Good news/bad news; just like the basketball strike

Posted on November 11, 2011 by Alex Roman - Also by this author

Being an avid basketball fan, I've had high hopes that an agreement will be reached between the owners and players, only to have them dashed by news that fundamental issues yet to be addressed by the two sides is holding up the start of the season.

Like today's news that a deal is close to end the basketball strike, this week's announcement that the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unanimously approved a plan to spend almost $80 billion for surface transportation, creating the core legislation that will be augmented by an additional $29 billion for transit and transportation safety, seems like a positive step in the right direction for the first time in a long time.

The legislation, which is being championed as a true bipartisan effort, maintains funding at current levels, reforms the nation's transportation programs to make them more efficient and provides robust assistance for transportation projects under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program to leverage state, local and private-sector funding. It also would eliminate or collapse 90 separate highway programs, each with its own pot of money, into about 30 mostly larger pots, providing a departure from the current highway program.

"The bill before us is completely bipartisan; therefore, no one is going to think it's perfect," said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), the committee's chairwoman, who drafted the plan along with Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK).

The bill's co-sponsors include the Senate Finance Committee's Chairman Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), who are trying to find the money to pay for the plan, and, that is the important issue still at hand, according to Sen. Inhofe.

"I must point out that our bill still has a $12 billion shortfall," he said. "We are very fortunate to have the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Senator Baucus, working so closely with us towards a bipartisan solution. I will continue to support his efforts and work behind the scenes to help him with Republicans. The only way this bill will move forward is if it is fiscally responsible and does not add to the deficit."

So there you go, there was progress made if you look at it on the surface level, but if you dig deeper we are still at the same point we have always been — looking for a way to address fundamental issues, which only impedes progress. So, do you think this week's news was a major step or merely just a step?

In case you missed it...

Read our METRO blog, "'Customer service, but not at the expense of safety" here.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More From the Editor's Blog Posts

June 26, 2019

Focusing on ‘abilities’ gives those with disabilities a ‘sense of purpose’

I recently learned about a program offered by Transport for London that provides “people with mild to moderate learning disabilities and those on the autism spectrum the chance to gain skills and work experience.”

February 12, 2019

Come Together to Shut Down the Shutdown, Fund a Transit Bill

As I write this, we are a few days away from another potential government shutdown if negotiations on border security are not hammered out.

December 19, 2018

New Year, New Hopes for the Motorcoach Industry

Hiring and retaining drivers is the greatest challenge facing motorcoach operators, according to 70% of respondents of METRO Magazine's 2019 Motorcoach Survey. The public transit industry is not immune to this issue either.

November 6, 2018

When voting 'yes' says 'no' to funding for transportation

I’m crossing my fingers that by the time you read this, the proposition repealing California’s gas tax and vehicle fees (SB 1) will have failed.

July 2, 2018

Lest we forget, we are all human beings

As you may know, I like to use this column to draw attention to transportation-related issues that are important to me, such as climate change, accessibility, and innovation.

See More

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

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 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