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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis April 22, 2011
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Organizations Release Transportation Principles

A joint statement released on April 14 by several organizations representing state and local officials—the National Governors Association (NGA), National Conference of State Legislatures, National Association of Counties, and National League of Cities (NLC)—calls for strong partnership among all levels of government as part of any new national vision for surface transportation. It includes seven policy principles to help guide discussion in Congress.

“State and local governments are responsible for 97 percent of the nation’s interconnected surface transportation systems and contribute nearly 75 percent of the annual cost to operate and maintain those systems,” said NGA Executive Director Dan Crippen. “It is vital that these leaders help craft this vision and that Congress and the Administration will move forward quickly to complete reauthorization.”

“A coordinated transportation system is the lifeline for communities large and small,” added NLC Executive Director Donald J. Borut. “The ability to move goods and people easily depends on an integrated network of public transportation, roads, rails, and bridges.”

Six of the guiding policy principles note that state and local elected officials support:

* Funding and finance, with the continuation of the “user pays” principle to guide transportation funding, with all options on the table for evaluation;

* Certainty and stability of federal funding mechanisms designed to maintain reliable, long-term funding certainty;

* Program reforms that note the critical need to preserve core federal surface transportation programs while recognizing the need for program reforms and flexibility of funding and programs;

* Project delivery, streamlined through federal efforts;

* Mobility needs, with a strong federal role in funding equitable transportation solutions for metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas across the country; and

* System performance, using outcome-oriented performance measures developed by states and localities that are clear, measurable and fair.

The seventh policy principle focuses on Safety and Security, stressing that all levels of government must cooperate to improve the safety and mobility of the surface transportation system, protect the environment, and ensure the security of transportation assets throughout the country.

The complete text of the principles is available here.
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