A SIX-YEAR bill to fund US transport investment projects was approved by Congress on July 29 in the final session before the annual August recess.

With lawmakers repeatedly unable to agree on a new measure, a series of 11 temporary extensions had been needed to keep the previous TEA-21 legislation active until a new measure could be passed. President Bush agreed to sign the bill even though it exceeds his spending cap by $2·5bn.

The Transportation Equity Act-A Legacy for Users (TEA-LU) provides $286·4bn, including $52·6bn for public transport, much of it for new and extended urban rail networks. TEA-LU lists 385 individual projects ranging from the Second Avenue subway in New York to a 5·5 km extension of the tramway loop in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Other schemes include extension of NJ Transit commuter services to Scranton, Metra’s orbital STAR line in southwest Chicago (p546), Chicago Transit Authority’s Circle line and the $1·5bn Create remodelling of Chicago’s rail freight network to boost capacity and eliminate level crossings. A special grant of $100m will fund 52 new cars for the Washington DC metro.