In testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure's Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, American Public Transportation Association (APTA) President/CEO Paul P. Skoutelas urged Congress to take several actions to improve and strengthen the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program.
"The CIG program is a vital source for expanding public transportation options for communities across America, and more than one-half of all states have benefited from these projects," Skoutelas said.
Noting that there are 12 projects under construction and another 53 projects in the CIG pipeline seeking $27 billion in funds, Skoutelas urged Congress to provide funding at or above the FY2019 level of $2.6 billion and require that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) invest FY2018 and FY2019 funds expeditiously.
In addition, Skoutelas urged Congress to conduct a zero-based review of the CIG program to assess all statutory, regulatory, and administrative requirements to be eligible for a CIG grant.
Over the past two decades, the FTA and Congress have added complex requirements for the CIG program, making it more time consuming and burdensome than other comparable U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) discretionary grant programs.
A CIG project sponsor faces almost 60,000 words of federal law, regulations and administrative guidance, compared to a Highway INFRA grant that has less than one-quarter of the statutory language and no specific regulations.
According to APTA, this bureaucratic maze results in significant delays in project approvals and increases project costs.
For the full summary of Skoutelas' testimony, click here.