T4America Blog

News, press releases and other updates

Posts Tagged "CIG"

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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