The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), a sprawling $1.2 trillion spending bill that includes nearly $40 billion in additional money for local public transit, is about to force transit agencies and local governments to find new revenues to match the beefed-up federal grant dollars. Difficult choices will need to be made now — think new tax increment financing districts, congestion pricing or repurposing of existing public funds — or IIJA grant dollars will be left on the table.
Mandates on how IIJA dollars can be spent only increase pressure placed on local governments and transit agencies. Unlike the COVID-19 relief bills, which included funding to support operational expenses, much of the IIJA’s public transit funds must be spent on capital projects.
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