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From a Reader: Seven More Questions For the Transportation Conference

3:45 PM EDT on May 17, 2012

Last week, I published a list of seven questions I had as the Transportation Conference Committee started meeting. I was examining the politics, not the policy. Turns out some readers wanted to hear more about the policy.

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I asked the Cap’n what his questions would be. The reply:

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Meanwhile, reader Ryan Richter sent in his revised list of questions too. They’re a little more specific, so I’ll start with Ryan’s. With any luck, the answers to Cap’n Transit’s questions will be woven into the answers below.

Thanks to both of you for keeping me focused on what really matters in this whole political hullabaloo.

Ryan’s first question:

1. How will public transportation fare after being practically decapitated in the last round?

Public transit came out a winner when members of the House GOP mounted their full-frontal assault against it. “The uprising was so immediate and so bipartisan [the Republicans] backed off,” said Deron Lovaas of NRDC. Democrats and some urban and suburban Republicans blew up at the idea that transit would no longer be eligible for its 20 percent of Highway Trust Fund dollars, which it’s gotten since the Fund’s Mass Transit Account was created under Ronald Reagan in 1983. Surviving an attempt against it makes transit that much stronger now – its opponents know that defunding transit is a losing issue for them.

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