The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee unveiled Wednesday a $375 billion, six-year TEA-21 reauthorization bill, with $69.2 billion for the federal transit program.
Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska chairman of the committee has said for months he intended to file a bill that spends nearly one-and-a-half times as much as the $247 billion that President Bush proposed.
Called the "Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy For Users" (TEA LU), the bill follows TEA 21's general program structure and ratios, and includes some new programs.
The annual authorized funding levels (in billions) for the transit program are as follows: FY 2004: $8.2; FY 2005: $9.7; FY 2006: $10.9; FY 2007: $12.2; FY 2008: $13.4; and FY 2009: $14.8.
A new Small Starts program would cover streetcar, flexible BRT, and commuter rail projects in the $25 to $75 million cost range; the program would be funded off of the capital investment program, and would grow over the life of the program from $150 million a year to $175 million a year.
A New Freedom Initiative program to improve mobility for the disabled beyond existing ADA requirements would be funded at $100 million a year initially, growing to $175 million a year.
Chairman Young stated that the committee hoped to mark up the bill early in the next session of Congress, then have the House Ways and Means Committee add the bill's revenue title to it, and get it approved by the House by mid March.
For more information on TEA LU, log on to www.house.gov/transportation/