T4America Blog

News, press releases and other updates

Posts Tagged "federal funding"

The infrastructure law wasn’t perfect, but now it’s reality

Pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders navigate a busy street

Focusing on whether the infrastructure law was “good” or “bad” will fail to shape how its historic cash is spent over the next five years. That’s precisely why T4America is pressing on to enable USDOT, states, metro areas, and local communities to maximize the potential of this flawed legislation.

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To deliver on Equity Action Plan, USDOT, states, and local decision makers must take real action

10 Jun 2022 | Posted by | 0 Comments | , ,
Cyclist on highway

Though the USDOT’s Equity Action Plan (EAP) describes the new infrastructure law as “a historic investment in transportation equity,” the final verdict will depend on the administration’s next steps, how they distribute competitive grants, and other choices far outside of their control, such as how states and metro areas invest federal funds.

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We need a new approach to transportation: T4A’s efforts to get there

Six months into 2022, a lot’s been accomplished on the implementation of the 2021 infrastructure law, but there’s still a long way to go.

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Justice40 “benefits” could mean more emissions, worse health outcomes in disadvantaged communities

A biker cruises in the sidewalk along a busy street

In President Biden’s first weeks in office, he established an environmental justice initiative called Justice40, which aims to direct benefits from federal investments to disadvantaged communities. Today, the administration is working on more specific guidance on how Justice40 should be applied, which will determine how effective this effort will be.

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Positioning for competitive grant application success

A conference room filled with diverse people taking notes

With scores of competitive, surface transportation grant programs to administer, USDOT faces a heavy lift to get these programs off the ground, on top of administering the legacy programs that already existed. How should prospective grant applicants start preparing for success?

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The infrastructure bill’s limited state of repair funding and policies

There is very little new funding in the infrastructure bill specifically dedicated to repair and no new requirements on highway monies for prioritizing repair on roads and bridges. Overall the law doubled down on the practice of giving states immense flexibility with the bulk of their money and then hoping that they use that flexibility to prioritize repair. Advocates should be ready to hold states and metros accountable for making progress. 

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Transit funding in the infrastructure bill: what can it do for me?

Bus stopping in front of a crosswalk filled with pedestrians

The new infrastructure bill authorizes $109 billion to fund public transit projects through formula and competitive grant programs. Here’s what you need to know about the new money and (modest) policy changes to the transit program, as well as how you can make them work for you.

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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.

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Want to save the climate? Start by funding transit operations

The current trend of more driving will make it harder for us to reach our emissions goals. Making public transit a more convenient and reliable option so people can access the things they need while taking shorter or fewer car trips is one way to reverse the trend of more driving.

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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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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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National transportation policy is a rudderless ship sailing off into oblivion

For well over two decades, we’ve had no big-picture guiding purpose for the federal transportation program. Like a ship with a jammed rudder heading off aimlessly into forever, federal transportation policy has been limping along without an overarching purpose or destination in mind. How does this inertia lead us toward all the wrong things?

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The inside scoop on Repair Priorities 2019

After the release of Repair Priorities 2019, we hosted a webinar in partnership with Taxpayers for Common Sense to talk about the findings and recommendations of our new report.

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Local business groups fight for public transit

Twenty-five chambers of commerce and other organizations representing local business interests across the country have formed Chambers for Transit, a coalition facilitated by Transportation for America to fight for more federal support for transit.

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How TIGER/BUILD can help improve the federal transportation program

The third and final part of our analysis of 10 years of awarding transportation funds competitively through the TIGER/BUILD program illuminates three simple principles that should help guide reform of the federal transportation system.

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Taming the TIGER: Trump turns innovative grant program into another roads program

Under President Trump, the U.S. Department of Transportation has effectively turned the formerly innovative BUILD program—created to advance complex, hard-to-fund projects—into little more than a rural roads program, dramatically undercutting both its intent and utility.

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KC Streetcar supports jobs locally and across the U.S.

Last month Transportation for America’s Chairman John Robert Smith traveled to Overland Park, KS to discuss the economic impact of public transportation dollars on local manufacturing jobs with state and local leaders. Local manufacturer Dimensional Innovations (DI) hosted the event at their facility where attendees saw the recently constructed shelters destined for the Kansas City Streetcar. Transit shelters are one part of the transit supply chain with over 20 percent of DI’s business stemming from public transportation.

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We must address the climate crisis—which requires changing transportation and land use

The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gasses in the United States and it’s also the one that federal officials have the most control over with the power of the purse. Yet the Green New Deal is largely devoid of the bold reimagining of federal transportation spending which encourages more roads, more driving, more sprawl, and more emissions.

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Government shutdown previewed a future without federal transit funding

With federal employees at the Federal Transit Administration furloughed during the recent record-length shutdown, transit funding wasn’t being distributed and grant/loan programs ground to a halt. New projects were further delayed and transit providers were faced with hard choices about service cuts, showing the vital importance of federal funding for transit.

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Trump administration has effectively halted the pipeline of new transit projects

Last March, Congress provided the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) with about $1.4 billion to help build and expand transit systems across the country. 142 days later and counting, FTA has obligated almost none of these funds to new transit projects. Our resource—Stuck in the Station—will continue tracking exactly how long FTA has been declining to do their job, how much money has been committed, and which communities are paying a hefty price in avoidable delays.

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