Washington, D.C. – Bringing the U.S. rail and bus transit systems into good repair would cost US$77.7 billion, along with $14.4 billion per year to maintain the systems, according to a new report by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

The National State of Good Repair Assessment Study, requested by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, is a followup to the 2009 Rail Modernization Study and includes data from 36 additional rail and bus operators in rural and urban areas.

“Transit remains one of the safest forms of transportation, but this report shows the clear need to reinvest in our bus, subway and light rail systems,” LaHood said. “As a nation, we must lead when it comes to infrastructure development and commit ourselves to rebuilding America.”

While most of the $77.7 billion backlog can be attributed to rail, more than 40 per cent of the nation’s buses are also in poor to marginal condition, the report noted. In April, a funding program was announced that would make $775 million available to train and bus facilities. A review of transit agency project applications is now underway at the FTA and will be announced later this year. Approximately 400 project applications representing more than $4.2 billion in requests have been received.

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