News & Insights

Kimley-Horn Helps Secure $71.7M in Grant Funding for Florida Rail

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Rail in South Florida is on track for massive upgrades! As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Rail Vehicle Replacement Program, the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA)—the operators of Tri-Rail—won $71.7 million in grant funding for the replacement of 24 aging locomotives and passenger cars. These rail car replacements will result in a more dependable and efficient transportation system from West Palm Beach to the Miami International Airport.

An Unprecedented Transportation Grant

For more than 20 years, Kimley-Horn has provided professional planning and engineering services for SFRTA that include grant development services. In 2022, Kimley-Horn led a successful grant application process for SFRTA that resulted in a $12.9 million grant for grade crossing improvements.

For SFRTA’s Critical Replacement and Modernization of Rail Vehicles program, our team led the grant development and requested $71.7 million of the total $179.25 million project cost. We developed a dynamic funding strategy, navigating new requirements for the Build America, Buy America Act and helping SFRTA estimate the needed funding amount while accounting for inflation, cost escalations, and new federal standards. Our team also collaborated with the Florida Department of Transportation to meet local funding match requirements and win the full amount requested.

Community and Connection Benefits

SFRTA’s grant award for their Critical Replacement and Modernization of Rail Vehicles program offers multiple benefits for passengers and the environment:

  1. Passenger benefits. The new locomotives and passenger cars will provide all passengers with an efficient, technologically enhanced, and more reliable transportation experience. Another priority for the upgraded rail cars is improved access and comfort for people with disabilities.
  2. Sustainability benefits. The new modernized locomotives will emphasize sustainability through reducing carbon emissions and promoting fuel efficiency.
  3. Safety and performance benefits. The vehicle technology upgrades will include advanced safety features, reduce maintenance needs and train delays, improve passenger trip reliability, and lower costs for maintenance and operations.

SFRTA’s massive $71.7 million win and the forthcoming vehicle fleet modernization will offer the more than 12,500 daily riders of the Tri-Rail system an enhanced and accessible transportation experience that also prioritizes environmental responsibility.


Get in touch with our Grants & Funding specialists.