T4America Blog

News, press releases and other updates

Posts Tagged "CIG"

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

2 Mar 2021 | Posted by | 0 Comments | , ,

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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Three things to know about the Senate’s FY21 appropriations for transportation

Last month, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development released a proposal for fiscal year 2021 that cuts funding for important transit and passenger rail grant programs. With only 10 days until the government runs out of funding, the clock is ticking for the House and Senate to reach an agreement on their two very different appropriations bills.

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Three things to know about FY2021 House transportation appropriations

Earlier this month, the House Appropriations Committee approved transportation funding levels for fiscal year 2021. Emergency funding for the primary transit construction program and passenger rail is great, but more money for highways—funnelled into existing broken programs that just make traffic worse—is not. Here’s what’s to like and not to like in the House FY2021 transportation appropriations bill. 

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Five things Congress can do to save transit

Public transportation is in crisis. Transit agencies are suffering tremendous losses in ridership and farebox revenue, as well as state and local revenues, with no end in sight. Meanwhile, the multi-year transportation bill passed in the House of Representatives that includes some relief for public transit won’t pass anytime soon. Here’s what Congress must do to truly save transit from collapsing. 

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Transit projects slowly leaving the station

After the Trump administration took office, long-planned transit projects applying for federal grants began to run into administrative roadblocks, unexplained delays, and other difficulties that put the future of these projects at risk. In response, Transportation for America launched Stuck in the Station to call attention to these inexcusable delays and slowly USDOT began to respond to the pressure. Now, in light of that progress, our focus will be on policy solutions—changing the law—to make transit easier to build in America.

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Nine other important things to know about the House’s transportation bill

Last week the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee released a multi-year transportation bill that starts to connect transportation spending to accomplishing measurable outcomes, including our three core principles. Here are seven other important other things to know about the House’s introductory effort to replace the FAST Act, which expires this December.

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New and expanded transit projects may not get built

City and state budget deficits and a drastic decline in transit ridership have pushed transit agencies to the brink of collapse. Communities that were on the verge of expanding or building new transit may not be able to finance their projects if Congress doesn’t act.

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Is this flurry of transit grants a blip or a trend?

The U.S. Department of Transportation has finalized five grants to expand and build new transit lines. It’s a stark departure from USDOT’s history of stonewalling grants under Trump. Could this surge of grants signal a shift in the agency’s stance? Perhaps. But it does highlight how our federal transportation system is structured to make transit hard to fund and why Congress should work to increase transit funding levels and certainty in new, long-term transportation policy that is currently being drafted. New transportation policy principles released in the House suggest that could be possible.

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Business groups urge Congressional support for transit funding

The business community gets it—public transportation is critical for the strength and growth of local economies and federal funding for transit is needed to get projects off the ground. In a letter to Congress, members of the Chambers for Transit coalition called for fully funding the nation’s largest grant program for public transit and reorienting the entire federal transportation program around clear goals and priorities.

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Congrats USDOT, for a job poorly done

Congress required USDOT to spend its 2018 transit funds by the end of this year, and USDOT was poised to fail. But at the last minute, Congress bailed them out by easing the requirement. As the deadline approaches, USDOT is still sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars in grants that it refuses to award, unnecessarily delaying critical new transit projects.

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Shutdown averted; another crisis created

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is refusing to obey the rules and Congress has so far been powerless to stop them. At stake are billions in federal funding for new and expanded transit systems that USDOT doesn’t want to award. But a policy change that attempts to reign in USDOT and make it obey the law could just be making matters worse.

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Voters love Phoenix light rail. Does USDOT?

On Tuesday, voters in Phoenix resoundingly voted to reaffirm their support for the city’s transit expansion plans. But while the city can now move beyond this threat to its transit ambitions, the region joins scores of others still waiting on the Trump administration for federal transit funding.

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House committee grills USDOT on transit funding delays

Bird's eye view of construction on a wide road in Los Angeles.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held an oversight hearing to question the Federal Transit Administration about its ongoing failure to release billions of congressionally-appropriated funds for local transit projects in a timely fashion through the transit Capital Investment Grant program.

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Try as Trump might, transit grants are here to stay

The Trump administration has repeatedly tried to eliminate a critical transit grant program and Congress has repeatedly parried those attempts. The new transportation funding bill from the U.S. House is only the latest evidence that those transit grants are here to stay.

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President’s budget dramatically cuts transit grants while USDOT sits on billions of unobligated funds.

President Trump’s just-released 2020 budget would cut federal transit capital grants by $1 billion. Although this is a slight improvement from the administration’s past efforts to eliminate all funding for new transit projects, it comes after a backlash against USDOT—stoked by Transportation for America’s ‘Stuck in the Station’ resource—for failing to administer the grant program in good faith and in a timely fashion.

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A new countdown for USDOT transit funding

As Congress enters negotiations for the next long-term transportation bill and works to pass a new annual budget, our Stuck in the Station resource has been updated to provide a complete list of transit projects awaiting funding in 2019 and track USDOT’s progress towards meeting hard and fast deadlines imposed by an impatient Congress.

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Federal transit funding delays grab headlines across the country

Since we launched Stuck in the Station this summer—which catalogues the egregious (and wholly avoidable) delays in transit funding under this administration—dozens of media outlets across the country have covered the news.

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U.S. Senate passes transportation appropriations bill with robust funding for transit, rail programs

press release

The US Senate again rejected the Trump administration’s proposal to eliminate or severely cut vital transportation programs that local communities rely on by adopting its FY19 Transportation Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill. In perhaps their strongest rebuke of the president’s disdain for transit, the bill language specifically requests that USDOT manage the BUILD program (formerly TIGER) as it did during the Obama administration.

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