January 29, 2016
CBO Credits FAST Act with Increasing Federal Revenue

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its economic outlook for the next decade and it predicts that federal revenues will increase by 9 percent in Fiscal Year 2016, primarily because of the FAST Act.  This is because the new law funnels money from the Federal Reserve to the U.S. Treasury.  CBO explains that $618 billion will be given out in federal resources in 2016 (minus defense spending and mandatory programs).  Transportation accounts for the second-largest portion - about $89 billion or roughly 14 percent.

Budget experts also note that the Highway Trust Fund has paid out $74 billion more than it has taken in.  Including the $70 billion the FAST Act contributed, Congress has transferred almost $143 billion to the fund since 2008.  According to CBO, spending from the Highway Trust Fund is supposed to total $53 billion, while revenues and interest credited to the fund are expected to total $41 billion.  At this pace, the fund is expected to meet its obligations through 2020, but will again run out of money in 2021.

» Ben Franklin Transit, Richland, WA, is looking for a general manager. [More] 
» Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority/Metro has an opening for a chief operating officer. [More]
» The city of Norwalk, CA, seeks proposals for development of an Intelligent Transportation System master plan. [More]
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Smart City Challenge Deadline is Feb. 4

US DOT is asking mid-size cities to showcase the benefits of their 21st Century approach to transportation as part of the agency's Smart City Challenge.  The winning mid-size city will receive:

 up to $40 million in federal funding;
-   collision avoidance systems for buses; and
-   up to $10 million to support the use of electric vehicles and other carbon emission reduction strategies (provided by Paul Allen's Vulcan company).

DOT launched the Smart City Challenge in December to show what's possible when communities use technology to connect their existing transportation assets to create a single, safer, more efficient, interactive mobility network.  For more information, visit www.transportation.gov/smartcity.

FRA Extends NEC Comment Period

FRA announced on Jan. 25 that it will extend the formal comment period for the Northeast Corridor (NEC) FUTURE Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Tier 1 Draft EIS) until Feb. 15.  The comment period had been scheduled to close on Jan. 30.

The Tier 1 Draft EIS assesses impacts of an investment program to improve passenger rail service on the NEC between Washington, DC, and Boston.  It evaluates three action alternatives for the NEC in comparison with a "no action" alternative, and considers the impacts to transportation, the economy, the "built environment" and natural resources.

More information is available at www.necfuture.com.


>   Feb. 28-March 2:  Marketing & Communications Workshop
Phoenix, AZ
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>   March 13-15:  APTA Legislative Conference
     Washington, DC
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Aurora Targets Younger Crowd with Light Rail
The Denver Post; Jan. 24

Bay Area Transit Agencies Prepare for Super Bowl

ABC 7 News; Jan. 7

Editorial: Scrap Widening Interstate 95, Put Money in Mass Transit
New Haven Register; Jan. 21

MTA Will Try Out Interconnected "Human Centipede" Subway Trains

golamist.com; Jan. 25

Billions Spent, But Fewer People Are Using Public Transportation in Southern California
Los Angeles Times; Jan. 27


"There is no reasonable excuse not to have a confirmed administrator at the head of the (FTA) agency that is ensuring the safety of more than 700,000 daily riders across Virginia, DC and Maryland."

                                                                                 US Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)
                                                                                 Jan. 28 

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