Transit agencies need $77 billion to eliminate maintenance backlog, FTA study finds

Source: Federal Transit Administration

More, ahem, less-than-good-news from the world of transit funding. The Federal Transit Administration released a report last week saying that $77.7 billion is needed to bring the state of the nation’s transit system into good repair.

The news comes at a time, of course, when many transit agencies — including Metro — are trying to fund transit improvements and according to the latest figures, from 2008, spending about $12 billion to $13 billion on maintenance.

The lion’s share of the backlog, according to the FTA, comes from older rail systems — which are mostly along the East Coast and some of which have been around for nearly a century. The FTA in April announced $775 million in funding to help agencies bring their systems into a state of “good repair.”

Here’s a good story about the issue that ran in the New York Times over the weekend. It includes a few choice anecdotes about passengers stuck in sweltering rail cars during the East Coast heatwave.