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A way to improve the infrastructure deal

We strongly urge you to support the transportation programs proposed for the budget reconciliation package, which will help fill the gaps left by the bipartisan infrastructure deal. 

Close-up of Capitol building
Photo by S Chia on Flickr

Congress’ final infrastructure deal (the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) didn’t live up to the original bipartisan package announced with pride by the White House and Senate on June 24, cutting transit funding by $10 billion while almost all other areas matched the original proposal. The House’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s budget reconciliation package takes steps to restore this funding, while also going further to provide equitable access to goods and services, improve climate outcomes, and reduce the negative impacts of the transportation system on disadvantaged communities.

But those provisions need to make it into the final package, and time is short. Write and call your House reps today and tell them to ensure these important transportation provisions are included in the final reconciliation package.

The committee’s proposal for the final reconciliation package includes a new $10 billion transit program, helping to rectify the $10 billion taken from transit in the final bipartisan infrastructure bill. This funding includes flexibility for operations support, which will be key for transit agencies hit hard by the pandemic. It’s also specifically designed to connect residents of disadvantaged or persistent poverty communities to jobs and essential services. 

Another win for equity: this proposal also provides $4 billion for communities negatively impacted by transportation. These funds can be used to improve walkability, reduce the public health impacts of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and improve road safety.

There’s an additional $4 billion for incentive grants for states that reduce GHG emissions significantly or adopt targets to reach zero emissions by 2050. Funding is also included for USDOT to institute a GHG emissions performance measure to help prioritize projects that reduce travel time and emissions. Former President Trump repealed this measure and reinstating it is one of our key tasks for the Biden administration.

To help address needs at a local level, the committee added $6 billion to advance local surface transportation projects.

The committee also added $10 billion for the planning and development of public high-speed rail projects and $150 million for credit risk premium assistance, making it easier for smaller railroads to access and benefit from these funds. This funding will help improve passenger rail service, making it a more convenient and reliable form of transportation.

We enthusiastically support these programs and urge you to ensure they’re included in the final reconciliation package. Use the form above to write and call your House member today and voice your support for these smart contributions to the budget reconciliation package.

4 Comments

  1. Reply

    Elery Keene

    5 days ago

    Improving transit – buses = et al – to help people go to where they need to go and get back will be more energy efficient than each driving their own automobile. So it is a good idea to fund buses and to some extent passenger rail.to get people where they need to go. It worked pretty well in the 1930’s and 1971’s.
    Elery Keene

  2. Reply

    Beth Budner

    5 days ago

    Please re-allocate our Infrastructure bill’s $ to most vulnerable and/or undeserved areas (i.e. Marlboro, MA) by adding more transit options (i.e. Commuter Rail and/or bus) minus any mega highways to reduce more fatalities.

  3. Reply

    Steve Birdlebough

    5 days ago

    It is time to shift funding from automobile travel to projects that reduce driving and enable more people to use convenient transit as well as safe bicycle lanes and well-maintained sidewalks. Road-building and road-widening projects often have adverse environmental results, partly because they encourage more people to live farther from their jobs. Roads should receive less federal funding than transit. We need to learn how to drive less from places like the Netherlands.

  4. Reply

    Stephanie Stout

    4 days ago

    For purposes of planning, regulatory approval, and funding: walking, riding bicycles, and public transportation should ALWAYS take priority over highways for cars and trucks. Every city should be provided with extensive mass transit to make driving unnecessary. ALL of our cities should be connected by by fast, frequent passenger and freight trains. Towns not on the railway system should be connected to the rail system by frequent intercity bus service. At least 45,000 route miles of our existing rail system should have funding for expanded track capacity, signal upgrades, electrification, and grade separation from streets, roads, and highways in order to make frequent passenger and freight trains the primary ground transportation system.

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