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April 12, 2010

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APTA NEWS

DOTís Kim Reviews Policies

David Kim, DOT deputy assistant secretary for governmental affairs, reported on the current “transformational time in transportation policy” at the April 6 Transportation Tuesday event hosted by APTA.

For example, he said, the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program will continue as “TIGER 2,” with $600 million available for projects in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011. Another DOT priority, high-speed rail, will see $2.5 billion in funding for the next round of grants, of which $50 million is earmarked for planning.

Responding to a question, Kim said DOT officials “know this is a painful time for most transit agencies” and that they are considering ways that would allow transit agencies to use a portion of their federal funds for operating expenses.

Kim also addressed such other topics as the possibility of extending the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction program, which is not included in FY 2011 appropriations or the jobs bill; federal oversight of transit security, which he said is “needed sooner rather than later”; the interaction between high-speed rail and other modes including freight rail; and the ongoing conversation about the role of transportation in climate change legislation.

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