Two mayors from very different cities penned a joint op-ed in the New York Times highlighting the need for Congress to pass a long-term transportation bill and raise new revenues to increase the United States’ overall investment in transportation infrastructure. But their strong piece begs another question: Would raising the level of federal investment be enough to meet our pressing local needs without some major policy changes and reforms to the federal transportation program?
The three mid-sized regions participating in this week’s Transportation Innovation Academy in Indianapolis are a refreshing reminder that local communities – particularly a growing wave of mid-size cities — are seizing their future with both hands and planning to tax themselves to help make ambitious transportation plans a reality. Yet even the most ambitious cities can’t do it alone, and if Congress fails to find a way to put the nation’s transportation fund on stable footing, it will jeopardize even the most homegrown, can-do plans to stay economically competitive.
Last Friday, with help from many of you, we delivered almost 1,100 ‘thank you’ letters to the U.S. Department of Transportation for writing strong rules to hold states accountable for the condition of their roads and bridges.
Twenty-one local leaders representing three regions with ambitious plans to invest in public transportation will be reuniting in Indianapolis this week to continue the first yearlong Transportation Innovation Academy, sponsored by T4America and TransitCenter.
Drawing from experience across the nation, a new Transportation for America report attempts to assess the full range of potential economic benefits from the planned Red and Purple transit lines in Maryland. The key finding: With benefits that far outweigh the costs, these two lines would help position Maryland for economic success in ways that few other investments are likely to do.
As the state legislature debates legislation to increase transportation funding, T4America released a new report looking at the prevalence of structurally deficient bridges in the state of Minnesota. This report is a state-level version of “The Fix We’re In For”, a report we’ve issued several times since 2011, with 2015 statistics for Minnesota.
Building on the range of new ideas in planning, programming, technical analysis and community partnership outlined in our free report entitled The Innovative MPO, we’re hosting the second in a series of online discussions to help MPO staff, board members, and civic leaders find innovative ways to make their communities prosper.
Congress has seen various proposals floated to scale back federal investment in transportation, from cutting out transit funding to ending the federal gasoline tax and shifting full responsibility to the states. We decided to take a look at what that latter move would mean for taxpayers, who would have to make up the difference in each state or accept multi-million dollar decreases in funding and deteriorating conditions on an annual basis.
As momentum builds for a proposal to give local communities of all sizes direct access to a share of federal transportation dollars via statewide competitive grant programs, a USDOT official affirmed that it would complement the existing national grant program and help meet more of the pressing needs in these communities.