Puerto Rico could lose $74 million in DOT funding
SAN JUAN – The U.S. Transportation Department’s (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is reminding that only one year remains until the April 15, 2019, deadline to obtain certification of State Safety Oversight (SSO) programs for rail transit.
Puerto Rico is currently at stage 3 of the four-stage SSO program certification process. The minimum annual funding the FTA is cannot award Puerto Rico if its program has not been certified by April 15, 2019, is $74,078,304.
“Safety is our top priority, and FTA is committed to working with states to help them fulfill their safety responsibilities,” FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams said in a statement. “These Safety Oversight Programs will make our rail transit systems safer for the millions of Americans relying on them each day.”
FTA is prohibited by law from awarding new funds to any transit provider in a state that fails to meet the deadline until certification is achieved. This includes all FTA formula and competitive grant programs, such as the Capital Investment Grant program. By law, the deadline cannot be waived or extended.
There are 30 dates with rail transit systems that need FTA certification by the 2019, deadline. Online data show that, to date, eight states have received certification, with the remainder at various stages of the process.
FTA recommends states submit their certification applications as soon as possible. “States should not assume that applications submitted after September 30, 2018, will be certified by the deadline,” according to the statement.