Reconnecting America President and CEO John Robert Smith welcomed the Department of Transportation's announcement of $500 million in funding for TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) 2012 grants across the country, especially in small towns and rural areas.
I am pleased there is now bipartisan action on transportation reauthorization by the House that can be conferenced with the Senate. While this six-month extension does not provide the certainty of a multi-year reauthorization, it will keep our transportation network functioning at current funding levels and allow for a conference to begin with the Senate on a longer-term transportation bill.
I look forward to working with the conference committee to ensure that the final version of the bill includes language to keep our existing transit systems operating and provides support for local communities to invest in new transit services, bicycle and pedestrian projects, and transit-oriented development. These items combined will offer more options for Americans in how they travel to meet their daily needs, reducing costs for families struggling with today’s high gas prices.
"In the Administration's recently released budget for Fiscal Year 2013, which calls for increased investment in our nation's communities and infrastructure, there is good news for all Americans, whether they live in urban or rural areas and whether they travel by automobile, bus or rail. In particular, President Obama continued the Administration's support for alternatives to highway transportation, such as increased funding for transit systems, and new investment into expanding inter-city and high-speed passenger rail. This affords all citizens choices in how they will travel and is at the heart of the work that Reconnecting America does, connecting people to the places that matter," said John Robert Smith, President and CEO of Reconnecting America. "In addition, the Administration's proposed funding for the Sustainable Communities Partnership would allow even more places around the country to benefit from that highly successful initiative. For our country to remain competitive…
Reconnecting America's Policy Director Sarah Kline released the following update, which covers the president's upcoming budget, TOD and Livable Communities legislation, the Sustainable Communities Partnership and the New Starts changes.
There has been a significant amount of federal activity related to transportation and TOD in the last several weeks. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate are expected to vote on surface transportation reauthorization bills the week of February 13, and the President’s FY2013 budget request will be released that week as well. Major bills have been introduced in the Senate on TOD and Livable Communities. The Federal Transit Administration has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to change the way that New Starts projects are evaluated. All of this is occurring against the backdrop of the 2012 elections, which can heighten partisanship in an already contentious Congress.
Surface Transportation Reauthorization
The previous surface…
The Center For Transit-Oriented Development held a webinar on "Making Joint Development Work: Perspectives from the Federal, Transit Agency and Business Roles." The webinar was co-sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration and the American Public Transportation Association.
This webinar presented research from the Center for Transit-Oriented Development analyzing the potential of TOD to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Planning scenarios for four regions were examined to contrast the GHG reduction potential of compact urban development near transit stations vs. business as usual development. Also, Mike McKeever of Sacramento Area Council of Governments and Tina Hodges at the Federal Transit Administration shared their experience on GHG reduction through transportation and land use planning.
The past two years have been an exciting time as large and small communities, representing all corners of the country, have worked on developing collaborative planning processes that will address the unique conditions in their region and which will improve the quality of life for the diverse people that live, work and play there.
On February 15, 2011, the Federal Transit Administration issued its Annual Report on Funding Recommendations for the New Starts and Small Starts program for fiscal year 2012 (FY 2012). The report lists the New Starts and Small Starts projects that make up the program budget included in the President’s FY 2012 Federal Budget, which was released on February 14, 2011. The total budget for the New Starts and Small Starts programs in the President’s FY 2012 budget is $3,225,556,000.
Reconnecting America was pleased to see that the president’s budget for Fiscal Year 2012 offers significant deficit-reduction, but also calls for substantial investment in our nation’s infrastructure, particularly for public transportation and high-speed rail.
Today, in Philadelphia, Vice President Joe Biden, accompanied by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, announced a $53 billion, six-year program to accelerate construction of the nation’s high-speed rail network. The plan calls for $8 billion in fiscal year 2012 to jumpstart the program.