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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Biden-Harris Administration, USDOT Make Funds Available Through New Program to Help States Advance Intercity Passenger Rail Development

Monday, May 8, 2023

Interstate Rail Compacts Program will help foster essential partnership agreements between states to develop passenger rail service

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) announcing the availability of $5.8 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the Interstate Rail Compacts (IRC) Program. As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, this program will provide federal funding and technical assistance to entities implementing IRCs, which are a vital early step to delivering rail projects in local communities. 

IRCs are identical agreements passed into law by two or more states that support and facilitate development of multi-state and regional intercity passenger rail services. Funding from the new program will provide eligible entities the opportunity to improve, promote, and develop passenger rail service across and between their states.

“President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is investing billions to increase rail safety and expand passenger rail service across the country, and this program provides yet another opportunity to deliver the 21st century rail network Americans need and deserve,” said FRA Administrator Amit Bose. “The Interstate Rail Compacts Program will facilitate multi-state partnerships to bring world-class passenger rail to more communities while supporting the long-term growth of America’s rail network.”

Grants awarded through the IRC program will be eligible to fund the costs of administering IRCs; systems planning, including studying the impacts on freight rail operations and ridership; promotion of intercity passenger rail operation; preparation of applications for competitive federal grant programs; and operations coordination. 

While the funds awarded through the IRC program will not directly fund rail capital projects, activities supported by it will help prepare entities implementing IRCs to deliver rail capital projects to communities across their regions that are aligned with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s strategic goals.

Applications for the program are due to FRA no later than July 10, 2023, at 5 p.m. ET. The NOFO, which contains detailed information about the grant application process, is on public inspection in the Federal Register here.

This announcement is part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which is growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to driving over $435 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating good paying jobs and building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.