**NOTE: There are various reports as to the amount of the bill, with Passenger Transport reporting the bill is worth $281 billion.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the most recent extension deadline about to expire, President Barack Obama signed the five-year, $305 billion Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) on Friday, reported The Hill.
The new law, paid for with gas tax revenue and a package of $70 billion in offsets from other areas of the federal budget, will invest $61 billion in the nation’s public transportation systems, according to American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
“As the first long-term surface transportation bill in ten years, the significance of this legislation cannot be overstated,” said APTA President/CEO Michael Melaniphy. “This is excellent news for America’s public transportation systems, their riders, and the small, medium, and large communities they serve. A well-funded, long-term surface transportation authorization is critical to the economic competitiveness and prosperity of our nation’s communities. To sum it up, wherever public transportation goes, community grows.”
The Administration had been critical of Congress for passing short-term extensions, with Obama noting upon signing the bill that lawmakers fell short of the six-year, $478 billion proposal he had sent to Congress earlier this year. For the full story, click here.
For more on the FAST Act, click here.