A portrait of Vice President Joe Biden.

Biden, LaHood, Miami Mayor Announce $8.4 Billion for Public Transportation

Vice President Joe Biden, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and Miami Mayor Manny Diaz recently announced the availability of $8.4 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to states and local transportation authorities to repair and build America's public transportation infrastructure. The announcement took place on March 5 at the future site of the Miami Intermodal Center, which is slated to serve as a 21st century hub for all types of mass transit.

"What's happening here in Miami, we have happening all over America. Resources are being put to work not only creating jobs now--but also investing in the future. A future that strengthens our transit system, makes us more energy efficient and increases safety," Biden said. "With this recovery package, we will be creating jobs, saving jobs, and putting money in people's pockets. And with these resources, we'll not only be rebuilding roads and bridges and schools, we'll be building new transit centers like this one. And that means we’ll be rebuilding America."

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) currently plans to use $2.1 million in ARRA transit funds to relocate an aging Miami Greyhound Terminal from its existing isolated location to become an integral part of the $1.7 billion intermodal center, where it will make connections between all modes of transportation, including transit buses, commuter rail, intercity rail, and airport shuttles.

"Investments in public transportation put people to work, but they also get people to work in a way that moves us towards our long term goals of energy security and a better quality of life," LaHood said. "That is why transit funding was included in the ARRA and why we think it is a key part of America's transportation future."

The Department of Transportation has already committed $540 million in federally financed loans, about one-third of the total cost, for the intermodal center, which the agency said is proceeding on time and on budget. The projects will be posted on the Web for the public to see at www.recovery.gov.

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