On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (or “IIJA” or Bipartisan Infrastructure Law/BIL) into law.
The bipartisan infrastructure law provides $1.2 trillion over five years from FY 2022 through FY 2026, including $550 billion in new investments for all modes of transportation and other infrastructure programs. In addition to providing authorizations for a wide variety of programs, the IIJA also makes advanced appropriations over a number of years to several federal agencies (subject to annual appropriations bill funding levels).
Detailed below is background information about how the law impacts the railway industry about well as additional resources useful for railway contractors and suppliers.
Review the full NRC statement on the passage of IIJA
$66 billion for passenger and freight rail
- $36 billion - Fed-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail grants
- $16 billion - Amtrak National Network
- $6 billion - Amtrak NEC
- $5 billion - FRA CRISI grants
- $3 billion - New FRA rail crossing elimination program
$39 billion for transit
- $19.15 billion - increased contract authority for formula funding
- $4.75 billion - State of Good Repair
- $8 billion - FTA Capital Investment Grants (also known as “New Starts”)
Other Key Grant Programs
- New Mega projects grant program(freight and passenger rail eligible) funded at $10 billion
- USDOT RAISE (formerly BUILD or TIGER grants) funded at $7.5 billion
- USDOT INFRA grants funded at $3.2 billion
- $50 million/year to subsidize credit risk premium for RRIF loans
- Section 130 Program funded at $245 million/year from FY 2022-2026 with several key policy changes (removes requirement that at least half of the funds must be for the installation of protective devices at railway-highway crossings; fed share increased from 90 to 100%; clarifies that replacement of functionally obsolete warning devices is an eligible expense)
Other Key Policy Provisions
- Codifies the One Federal Decision executive order which streamlines the permitting process by consolidating decision-making processes and expediting deadlines
- FRA Railroad R&D program funded an average of $45 million per fiscal year
- Includes a Highway Cost Allocation Study, the first since 1997. This study will help Congress better ensure different highway users, including commercial motor vehicles, cover their fair share of costs to maintain our nation’s roads and bridges.
- Includes National Motor Vehicle Per-Mile User Fee (VMT) Pilot program to demonstrate a national VMT, including for commercial motor vehicles, to restore and maintain long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund
- Establishes an FRA blocked crossings portal pilot program
What Is Notably NOT in the Bill
- Restrictive labor provisions
- No changes were made to the federal truck size or weights
- Minimum crew size mandates
- Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) by rail prohibition
- Yardmaster hours of service (HOS)
Links to Helpful Resources