The Federal New Starts Program: What Do New Regulations Mean for Metropolitan Areas?

Research Report

The Federal New Starts Program: What Do New Regulations Mean for Metropolitan Areas?

Abstract

On January 9, 2013, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) published a new final rule for evaluating the applications submitted by metropolitan areas seeking major capital grants under the New Starts program. Despite the old guidelines, it appears that local characteristics, particularly local financial commitment, better explained the New Starts funding decisions between 1999 and 2011 than did Congressional influence or project justification. This new rule provides an opportunity to revisit the programs design and grant evaluation process.

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