The US Transport Department has recomended $2.2bn in funding to begin or advance the construction of 29 major rail and bus rapid transit projects in 15 states.

The projects are included in the US Government’s 2013 budget and are expected to improve vital infrastructure the country, speed up eceonomic development and improve access to jobs, while reducing US’s dependence on oil.

US transportation secretary Ray LaHood said the investment demonstrates the country’s commitment for putting people back in to work to build the infrastructure, which the US needs to improve transit systems, highways, railways and airports well into the future.

"At this make-or-break moment for the middle class, we can afford to do no less," LaHood said.

About $243.7m will be invested in seven new transit construction projects, including rail and bus rapid transit projects in California, Florida, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Washington state.

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By GlobalData

This year’s budget has committed $769.5m towards ten projects that were recommended for funding in previous years, but have not yet received federal commitments.

The proposed budget has earmarked $1.2bn for the continued funding to 12 rail and bus rapid transit projects which are under construction in Dallas, Denver, Hartford, Houston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York City, Northern Virginia, Orlando, Salt Lake City and Seattle.

US Government plans to fund 50% of the proposed $1.07bn Charlotte area transit system (CATS) project, which will extend from Uptown Charlotte to the US 29 interchange and the University of North Carolina – Charlotte campus.

The 9.3 mile light rail line, served by 11 new stations, will improve congestion along the I-85/US 29 corridor. About $346.7m has been recommended in funding to initiate construction for five rail and bus rapid transit (BRT) projects in California.

San Francisco’s Central Subway light rail project will receive $150m to advance the second phase of construction. The light rail line will provide a direct rapid transit link connecting the financial district, Union Square and Chinatown.

USDOT has allocated $150m for the Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension Project, which will increase heavy rail transit service between the greater San Francisco Bay area and Santa Clara County, reducing congestion along the I-880 and I-660 corridors.

The Sacramento south corridor light rail transit line will receive $45.6m to extend the line by 4.3 miles to the south.

Image: Funding will be used to begin or advance construction of 29 major rail and bus rapid transit projects in 15 states. Photo: Aude.