WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-05) today announced that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has finalized the Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with Sacramento Regional Transit, which will allow the South Line Light Rail Expansion to move forward. The FFGA formally commits the federal government to partially fund this crucial light rail expansion project. Once the FFGA completes the mandatory 30-day Congressional review period, FTA will execute it, allowing federal funds to be released and construction to begin.

“Much work has gone into getting us to this point and I am pleased that FTA has finalized the FFGA for the South Line Light Rail Expansion project,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “As Sacramento and Cosumnes River College continue to grow, this expansion will improve our transportation infrastructure, linking one of the fastest-growing parts of Sacramento County to light rail services. This is an example of how federal and local governments can work together to improve the lives of thousands of Sacramento residents.”

“Together, working side-by-side with Congresswoman Doris Matsui and my fellow RT board members, we have achieved a major milestone for the Blue Line light rail project,” Bonnie Pannell, City of Sacramento Councilmember and Chair of the RT Board of Directors, stated. “This project will bring much-needed jobs to our community and a transportation option that will benefit the entire Sacramento region.”

The South Line Light Rail Expansion will extend the Blue Line an additional 4.3 miles south to Cosumnes River College, connecting downtown and North Sacramento to South Sacramento. The expansion includes four stations: Morrison Creek, Franklin, Center Parkway and Cosumnes River College Station. It is expected to generate 2,210 new transit trips and nearly 2,000 hours of user benefit on an average weekday.

“Congresswoman Matsui has been a true champion of the South Line Light Rail Expansion project for many years,” Mike Wiley, General Manager/CEO of the Sacramento Regional Transit District, stated. “Without her tireless efforts and work with the FTA, we would not be where we are today. We are very grateful to Congresswoman Matsui for her leadership and support of transit in the Sacramento region.”

Several projects associated with the South Line Light Rail Expansion have already been approved and construction has begun. A year ago, construction began on a five-story parking structure at the Cosumnes River College Station, which will provide over 2,000 parking spaces, solar panels on the roof, and electric vehicle charging stations. It is expected to be completed in spring 2013. Also under construction are two aerial structures, one over the Union Pacific railroad tracks at the confluence of Union House and Morrison Creeks. The other aerial crossing will occur at the Bruceville Road and Cosumnes River Boulevard intersection, near Cosumnes River College. The aerial crossings are estimated to be complete by April, 2014.

Construction on the South Line Light Rail Expansion could begin in early 2013 and is set to be completed by September, 2015. It will create a total of 1,700 direct and indirect jobs and will cost $270 million, 50 percent of which is covered by federal funds.