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Federal Transportation Bill

Obama Proposes Infra Bank, Livability Grants, Doubling Transit Funds

The White House has released a fact sheet on the transportation provisions in the President's budget [PDF].

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Here are the highlights, straight from the document:

    • Provides $13.4 billion in discretionary resources in 2012, a $1.3 billion decrease from 2010 levels. (This figure excludes $109 billion in obligation limitations for the surface transportation plan. Including surface transportation obligation limitations, Department of Transportation’s total budgetary resources increase by $53 billion over 2010.)
    • Includes a six-year, $556 billion surface reauthorization plan to modernize the country’s surface transportation infrastructure, create jobs, and pave the way for long-term economic growth. The President will work with the Congress to ensure that the plan will not increase the deficit.
    • Jump-starts productive investment and stimulates job growth with a first-year funding boost of $50 billion in 2012.
    • Provides $8 billion in 2012 and $53 billion over six years to reach the President’s goal of providing 80 percent of Americans with convenient access to a passenger rail system, featuring high-speed service, within 25 years.
    • Includes $30 billion over six years for a pioneering National Infrastructure Bank to invest in projects of regional or national significance to the economy.
    • Continues to invest in the Next Generation Air Transportation System—a revolutionary modernization of our aviation system.
    • Initiates Transportation Leadership Awards to create incentives for State and local partners to pursue critical transportation policy reforms.
    • Reduces funding for Airport Grants, focusing Federal support on smaller airports, while giving larger airports additional flexibility to raise their own resources.

The budget includes a new FHWA livability grant program totaling $4.1 billion next year and $28 billion over six years. It specifically targets multi-modal transportation hubs and bike/ped/transit access, and formally embraces a "fix-it-first" approach for highways and transit.

The budget also includes $32 billion in competitive grants to encourage states to adopt safety and livability reforms, as well as $119 billion for transit over the next six years -- about double the amount set aside for transit each year under the previous transportation bill.

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