The Federal Transit Administration’s Section 5309 Capital Investment Grant program — formerly referred to as New Starts — is the main funding source for rail and bus expansion projects nationwide.
MTC plays a critical role in developing consensus among Bay Area cities and counties about which transit projects should pursue highly competitive New Starts funding.
New Starts has three funding categories:
- New Fixed Guideway Projects: Rail extensions with a minimum cost of $300 million, requesting grants above $75 million
- Small Starts: Bus rapid transit projects, as well as lower cost rail projects
- Core Capacity Projects: Improvements to an existing fixed guideway system that increases capacity by at least 10%
MTC plays a critical role in helping the Bay Area identify priority projects for New Starts funding.
And once a project is approved, MTC lobbies Congress to ensure appropriations fulfill the commitment.
MTC distributes Federal Transportation Administration grants, including New Starts funds, that pay for projects to maintain and modernize the Bay Area’s transit network.
New Starts helped fund the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Central Subway project, which is adding new stations and better access for communities along the route.