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Nashville’s Amp Awarded $27 Million by FTA for FY 2015 With Full $75 Million Expected in Consecutive Years


Bus rapid transit project takes major step with announcement

Nashville, TN – The Amp, Nashville’s bus rapid transit project, has been awarded $27 million in President Obama’s proposed FY 2015 budget, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced today. As with other FTA-funded projects, the balance of the full $75 million requested by Nashville is expected to be awarded in consecutive years. A funding agreement between Nashville and the FTA will define the payment schedule, and that agreement is expected to be signed in FY 2015.

“I want to thank President Obama, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the FTA for this enormous vote of confidence in the Amp as a needed transportation solution for Nashville,” Mayor Karl Dean said. “A lot of work has already gone into the project, and we know there is still a lot of work to be done on final design and engineering, as well as gaining Congressional approval of FTA’s budget.”

“I am proud of the community support for this important investment in the future of mass transit in Nashville, and I know the Amp will get us started down a path where transit is a bigger part of more people’s everyday life in our region,” said Mayor Dean.

FTA made the funding announcement earlier today.  Mayor Dean was joined by leaders from the Amp Coalition this afternoon to mark the milestone.

“We’ve been confident we are producing a superior bus rapid transit plan, and this decision confirms it,” said Mark Sturtevant, Project Manager. “Our project clearly distinguished itself with the FTA, which runs a highly competitive process for these grant funds.”

In August, the FTA accepted the Amp into Project Development status, a move that indicated the project was favorable for future funding. Project Development status authorizes projects to incur expenses for design and engineering sufficient to conduct environmental studies and develop a budget for utility relocation and property acquisition, if necessary.

In September, MTA officials applied for funding through the Small Starts program, FTA’s grant program for funding major transit capital investments, including bus rapid transit. The Nashville team requested $74.99 million, the maximum amount permitted for Small Starts programs.

Last June, the Metro Council voted to approve $7.5 million in funds for final design and engineering of the Amp, and in November, the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) voted to grant $4 million to the project.

Sturtevant said the next step for the project will be another round of public meetings in early April, as follow up to the January and February design charettes.

“We will continue to work with the residents and business owners of Nashville, as well as FTA and other government agencies, to assure we produce the most efficient system for the city,” he said.

Read exerpts from the Mayor's remarks