OCTA CEO: New federal bill a win for America

Posted on July 27, 2012 by Will Kempton

Three years and 10 extensions later, America has a new federal transportation reauthorization bill.

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), along with transit agencies throughout the nation, applauds congressional leaders and the President for investing in America’s transportation future by passing this much-anticipated piece of legislation.

The bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, was signed by President Obama on July 6 and outlines $120 billion in funding for highway and transit programs over 27 months.

While many would prefer to see a bill spanning longer than two years, MAP-21 gives agencies confidence that there will be a dedicated and reliable stream of federal funding — at least for the next two years.

Having a guarantee from the federal government that they will continue to support transit operations and highway improvements over the long haul is essential to effectively plan for, deliver and maintain critical transportation infrastructure projects.

Perhaps the most important aspects of the bill are the changes to existing law that break down some of the bureaucratic barriers to project delivery allowing for expedited project implementation.

The changes are based in part on OCTA’s "Breaking Down Barriers" initiative, which was launched nearly three years ago, bringing together local and national leaders to identify ways to accelerate project delivery without sacrificing environmental protections.

Some key provisions from the initiative that are outlined in MAP-21 include:

•  Allowing states, under certain conditions, to purchase right-of-way before completing the federal environmental review process.

•  Allowing states to be reimbursed for pre-construction and design contracts before the federal environmental review process is completed.

•  Setting deadlines for decisions by agencies responsible for environmental review, including financial penalties for agencies that do not complete the reviews by set deadlines.

•  Allowing states or Metropolitan Planning Organizations to develop plans that address the potential impact of future transportation projects.

•  Making permanent a current pilot program that allows the U.S. Department of Transportation to delegate NEPA review authority to states and expanding the program to include rail, public transit and multimodal projects.

These changes have been embraced with bipartisan support and ensure we preserve the environment while moving critical projects to construction earlier.

The result will be completing projects faster, creating jobs quicker and saving taxpayer dollars.

In case you missed it...

Read our METRO blog, "Public transportation on solid footing, will lawmakers face the music," here.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (1 Comment)

More Transit Dispatches Blog Posts

November 9, 2016

How an Innovative Plan Helped a Veteran Find Work Building Railcars

It is the early 2000s, and as the sun rises over Southern California, most people are still fast asleep. Kristian Mendoza, however, is up and getting ready for work. He doesn’t have to be in until eight, but his commute can sometimes take up to an hour-and-a-half each way. This job pays so little that he can barely afford the gas to commute to it, let alone provide the time and care he would like for his two young children.

November 4, 2016

Ridesharing: A Revolution in Transportation for Healthcare

One pioneer in the healthcare transportation segment, One Call Care Management (“One Call”), is harnessing the power of ride-sharing technology in order to eliminate the issues that have historically plagued this area of the market, while also providing a better overall experience for the patient and the payer.

November 2, 2016

'Partnering' with employees, customers key to advancing transit's safety culture

A goal of SEPTA’s safety initiatives is to have customers and employees take the messages presented by the authority’s safety personnel back to their homes, their workplaces and communities to help the agency's safety culture evolve and grow.

October 25, 2016

How the media, transit agencies, and planners should be talking about BRT

...as a transportation planner who has worked on bus rapid transit-style systems in the greater Washington region, I’ve noticed a disconnect in the public’s expectations versus the reality of the systems they’re getting. It got me wondering: do people have an accurate picture of what BRT means or the benefits the systems provide? During public-planning sessions, I’ve heard a lot of feedback on BRT. The gist is, “That’s really nice that the bus is a different color and the station platform is fancy, but I just want it to be on time.”

September 26, 2016

'See Something, Say Something' is Key Anti-Terrorism Tool for Transit

After acts of terrorism — domestic or international — law enforcement agencies are almost always asked: “How are you ‘ramping up’ your security efforts?”

See More

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (1)

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

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

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