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October 14, 2011
Free Congress Foundation Releases Surface Transportation Report

The Free Congress Foundation, the conservative think tank, released a new report Oct. 6. It clearly notes the upside of public transit investment and debates the benefits of a federal surface transportation presence. It cites areas of agreement on federal spending including that "preservation and rehabilitation of the existing physical plant should receive top priority, that is, quit deferring maintenance of existing highways, bridges, and transit systems and restore them to first class condition. Next in line on most lists are projects to add capacity for congestion reduction and service of newly developed areas; enhance safety; and provide needed public transit upgrades." They also address the number of national panels that have all reached the same conclusion that "investment has not kept pace with needs."

Obama Fast-Tracks Public Transit Projects
On Oct. 11, President Obama announced that he was fast-tracking six major national infrastructure projects. Two of which are public transportation projects. The Crenshaw/LAX project will receive FTA assistance to cut approval time and the Baltimore Red Line project will get help addressing outstanding permitting issues.

LaHood and IL Officials Break Ground to Alleviate Major Chicago Rail Bottleneck
DOT Secretary Ray LaHood broke ground on the “Englewood Flyover” project on Oct. 10. This project will alleviate one of the biggest bottlenecks in North America and continue the process of making Chicago a hub of high-speed rail in the Midwest. This project, when completed, will speed passage through the area for 130 trains per day.  Also in attendance at the groundbreaking were Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, Sen Dick Durbin (D-IL), Reps. Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) as well as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Annual Report Now Available
APTA just released its Annual Report recapping everything that happened last year.


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Public transportation makes life less complicated. Whether you enjoy reading your paper on the train or your commute is quicker because there are fewer cars on the road, public transportation touches everyone. Add in the fact that it saves Philadelphia $500 million and the benefits are clear.

What is a city to do when it estimates it will grow its population by a half million in 20 years? Begin planning sustainable communities.  Montreal is growing quickly, but residents realize that creating communities near rail or rapid bus stops will allow them to preserve as much green space throughout the city as possible.

When the tolls rise, trains fill up. The recent Port Authority toll hikes have meant more ridership on New Jersey Transit and PATH public transit. Fewer cars on the road means less pollution, greater parking opportunities, and more efficient use of public transit options! 


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