Nadler Amendment: The Ayes Have It

The House just passed Jerrold Nadler’s amendment to add $3 billion for transit investment to the stimulus bill. There’s a lot more work coming up very soon — in the Senate and in conference committee — but this was a hard-fought win and everyone who helped push it through should take a minute to pat yourself on the back. 

David Alpert at Greater Greater Washington has a great report about how it all went down on the House floor.

  • Great news! Let’s make it stick!

  • Lemme say I yelped for joy when I heard!

    Probably not as hard as I would yelp for – say – a car-free Central Park, but close.

  • Martin

    So where does this go now? Who do we contact? How do we make sure this sticks?

  • jedediah Redman

    Three billion for the entire nation?

  • Felix

    Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.

  • W. K. Lis

    $3 billion? Spread over how many cities? Or will it be a winner take all grudge match?

  • Of course it’s a drop in the ocean, but it’s a lot better than not having the extra $3 billion in there. The total allocated to transit is several billion more.

    Of course, here’s what the geniuses over at The Wall Street Journal had to say:

    Most of the rest of this project spending will go to such things as renewable energy funding ($8 billion) or mass transit ($6 billion) that have a low or negative return on investment. Most urban transit systems are so badly managed that their fares cover less than half of their costs. However, the people who operate these systems belong to public-employee unions that are campaign contributors to . . . guess which party?

    As opposed to the big ROI on highway spending, right? Boy, do those 12-lane highway projects ever pay for themselves.

    Granted, this is a badly flawed bill, but complaining about transit spending while opining that $30 billion for roads and bridges is far too little does not show much of an understanding of the looming transportation and environmental challenges facing us.

  • Of course it’s a drop in the ocean, but it’s a lot better than not having the extra $3 billion in there. The total allocated to transit is several billion more.

    Of course, here’s what the geniuses over at The Wall Street Journal had to say:

    Most of the rest of this project spending will go to such things as renewable energy funding ($8 billion) or mass transit ($6 billion) that have a low or negative return on investment. Most urban transit systems are so badly managed that their fares cover less than half of their costs. However, the people who operate these systems belong to public-employee unions that are campaign contributors to . . . guess which party?

    As opposed to the big ROI on highway spending, right? Boy, do those 12-lane highway projects ever pay for themselves.

    Granted, this is a badly flawed bill, but The Journal’s complaining about transit spending while opining that $30 billion for roads and bridges is far too little does not show much of an understanding of the looming transportation and environmental challenges facing us.

  • Lee

    I’m not that excited about 3 billion, unless they are spending it all in my Hometown, or bailing out NYC transit. If they’re spreading it out like peanut butter 3 billion won’t go very far.

    Now 3 billion for copenhagen-style bicycle infrastructure, with emphasis on transit/rail connectivity, that would be something else.

  • I always am curious about these quips about transit management. I know there are surely badly managed transit systems but it’s hard for me to really assess (any advice on helping me would be great). But it does seems that many of these comments against transit management might have some legitimacy even if generally just heavily biased against transit. If the pro-transit community was seen as wanting internal reform as much as external money then it could help the image.

  • We seem to spend so much time complaining about our electeds being ineffective or counterproductive that it’s quite nice to see one do some good. Excellent work, Mr. Nadler.

  • Thanks to Eric for unearthing that shocking quote from the WS Journal: “Most urban transit systems are so badly managed that their fares cover less than half of their costs…”

    Is the last part of that even accurate? My impression was that the MTA and other agencies cover more than half their operating expenses with fares.

    One might respond: “Most urban transit systems are so scantily subsidized that fares have to cover more than half of their expenses. Roads, in contrast, are so heavily subsidized that drivers pay nothing for using most of them.”

  • Ian Turner

    Mark,

    Some transit agencies, including the MTA and BART, collect more than half their revenues from passengers. But most transit agencies do not even come close. CATS, the transit system in Baton Rouge, has a 31% recovery ratio; KAT, the transit system in Knoxville, takes the cake with just 7% of revenues coming from customers.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Call to Action: Win Back Stimulus Funding for Transit Service

|
There’s a sense of urgency on the Streetsblog Network this morning. Transportation for America, using media reports of projected cuts to transit services across the country, has put together a map that dramatizes just how painful those cuts could be: The far-reaching and broad cuts will directly affect transit employees and riders who are among […]

Tell Your Senator to Support Transit and Green Jobs, Not Highways

|
Update: Hold those phone calls, folks. Schumer has co-sponsored the Murray/Feinstein amendment, making it highly unlikely that he will offer his own, superior amendment. There are more amendments in the wings — supported by Senate Republicans and some surprising Democrats — that would give highway builders even greater leeway to build dirty, traffic-generating boondoggles. We’ll […]

Watch Now: U.S. Reps Testify About Stim Package

|
Check out C-SPAN’s streaming video of the House Rules Committee for a glimpse of our federal elected officials in action. The big coming attraction for Streetsbloggers is Jerrold Nadler’s amendment to boost investment in transit. As we go to press, Nadler is set to testify any minute. Rumor has it, the amendment has the backing […]

Last Chance to Tell House Reps to Vote for Transit

|
We’re getting word that the House will vote on Jerrold Nadler’s amendment to the stimulus bill in less than an hour. $3 billion for transit is on the line. If you haven’t called your representative yet, there’s still time to speak up for more investment in green transportation. Here’s how to get your message through. […]