Congress approves 2-year transportation bill

Posted on June 29, 2012

Congress officially approved a two-year transportation bill, as part of a broader package that included resolution of other long-simmering issues, including student loans and federal flood insurance.

The package passed the House 373 to 52 and the Senate 74 to 19, with one member voting present, according to the Washington Post. Under the agreement, federal transportation funding will continue at roughly $54 billion a year, with public transportation funds set at $8.36 billion in FY2012, $8.47 billion in FY 2013 and $8.595 billion in FY 2014.

“This bill will provide a major boost to our economy by putting Americans back to work building our nation’s bridges and highways,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica. Mica led the House conferees in reaching agreement with the Senate on the final transportation policy and reform bill.

As reported earlier, the bill does not include a provision launching construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline that was sought by Republicans. It also omits a $1.4 billion for conservation that Democrats favored and dropped restrictions on how states use money once mandated for aesthetic transportation improvements.

Other highlights of the approved bill, which is yet to be signed by President Barack Obama include:

  • Provisions to accelerate project delivery.
  • An expansion of the TIFIA loan program to $1 billion per year.
  • The consolidation of the Elderly and Disabled and New Freedom program, which will increase the amount of available funds.
  • Reforming and streamlining of the New Starts program.

“The average highway project in the United States takes 15 years from concept to completion, far more than any other developed nation,” said U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. (R-TN), chairman of the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee. “We have got to cut the red tape and speed up these projects. This bill goes further in streamlining environmental rules and regulations than any previous highway bill.”

METRO Magazine will have more on the bill in our August issue.

Below is a statement from American Public Transportation Association President/CEO Michael Melaniphy:

“On behalf of the 1,500 members of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), we commend the Conferees on the surface transportation bill for reaching a successful agreement. The bill maintains funding for public transportation through September 2014. This authorization period will provide public transit agencies and the business community with a greater degree of certainty than they have had since the expiration of SAFETEA-LU. We urge Congress to approve the agreement and the President to sign this bill into law, because investing in public transit is essential to creating American jobs and boosting our economy.

This proposal demonstrates that Congress and the Administration understand the important role public transportation plays in getting people to work and putting people to work. The agreement reflects a balance of the public transportation needs in both urban and rural areas. It includes improvements to keep our systems in a state of good repair; streamlines delivery of public transit projects; provides funding for new start projects and for a bus replacement and a bus facility program. 

We believe this new law will create American jobs and help the United States remain economically competitive.”    

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Fed judge orders MARTA to court over paratransit service

Ordered to appear over allegations it's violating a court order, which, among other stipulations, requires MARTA to strive for an on-time performance rate of 100%.

MBTA urged to explore cost saving actions for paratransit

Possible changes presented by MASSDOT's deputy administrator included raising fares to the maximum allowed by ADA and reducing some of The Ride’s overhead costs by partnering with taxis or other transportation companies.

MARTA to privatize paratransit operations, maintenance

MV Transportation will operate and maintain the Mobility fleet. The contract requires the company to keep its on-time performance rate at 90% percent or higher, while at the same time reducing the number of customer complaints and trip requests that are denied

Texas paratransit agency lays off 59 as company loses state contract

The State of Texas Health and Human Services Commission canceled its three-year contract with TAPS Thursday morning, stating the transit company would no longer provide services for their Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation riders.

Mobility Ventures names new VP, Government & Commercial Fleet Sales

Bill Gibson brings to Mobility Ventures more than 40 years of sales and marketing experience with an extensive, proven background in automotive fleet management operations.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close