The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has sanctioned around $2.5bn in funds for around 26 rail, bus rapid transit (BRT), and streetcar projects across 16 states, under President Obama’s 2015 fiscal year budget.

Funded through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA’s) Capital Investment Grant Program, the projects are expected to create thousands of construction-related jobs, as well as increasing transportation choices.

The budget includes funding for eight brand new projects including Dyer Avenue BRT in El Paso, Texas; East-West Connector BRT in Nashville, Tennessee; and Green Line Extension outside Boston, Massachusetts.

The recommendations will also provide the federal funding for 10 transit projects funded in prior years including Oakland, California, East Bay BRT project, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, Central Corridor light rail project.

"President Obama has laid out a bold vision for investing in 21st century transportation infrastructure."

The East Bay BRT project is expected to provide faster, more efficient bus service in San Francisco Bay area, while Central Corridor light rail project will improve access to major employment centers by linking the downtown areas of the Twin Cities.

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said: "President Obama has laid out a bold vision for investing in 21st century transportation infrastructure that removes barriers to success for millions of Americans while strengthening our nation’s economy today and in the future."

Deputy federal transit administrator Therese McMillan said: "We must continue investing, together, in our nation’s public transportation infrastructure, so future generations have the mobility they will need to succeed."

Image: US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx recommended $2.5bn to advance the construction or completion of 26 rail, BRT, and streetcar projects. Photo: courtesy of US DOT FTA.