Friday: Congress Puts Transit At Risk, Again
Submitted by Dan Hendrick on Thu, 2012-02-02 17:36.
In a move that would undo bipartisan support for mass transit that has been in place since the Reagan administration, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee -- at the direction of House leadership -- could move Friday to end guaranteed funding for public transportation, and leave even today’s inadequate funding levels in doubt.
What can you do about it? Act now, right here.
The proposal to bar public transit from receiving funds from the federal motor fuels tax is part of a bill coming before the House Ways and Means Committee Friday morning. That bill sets the revenue levels for the five-year surface transportation bill making its way through the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee today.
This jobs-killing legislation (HR 3864) means that mass transit would be funded by general taxes and be subject to the unpredictable yearly budget process -- something that has advocates like NYLCV very worried.
“This proposal would turn one of the most reliable funding sources for transit into one of the least reliable,” said Kate Slevin, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “It would subject public transportation funding to Congress’s political whims and annual battles.”
Of the MTA’s $22.1 billion 5-year capital plan, $5.7 billion comes from dedicated federal transit funds. Federal dollars also help pay for new buses and station improvements across the state.
On Thursday, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee was expected to vote on a long-term transportation policy bill that would eliminate the major federal funding programs for pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements. A bipartisan amendment to restore these programs failed on a vote of 27-29.
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