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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis March 8, 2014
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Presidentís FY 2015 Budget Includes $302 Billion, Four-Year Reauthorization

DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx described the $90.9 billion ­budget for DOT in Fiscal Year 2015 released by President Obama on March 4 as “the kind of aggressive transportation budget our country needs—one that replenishes the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) today while also helping ensure the country has a safe, efficient transportation system for tomorrow.”

The centerpiece of the transportation budget is a four-year, $302 billion surface transportation authorization proposal that provides $72.3 billion for public transportation over that period and $17.6 billion in FY 2015, compared with $10.8 billion enacted in FY 2014. The $17.6 billion figure includes almost $14 billion for transit formula grants, compared with $8.6 billion last year, and $2.5 billion for capital investment grants, up from $1.9 billion in the previous year’s enacted budget.

FRA would receive $19 billion over four years under the proposed budget, almost $5 billion of that amount in FY 2015. In contrast, enacted levels in FY 2014 totaled $1.6 billion. The proposed increases include two new programs classified as the National High-Performance Rail System: $2.5 billion to restore passenger rail assets to a state of good repair and $2.3 billion to develop high-performance passenger rail networks throughout the U.S.

The four-year proposal would provide sufficient funds to ensure the solvency of the HTF and Mass Transit Account during the authorization period to prevent the shortfall projected to occur later this year; expand the competitive, multimodal grant program that builds on the successful TIGER program and provide credit assistance through an enhanced Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program; and provide $4 billion for Fixing and Accelerating Surface Transportation, a competitive program to improve transportation outcomes. It also includes $6.7 billion for highway safety efforts and $199 billion for roads and bridges.

APTA released a statement in support of the proposed FY 2015 budget “for increasing investment in transportation and for recognizing the need to address the imminent shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund and the Mass Transit Account before the current transportation legislation (MAP-21) expires on Sept. 30.”

The statement continued: “We are pleased to see an increase for critical public transportation infrastructure investments that will create jobs and boost economic development in our communities and our country. We also commend the administration for its continued funding commitment to passenger rail, including high performance rail networks. APTA is committed to working with the Administration and Congress to pass a long-term, well-funded, multimodal surface transportation bill and to establish a dedicated Trust Fund mechanism that ensures the long-term sustainability of federal surface transportation programs.”

Find more budget highlights by clicking here. The full text of the APTA statement is available here.

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