Passenger Transport March 2019 Vol 77 No 5 - 1
EG R E N C
THE SOURCE FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION NEWS AND ANALYSIS
IndyGo's Terry Testifies
Before House Subcommittee
Cites Importance of Dedicated
Funding, Solvent HTF
Photo by Riccardo Savi
ichael Terry, president and chief executive officer of IndyGo
in Indianapolis, testified on the
need for dedicated federal public transportation funding and
a solvent Highway Trust Fund
(HTF) at a March 13 hearing of
the House Transportation and
Infrastructure Subcommittee on
Highways and Transit.
Terry, who represented
APTA, noted in his prepared
remarks that public transportation represents a $71 billion
industry that directly employs
430,000 people and supports
millions of private-sector jobs.
He called the federal funding partnership "absolutely
critical," saying that "dedicated
and sustained federal funding
for public transportation complements the unprecedented
contributions already made by
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MBTA Opens Blue Hill
Bay Transportation Authority
(MBTA) celebrated the opening
of the Blue Hill Avenue Station, marking the completion
of the Fairmount Commuter
Rail Line, at a recent event
attended by Massachusetts
Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov.
Karyn Polito and Boston
Mayor Martin J. Walsh.
"The completion of Blue
Hill Avenue Station will
provide improved access to
economic and educational
opportunities for those that
reside in communities along
the entire Fairmount Line
corridor," the governor said.
Polito added, "Blue Hill Avenue Station opens new doors
for mobility in this neighborhood with a direct, one-seat
connection between Mattapan
and downtown Boston."
MBTA General Manager
Steve Poftak said, "The investment this station represents
will lead to enhanced access to
jobs, housing and educational
opportunities." He thanked
the community for its "tireless
advocacy of this project."
Along with an 800-foot-long,
MBTA STATION CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2019 | VOLUME 77, NO. 5
A Surface Transportation Bill
Fit for the 21st Century
IN ADVANCE OF APTA's 2019
in making the U.S. a major economic
power. The reauthorized bill must be
forward-thinking to anticipate the
challenges of the 21st century, many of
which are already upon us.
My vision for a new surface transportation bill includes three elements:
maintaining and upgrading current
infrastructure; modernizing our
approach to infrastructure, includQ: The top priority for the Highways Eleanor Holmes Norton ing coping with changing weather
and Transit Subcommittee will be reaupatterns; and using new technologies
thorizing the FAST Act, which expires in Septemto optimize the mobility of people and goods
ber 2020. What should a reauthorized surface
throughout the transportation system.
transportation bill look like in the 21st century,
While looking forward, we must also carewhen infrastructure and modes of transportation
fully examine how to better maintain and
are rapidly changing?
strengthen existing systems to avoid losing the
investments we have already made. The AmeriA: Technology, construction materials, modes
can Society of Civil Engineers estimates that
of travel, climate change and the needs of public
our country faces an investment gap of approxitransportation users have converged to mandate
mately $2 trillion over the next decade. Bus and
that we change the usual congressional approach
public transit systems throughout the country
to reauthorizing for the 2020 surface transportaneed approximately $90 billion simply to be
brought into a state of good repair.
Today's transportation system is built on an
antiquated 20th-century model from the EisenELEANOR HOLMES NORTON Q&A
hower era. That system played a significant role
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Legislative Conference, March 17-19,
Passenger Transport asked Del. Eleanor
Holmes Norton (D-DC), chair of the
House Committee on Transportation
and Infrastructure's Highways and
Transit Subcommittee, to share her
thoughts on reauthorization of the
FY20 Budget Includes Cut in
Total Public Transit Funding
PRESIDENT TRUMP'S FY 2020 budget
request released March 11 provides $998 million
less in public transportation program funding
than the FY 2019 enacted level: $12.4 billion
compared with $13.4 billion.
The budget request fully funds FAST Act programs authorized from the Highway Trust Fund.
The overwhelming majority of the decrease in
public transportation funding is attributable
to cuts in the Capital Investment Grants (CIG)
program. The administration proposes $1.5 billion for the CIG program; although this funding
level is $1 billion less than current funding, it is
greater than the administration's FY 2019 budget
proposal and would allow $500 million to be
made available for new CIG projects.
The administration also requests a $100 million increase in funding for the Better Utilizing
Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD)
program, raising the level to $1 billion.
Regarding intercity passenger rail, the administration proposes to restructure the Amtrak system, focusing trains on shorter-distance routes.
It does not appear that the president's budget
addresses the FAST Act contract authority
rescission that will occur on July 1, 2020. On
that date, the FAST Act permanently rescinds
$7.569 billion of federal-aid highway contract
authority from states' unobligated balances of
highway funds. This rescission could reset the
budget baseline for the surface transportation
programs beginning in FY 2021.
"The administration's fiscal year 2020 budget request is a missed opportunity to increase
investment in improving and expanding
public transportation at a time when there is
strong bipartisan support and a critical need
for modernizing America's infrastructure," said
APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas in a
statement. "The American Public Transportation Association is committed to working with
the administration and Congress to approve
an FY 2020 budget that increases investment
for public transportation capital improvement
To view U.S. DOT budget highlights, visit
https://bit.ly/2Chu2Js. The text of the president's
budget is at https://bit.ly/2Hs44qj.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Passenger Transport March 2019 Vol 77 No 5