parts of the mission.” The primary RFQ, to construct the elevated guideway, was issued on Aug 2, 2022.

The third contract, for the design and set up of SkyTrain trackwork, in addition to the design, set up and integration {of electrical} techniques, resembling energy, telecommunications and automated prepare management, might be issued later this fall.

On July 14, the Province launched the enterprise case for the mission, which is predicted to start in 2024 and anticipated to be in operation in late 2028.


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