|September 16, 2011|
|Congress Passes Six Month Transportation Extension|
Both houses of Congress passed a six month extension of the surface transportation authorization bill this week through March 31, 2012. This action sends it to President Obama for his signature. This is the 8th extension of the transportation bill and moves consideration of authorization into early next year.
Also, this week, the House Appropriations Committee introduced a Continuing Resolution (CR) that would fund the federal government through Nov. 18. This CR will ensure that the departments of the federal government continue paying bills, funding grants and loans, and operate on a daily basis while averting a shutdown similar to the one that occurred at the FAA in August.
This resolution still faces House and Senate approval and presidential signature. The threat of a 30 percent reduction in public transportation funding still remains. Congress still needs to address investment levels for FY 2012 before this CR expires.
APTA Moderates Discussion on American Jobs Act
On Sept. 14, APTA moderated a discussion between transit systems, business members, and administration officials to discuss the impacts of the American Jobs Act on APTA members. Greg Nelson, associate director, White House office of Public Engagement, FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff, FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo, and Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy Polly Trottenberg discussed how the bill followed the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act stimulus bill of last year. It will "use the same successful blueprint for putting people back to work and getting more money in the pockets of working Americans" Rogoff said. Szabo said that "the goal is to jumpstart the economy and set it on a stable path." If passed, FTA will be looking at almost $9 billion in funding for operations, maintenance, as well as additional funds for TIGER and the
Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act.
SAVE THE DATE
The Annual Meeting & EXPO is coming up in less than three weeks! You won't get another chance like this for three years, so register today!
APTA thanks all its members for their overwhelming support for the Community Service days in New Orleans. We have more than 300 volunteers signed up to help the St. Bernard Project, a disaster recovery organization that partners closely with the United Way to rebuild homes for New Orleans families who are still living in FEMA trailers six years after Hurricane Katrina. Though all volunteer slots are now filled, you can still support St. Bernard Project here DONATE.
IN THE MEDIA
In a crisis, many find comfort in whatever normalcy they can. On 9/11 many came home the same way they went to work, via New Jersey Transit. The focus that day was on getting people home to their families as quickly as possible. This year, the transit system dedicated a memorial to all those who were lost and all the
staff who went above and beyond to get their passengers home on 9/11.
Public transportation gives back! It helps the environment, cuts down on stress and every dollar invested results in a three dollar return. DOT Sec. Ray LaHood addresses some of these issues in the latest edition of 'On the Go' from The Infrastructurist.
Americans are finding new ways to travel that do not involve time behind the wheel. After 60 years of increases in the amount of miles Americans drive, the last six years have leveled off and the number of younger people getting their drivers license has plummeted. A Smart Growth America study reveals that public transportation projects created 70 percent more jobs than highway
projects under the law. This shows that not only are people turning away from their car keys, but also their reliance on public transit is resulting in more Americans getting back to work.