T4America Blog

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Interstate rail commissions get projects done. A new bill will create more of them

Last month, Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-9) introduced legislation that would create interstate rail compacts across the country. This bill is inspired by the success of the Southern Rail Commission, a compact of states along the Gulf Coast that teamed up to restore passenger rail service destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

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How both Democrats and Republicans alike traded away their principles for bipartisanship in the Senate’s transportation proposal

Last week, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unanimously passed a transportation reauthorization bill that would make reducing emissions, improving safety, and providing equitable access impossible. It’s clear that Democrats traded in their goals for “bipartisanship.” But so did Republicans.

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3 ways the Senate can pass bipartisan and effective transportation policy

This past weekend, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee released their proposal to reauthorize surface transportation policy for the next five years. The bill has bipartisan support, but it undermines both parties’ stated goals. A bipartisan and effective bill is possible—here’s how.

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Why we need federal operations funding for public transit

For decades, the federal government has only provided funding for public transportation maintenance and infrastructure projects—not the day-to-day costs of running trains and buses. This has to change in order to create the equitable and sustainable transportation system necessary to connect everyone to opportunities.

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Senate Republicans’ small funding proposal is a roadmap to nowhere

Last week, Senate Republicans released an infrastructure proposal in response to President Biden’s American Jobs Plan. Not only did Republicans cut public transit funding by $7 billion, but they missed the mark on the policy, pumping billions into the existing—and broken—federal transportation program. Here’s our take.

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Senators hone in on 80/20 split, transit operations funding at Banking hearing

Last week, the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee held a hearing on investing in public transit in the next long-term transportation law. We were pleasantly surprised to see senators ask questions on funding transit and highways equally, transit operations, and rural transit.

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WATCH NOW: Going #BeyondEVs in three webinars, including one with Sec. Anthony Foxx

Electrifying vehicles is critical to reducing transportation emissions, but they can’t get the job done on their own—Americans need the freedom to drive less. In honor of Earth Day next Tuesday, we’re hosting three webinars diving into this issue, including one with former USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx and Rep. Nikema Williams (GA-5).

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Why Transportation for America joined an electric vehicle coalition

If you’ve been following Transportation for America for a while, you know that electric vehicles on their own aren’t enough to reduce emissions from the transportation sector—the largest source of U.S. emissions. That’s why we joined CHARGE, a new coalition of cross-industry stakeholders advocating for a holistic approach to electrifying the U.S. transportation network.

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Month of Action Week 4: A manual for safer streets

23 Mar 2021 | Posted by | 11 Comments |

The Federal Highway Administration has extended the comment period on the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), a document used by planners across the country for street design. This week, we need you to submit a comment urging the FHWA to rewrite the MUTCD to put pedestrian and cyclist safety front and center.

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The Senate needs a new transportation bill—and over 120 elected officials and organizations agree

Current long-term transportation policy expires this September, giving Congress a rare opportunity to fundamentally rethink American transportation. That’s why the House passed a transformative bill last summer—but the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed a status quo bill that would just make our problems worse. Over 120 elected officials and organizations signed our letter urging the Senate to take a new course.

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Statement on Surface Transportation Board’s expanded capacity

16 Mar 2021 | Posted by | 0 Comments | , , ,
press release

A statement from Transportation for America chairman and former mayor of Meridian, MS, John Robert Smith, on the Surface Transportation Board (STB)’s recently expanded capacity:

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Month of Action Week 3: Ending the Congestion Con

Vehicles moving slowly on a congested highway in Seattle. The highway crosses a narrow river.

With Congress writing long-term transportation policy this month, we need to make sure that this bill doesn’t continue the broken status quo. This week, we need you to tell your Senators that widening highways just makes traffic worse.

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Why the INVEST Act is good for climate and business

We can have it all: a federal transportation program that reduces carbon emissions while boosting our economy. The House of Representatives led the way last summer with the INVEST Act, a bill that starts the work of connecting federal funding to the transportation outcomes Americans—including our businesses—need. Here’s how.

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Road and public transit maintenance create more jobs than building new highways

With Congress charged with passing a long-term transportation law this year, many hope that increased infrastructure spending will create more jobs. But not all infrastructure spending is equal: road and public transit maintenance projects actually create more jobs than highway expansion projects.

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Congress to pass billions in much-needed relief for public transit and Amtrak

Today, Congress will take a big step towards recovering the United States’ essential public transit and passenger rail network from the pandemic with a $1.9 trillion stimulus package. The bill—soon to be voted on in the House and signed into law by President Biden—includes $30.5 billion in emergency relief for public transit and $1.7 billion for Amtrak.

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Month of Action Week 2: Tackling our deadly streets

With Congress writing long-term transportation policy this month, we need to make sure that this bill doesn’t continue the broken status quo. This week, we need you to take action to support the Complete Streets Act.

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It’s go time: Launching our Month of Action

With Congress writing long-term transportation policy this month, we need to make sure that this bill doesn’t continue the broken status quo. We need a bill that prioritizes maintenance, designs for safety over speed, and selects investments that improve people’s access to jobs and services—not increase vehicle speed. And we need your help.

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House-passed COVID relief bill increases emergency funding for transit construction grants

Local governments’ budgets have been decimated by the pandemic. Yet the Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program—the main federal program for funding new transit construction—counts on local project sponsors matching federal funds with local funds. To keep transit projects moving, the House approved increased emergency funding for over 24 CIG projects from Arizona to New York in the upcoming COVID-19 relief package.

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The CDC needs to do more to show the public that transit is safe

Public transit is one of the safest indoor spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic for a variety of reasons. But the perception of transit’s safety is lagging. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a lot of power to change the narrative and pursue vaccination sites that are transit-accessible, as we wrote in a joint letter to the agency with our partners.

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Hey #TeamPete, here’s how you can advance sustainable and equitable transportation policy

22 Feb 2021 | Posted by | 2 Comments | ,

Former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s appointment as Secretary of Transportation has brought some much-needed attention to this important department— especially from Pete’s former presidential campaign supporters. Here’s a primer for anyone new to transportation policy on how it works, how it’s broken, and what you can do to help fix it.

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