T4America Blog

News, press releases and other updates

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USDOT and Congress: Taking sides but not talking about implementation

Sheltered Richmond bus stop by a bus only lane

If we’re going to ensure that the historic amount of transit funding in the infrastructure law actually results in good, usable, high quality transit that improves access to jobs and services, Congress is going to need to do a better job of oversight and thinking through the very real and difficult issues at hand for transit, not just arguing about whether or not transit is a vital part of transportation and mobility in communities small and large.

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Our advice to USDOT and Congress: Make no little plans

3 Mar 2022 | Posted by | 1 Comment | , , , ,
Senator Capito uses visual aids at the EPW hearing

A Senate committee called Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to testify about implementing the new infrastructure law, but much of the day was spent criticizing or defending FHWA’s nonbinding memo encouraging states to prioritize state of good repair, safety, and climate mitigation—displaying a deep confusion in some members of Congress about the limits of USDOT’s authority.

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USDOT controls $200+ billion in competitive grants for states and metros

Bag of money

While the bulk of the $643 billion for surface transportation in the infrastructure bill goes out to state DOTs, more than $200 billion stays with USDOT to be awarded via competitive grants to states, metro areas, and tribal governments—through dozens of newly created, updated, and existing competitive grant programs.

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USDOT urges states to prioritize repair, safety, and climate with their influx of infrastructure bill cash

road sign that says "changed priorities ahead"

Although state DOTs have always been free to prioritize repair, safety, or improving access for everyone across the entire system, most have traditionally chosen to use that flexibility to build new highways instead. With state DOT coffers soon to be loaded with billions from the new infrastructure bill, USDOT is urging states via a new […]

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Show me the money: Financial breakdown of the infrastructure law

graphic showing comparison data between fast act and infrastrucure bill

A month has passed since the $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal was signed into law. There is much to unpack as to exactly how much money there is for the surface transportation program and how it can be used.

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Lemonade from lemons: Improvements worth celebrating within flawed infrastructure bill

Pier 1 embarcadero

Money from the finalized $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal is already flowing out to states and metro areas who are plugging it right into projects both already underway and on the horizon. After covering six things the administration should do immediately to maximize this mammoth infusion of unexpected cash, here’s a longer look at some of the law’s incremental or notable successes, with the aim of equipping the administration and advocates alike to steer this money toward the best possible outcomes.

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Behind the scenes on the rise in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities and injuries

A bike on its side after a crash

Driver expectations, higher speeds resulting from less congestion, major gaps in infrastructure, and a systemic criminalization of pedestrian and cyclist traffic on the road have contributed to the alarming, record increases in the deaths of people struck and killed while walking or biking, according to researchers.

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From policy to action: Six things USDOT should do yesterday to maximize the potential of the infrastructure deal

entrance to the USDOT headquarters

Because of the shortcomings in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)’s actual policy, an enormous amount of pressure now rests on USDOT and Secretary Buttigieg to deliver on the administration’s promises. But the good news is that there are scores of actions that USDOT can take to deliver positive outcomes for equity, climate, safety, state of repair, and enhancing community connections.

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After COVID, who’s driving the bus?

A child waits at his bus stop

As schools have returned to in-person learning and employment centers come back to life, mobility is grinding to a halt with a slow return of bus operators, the result of market pressures and ill-timed disinvestments.

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Federal transportation funding opportunities 101

There are ample opportunities for the infrastructure law to support good projects and better outcomes. These five in-depth, detailed guides explain the available federal programs for funding public transportation, passenger rail, Complete Streets and active transportation, and EV infrastructure.

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Three ways reconciliation can restore funds taken from transit and equity

Nancy Pelosi speaking into a microphone with Chuck Schumer on her right, AFGE behind her

With the bipartisan infrastructure deal approved by the Senate, opportunities to shift long-term transportation policy will shift to the House and to program implementation. The opportunity in the House is through targeted investments via the budget reconciliation bill that will accompany the House infrastructure bill vote.

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Equity and inclusion in transportation: a conversation starter with USDOT

20 Jul 2021 | Posted by | 1 Comment |

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has been engaging in a conversation with the public and the industry on the topic of equity and inclusion in the federal transportation program. To that end, they have opened up a Request for Information thru July 22, 2021 for the public to chime in on how the USDOT can do a better job of incorporating and holding accountability of equity and inclusion in their work and investments.

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Six months in—how has Biden done with transportation?

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Image of President Joe Biden at a podium with the presidential seal on it at an outside press conference

While Congress controls the discussion on transportation reauthorization, President Biden’s team has a wealth of opportunity to make bold administrative changes to reform transportation policy. The President and Secretary Buttigieg continue to talk about the importance of transportation in building a stronger and more equitable economy, but they are still moving slowly six months in.

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Bipartisan infrastructure deal update: What we need to see

With Capitol Hill abuzz about transportation infrastructure, Transportation for America wants to remind Congress of key policies that must be incorporated into a bipartisan infrastructure bill (as well as a final transportation reauthorization bill.)

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The bipartisan infrastructure deal: What we know and don’t know

In the midst of debates over a new long-term federal transportation law, there’s been nonstop coverage of a potential bipartisan deal on new infrastructure investment that has the White House’s backing, but much of the reporting raises more questions than it answers. What do we know about the potential deal, and what questions does T4America have?

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