Passenger Transport Express - 04/28/2017 (Plain Text Version)
House and Senate Pass Short-Term Continuing Resolution
The House and Senate today passed a one-week Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government through May 5. The president has until midnight to sign the bill. Negotiations on a full-year Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations bill are continuing, although congressional negotiators have indicated they need more time to finalize the legislation. Indications from sources on Capitol Hill are that Congress will complete the full FY 2017 appropriations process next week, especially now that issues such as the border wall and the Affordable Care Act have reportedly been removed from negotiations.
APTA Brings 'Main Street' Public Transit Stories to Capitol Hill
In an April 26 policy forum titled “Public Transportation’s Impact on Main Street USA,” APTA brought together Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Kirk Dillard, board chair of the Chicago Regional Transportation Authority and former Illinois state senator; Mark Fisher, board member of IndyGo and chief policy officer at the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce; and Scott Smith, CEO of Valley Metro (Phoenix) and former mayor of Mesa, AZ. See an op-ed on infrastructure investment by Dillard published in The Hill today here.
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U.S. Chamber OK with Increasing Federal Fuel Tax
Ed Mortimer, executive director, transportation infrastructure, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, spoke about the chamber's support for adjustments to the federal fuel tax that supports the Highway Trust Fund at "Rebuilding America: A New Infrastructure Agenda," an April 24 event in Washington, DC, hosted by Politico.
DOT Sec. Chao: Gov. Baker 'Persuasive' on Proposed MBTA Extension
During her visit last week to the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, MA, DOT Secretary Elaine L. Chao said she and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker have been in regular contact regarding a possible $1 billion federal grant for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's Green Line extension. According to the Boston Globe, Chao called Baker's advocacy "noteworthy and persuasive," but said she did not know "what the answer will be yet" on the project. [return to top]
$55 Million Available in FTA Low-No Bus Funds
FTA is accepting applications through June 26 for up to $55 million in competitive grant funds through its Low or No Emission (Low-No) Bus Program. This program supports projects sponsored by local public transit agencies to bring advanced, American-made bus technologies, such as battery electric power and hydrogen fuel cells, into service nationwide.
SAVE THE DATE
APTA reminds its rail system members that the International Rail Rodeo is only six weeks away: June 8-11 in Baltimore, immediately preceding the APTA Rail Conference, June 11-14. Teams of rail operators and maintainers from across North America will compete to demonstrate their skills; the winners receive recognition at the Rail Rodeo Awards Banquet the night of June 11. Register here for the Rail Rodeo and click here to learn more about the Rail Conference. [return to top]
IN THE MEDIA
Cut Transit; Lose Jobs: The Hill summarizes APTA’s new report finding that President Trump’s proposed DOT budget cuts jeopardize $38 billion in planned public transit projects and 800,000 jobs directly related to projects already in the pipeline, including 300,000 jobs resulting from transit’s proven economic impact.