T4America Blog

News, press releases and other updates

Posts Tagged "congress"

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.

Continue Reading →

The infrastructure bill is finished—what you need to know

The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill is notable both for including Congress’ most significant effort to address climate change, and its general failure to make fundamental changes to a transportation program that’s responsible for massive increases in transportation emissions, worsening state of repair, unequal access to jobs, and increasing numbers of people killed on our roadways.

Continue Reading →

Step one for repairing a problem: Stop making it worse

An excavator digs a massive hole titled "Dangerous Roads $$$". On the other side of the hole, a man tries to fill the hole with a small pile of dirt (labeled "Safety Improvements $." The comic is labeled "U.S. Approach to Road Safety."

Swap in any pressing issue—climate change, repair, safety—and this new illustration by Jean Wei describes the approach to solving it within the much-debated infrastructure bill, which passed on its own late last Friday. You’ll be hearing a lot of unfettered praise for it today, but we’re far more circumspect.

Continue Reading →

Transit funds could crack under the pressure of the budget deadline

entrance to the USDOT headquarters

The upcoming continuing resolution to fund the government and avert a shutdown won’t include transportation spending, piling on the pressure to pass the infrastructure deal and budget reconciliation. Congress could end up gutting the reconciliation package to make a deal.

Continue Reading →

What we want Secretary Buttigieg to answer at the House Transportation hearing tomorrow

Tomorrow, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg heads to Capitol Hill for his first hearing as Secretary, where the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will question him on the Biden administration’s goals for infrastructure. We’ve been impressed by Sec. Buttigieg’s rhetoric so far—from his commitment to repairing the damage in Black and brown communities caused by urban highways to making fix-it-first his “mantra”—so we want to hear how he’ll make it happen.

Continue Reading →

They said “no new money for transportation” was a bad message. They were wrong.

22 Mar 2021 | Posted by | 3 Comments | , , ,

Two years ago, Transportation for America bucked advocacy convention by refusing to talk about funding, discussing only the outcomes of funding instead. We even said that we do not support any new funding for transportation if the underlying policy doesn’t change. Our surprising strategy has yielded results.

Continue Reading →

Public transit needs $39.3 billion in the next COVID package

5 Feb 2021 | Posted by | 1 Comment | , ,

Public transit has been decimated by the pandemic. While the December 2020 COVID package gave transit much-needed support to keep running essential service, this funding will start running out in the spring—as soon as cities and towns prepare to reopen. We urge Congress to provide at least $39.3 billion in emergency relief to prevent transit cuts through 2023.

Continue Reading →

RELEASE: The emergency funding for transit and Amtrak is good but not enough

press release

Late Monday evening, Congress passed appropriations for fiscal year 2021 that included $908 billion in a supplemental COVID-19 relief package. Transportation for America and our partners the Alliance for a Just Society, NRDC, and U.S. PIRG released this statement:

Continue Reading →

Over 160 elected officials and organizations support fundamental changes to the federal transportation program

press release

In a letter to Congressional leadership, over 160 elected officials and organizations urge Congress to prioritize maintenance, safety over speed, and access to jobs and services in the next long-term transportation law

Continue Reading →

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.

Continue Reading →

It’s time to fund public transportation and highways equally

With a new Congress preparing to take office—bringing hopes of an infrastructure stimulus with them—it’s time to end an outdated agreement keeping American transportation stuck in the ‘80s: restricting public transit to only 20 percent of federal transportation funding while highways get 80 percent. Sign our petition today to tell Congress to fund them equally.

Continue Reading →

How transit agencies are keeping workers and riders safe

As we slowly settle into a new normal, transit agencies across the country are making big changes to their operations to keep employees and riders safe. We checked in with our transit agency members across the country to see how they’re adapting to COVID-19 and what they need to keep going. 

Continue Reading →

A bipartisan transportation bill isn’t always good: but it can be

13 Aug 2020 | Posted by | 2 Comments | , ,

Last summer, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed a transportation bill lauded by both sides of the aisle. While the bill was indeed bipartisan, it does great damage to the priorities of both the Democrats and Republicans. Our director Beth Osborne explains why bipartisanship on its own doesn’t make a bill good, and how it’s possible to create a transportation bill that achieves both parties’ objectives.

Continue Reading →

Transit agencies, riders, unions, and members of Congress rally to save transit

Last week, a diverse group of transit stakeholders advocated for at least $32 billion in federal emergency funding for public transportation during a virtual rally. Scores of transit riders, transit agency executives, union leaders and members of Congress made it clear that transit won’t survive this crisis without help.

Continue Reading →

Improving safety by making it a priority throughout the INVEST Act

24 Jun 2020 | Posted by | 0 Comments | , ,

As noted in our scorecard, the House’s INVEST Act transportation bill takes important strides to make safety a priority, from the inclusion of new performance measures all the way down to making changes with how agencies set speed limits. Here are five things to know.

Continue Reading →

Amendments we’re tracking to the House transportation bill

The INVEST Act could be a turning point for the federal transportation program, almost hitting the mark on Transportation for America’s three principles for transportation investment. But a few amendments could make—or break—the bill. Stay up to date here.

Continue Reading →

Over 160 sign letter in support of $32 billion for transit, but the fight isn’t over

Last week, the House of Representatives passed a COVID-19 relief bill that only included $15 billion in emergency support for public transportation. That’s not nearly enough; and it’s why over 160 organizations and elected officials signed our letter in support of $32 billion for transit on short notice. But we still need you to take action.

Continue Reading →

House bill proposes $15 billion for transit. It’s not enough

Democrats in the House of Representatives only included $15 billion for transit in their next COVID-19 relief bill. That’s not enough—we need double that to ensure that transit survives this crisis.  Send a message to your congressional delegation urging them to support $32 billion for transit. 

Continue Reading →

Hundreds tell Congress that we need a new framework for transportation

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to shift the political landscape, 293 elected officials and organizations from 45 states signed Transportation for America’s letter urging Congress to reform the federal transportation program in the upcoming reauthorization. Rethinking transportation policy matters now more than ever.

Continue Reading →

Stop funding transit like it’s 1982, Congress

Congress has suggested that they may focus on infrastructure in an upcoming stimulus bill. It’s not entirely clear what Congress will do—or if spending on infrastructure is the right way to stimulate the economy right now—but if Congress does want to pass an infrastructure package, they should stop spending money like it’s 1982. 

Continue Reading →