APTA Submits Comments to USDOT on Innovative Finance Proposed Rule


APTA sent a letter to USDOT, Feb. 26, on its innovative finance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding amendments to the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) program and Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program regulations, published in the Federal Register Jan. 25 at 89 FR 4880.

The letter states that RRIF and TIFIA direct loans, loan guarantees, and credit assistance are “vital innovative finance tools that help public transit agencies and passenger railroads build critical public transportation projects across the country.” In FY24 alone, there are five public transit, passenger rail, and transit-oriented development projects in the RRIF and TIFIA project pipelines applying for loans totaling almost $12 billion.

In its comments, APTA supports USDOT’s proposal regarding interest rate setting for TIFIA and RRIF obligations for long-term loans (e.g., 75 years). Second, due to the complexity of the RRIF credit risk premium issue and the potential consequences of the proposed rule, APTA urges USDOT to delay any consideration of this provision to a subsequent rulemaking. Finally, APTA supports the objective to revise TIFIA regulations to comply with the transportation planning requirements of SAFETEA–LU but does not believe that the proposed rule accomplishes this objective. APTA urges USDOT to amend the proposed rule to specifically include the transportation planning requirements while recognizing the unique characteristics of transit-oriented development projects eligible under the TIFIA Act.

The comments were drafted with input from APTA’s Funding, Finance, and Tax Policy Legislative Subcommittee and the Innovative Funding, Finance, and P3 Committee.

Read APTA’s letter and Fact Sheet on the DOT RRIF and TIFIA NPRM. Access APTA’s matrix of regulatory and other administrative actions here.