Capitol Hill view of reauthorization prospects still murky

Posted on October 4, 2011

While nobody refuted the fact that a long-term authorization bill is the best possible solution to keep public transportation moving, there were still no innovative solutions discussed for how to fund such a bill, during "The View from Capitol Hill" session on Monday.

Moderated by J. Barry Barker Jr., executive director of the Transit Authority of River City in Louisville, Ky., the session featured insights from key bipartisan congressional staff members.

"A short term bill is not perfect, but it is much better than cutting funding," said Homer Carlisle, Banking Committee majority professional staff member, in reference to the proposed slashing of public transportation funds by the House.

Carlisle added that if the proposed cuts were to go through, approximately 600,000 jobs could be "gone in a heartbeat."

While Shannon Hines, minority senior professional staff member for the Banking Committee, reported that no significant progress has made since last year, Jim Tymon, Republican representative for the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee, reported that his boss, T&I Chairman John L. Mica, proposed a six-year, $230 billion bill recently and has his staff working on a bill that would more closely resemble current funding levels.

Tymon and Hines both agreed that the problem of rushing a two-year bill, as has been suggested by some members of Congress, is that it would completely deplete the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) by the third year. Both suggested that it is, therefore, extremely important to find a way to maintain current HTF levels, as well as find a new way to fund the authorization bill.

"We're really at a crucial decision point," said Tymon, who added that "breaking the bank" by funding a short-term bill without keeping the HTF solvent would result in public transportation cuts closer to 50 percent or 60 percent, instead of the 30 percent cut proposed in Chairman Mica's bill.





More News

Fla.'s HART partners with Megabus.com to pilot service option

The agency is already providing enhanced routes and options through a unique 5-year partnership agreement with Megabus.com which began last year, to offer express travel to and from Miami and Orlando for as little as $1.

BusCon 2015 takes Indy by storm with new vehicles, tech and education

The 20th installment of the show featured more than 50 new exhibitors, 70-plus vehicles and plenty of information to inspire attendees.

House moves to delay PTC deadline

A bipartisan measure has been introduced in the lower chamber that would push back the deadline for most railroads to install automated train technology until December 2018.

Volvo celebrates new Nova, Prevost customer delivery center

The new Plattsburgh, N.Y., building will be equipped of a welcoming customer area, 10 bus delivery spaces and offices to enable our customers to continue their professional activities during their stay.

Webinar Helps Passenger Fleet Managers Understand Hybrid Options

Fleet managers for transit agencies, universities and schools, governments and for-hire transit companies are encouraged to register while spaces are still available.

See More News

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 resource for managers of class 1-7 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