Biden infrastructure plan gives Pittsburgh $30 million to improve transportation

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Pennsylvania will receive $2.8 billion under the infrastructure law to improve public transportation statewide.

The city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will receive $30 million to help fund its transit system under the provisions of the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

The office of Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) told reporters on Monday that thanks to money provided under the new law, "many of the commonwealth's public transit systems will be able to upgrade vehicles, improve facilities and provide faster, safer and more convenient service."

The Port Authority of Allegheny County will receive most of the funding targeted for Pittsburgh. The Authority recently reported an increase in ridership across the system's buses and light rail, averaging more than 110,000 riders on weekdays. Numbers had decreased due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Port Authority CEO Katharine Kelleman said projects stemming from the infrastructure law would reinforce the system's commitment to improved air quality and lower carbon emissions along with "access to equitable transportation."

While specific spending under the new law has not yet been detailed, in 2021 the Port Authority released a report noting over the next 25 years it would prioritize extensions to light rail train lines and a new transit corridor connecting more of the region.

The infrastructure award in Pennsylvania follows news of other disbursements under the law across the country. In January, Michigan received $742 million for lock and dam construction along Lake Superior, while $77 million was sent to Virginia the previous month to fund airport construction projects. Nationally, On Jan. 25, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced the allocation of $100 million to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program to help families pay heating and cooling bills.

Casey and Pennsylvania's nine Democratic members of the House of Representatives voted to pass the infrastructure bill, while Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and eight of the state's nine Republicans in the House voted against it.

The commonwealth of Pennsylvania is set to receive $2.8 billion over a five-year period to improve public transportation. The funds come 12 years after the Pittsburgh Port Authority announced it would have to reduce service and the size of its workforce due to shortfalls in funding from the state.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.