DOT Announces $293 Million in Circulator, Livability Grants
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff on July 8 awarded $293 million through two competitive grant programs to projects around the nation.
FTA's Urban Circulator Program is using $130 million to fund six new streetcar and bus rapid transit projects in Dallas, Fort Worth, Chicago, St. Louis, Charlotte, and Cincinnati. FTA's Bus and Bus Livability Program is investing more than $163 million in 47 projects to upgrade bus services and facilities.
Napolitano Takes NY MTA Security-Awareness Campaign National
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on July 1 inaugurated a nationwide public awareness campaign based on New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority's widely praised "If you see something, say something" campaign.
Napolitano kicked off the national campaign at New York City's Penn Station, where she also swore into office John Pistole, the new administrator of the Transportation Security Administration. She then traveled to promote the campaign at rail stations in Newark, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.
Senators Request Increased Transit Security Appropriations
A group of six senators on June 29 wrote to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-MI) to request an additional $100 million for the Transit Security Grant Program in the Fiscal Year 2011 appropriations bill.
The letter from Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Roland Burris (D-IL), Robert Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), and Charles Schumer (D-NY) asks for a total appropriation of $400 million for the program. This would be an increase of $100 million over the FY 2010 appropriation and $100 million over the White House FY 2011 budget request, bringing the program's funding back to the level appropriated in the FY 2008 and 2009 budgets.
"We know that transportation systems are often an attractive target for potential terrorists," the senators wrote, noting that the grants are necessary for personnel training, public outreach, and facilities protection.
A letter requesting $1.1 billion for the Transit Security Grant Program was sent in May to the chair of the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee by members of the House delegation from New York State, led by Reps. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Peter King (R-NY), and Steve Israel (D-NY). This is the amount that APTA has recommended for the program.
Save the Date
Register now for the 2010 APTA Annual Meeting in San Antonio. Participants will take part in sessions on the very latest regarding surface transportation authorization and other legislation, high-speed rail and intercity passenger rail, workforce development, safety and security, dealing with difficult budgets, and much more.
In addition, keynote speaker and bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell will share strategies for fostering success.
In the Media
The Washington Post published an editorial advocating raising the tax on gasoline.
New resident of downtown San Francisco Joe Montana told the San Francisco Gate that he'll be using public transportation. "There is nothing worse for me than sitting in traffic," he said.
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee James L. Oberstar (D-MN) discussed the challenges for funding transportation in an opinion piece published in Politico.
A feature article in The Washington Post discussed Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's candid communication style and his embrace of social media.
The blog Infrastructurist discussed the success of a new Bus Rapid Transit line in New York City.
Chris Matthews on his Hardball program called for high-speed rail manufacturing as a key to restoring the economy, much as industrial production during World War II helped to end the Great Depression.