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February 10th, 2009
BLUEPRINT AMERICA
America in Gridlock
[REPORT] Infrastructure of the stimulus plan: Senate vs. House spending on transportation

Tom McNamara, Blueprint America

As the recovery plan was debated in Congress, the House and Senate had seemingly similar but, at the same time, different ideas on how stimulus money should fund transportation projects.

In the Senate: $46 billion for transportation projects, including $27 billion for highway and bridge construction and repair and $11.5 billion for mass transit and rail projects.

In the House: $47 billion for transportation projects, including $27 billion for highway and bridge construction and repair and $12 billion for mass transit, including $7.5 billion to buy transit equipment such as buses; $12.4 billion in rail and mass transit projects.

Issue

Senate Bill

(passed Senate 2/10/09)

House Bill

(passed House 1/28/09)

Funding Levels

Total Transportation Funding

$45,470,000,000

$46,120,000,000

Total Transit Funding

$8,400,000,000

$12,000,000,000

Transit Funding Breakdown Urbanized Area Formula Grants (5307)  -  $5.96 billion (71%)

Rural Area Formula Grants (5311) – $840 million (10%)

Growing States and High Density Formula Grants (5340) – $1.6 billion (19%)

Urbanized Area Formula Grants (5307) – $6.75 billion

Rural Area Formula Grants (5311) – $750 million

Fixed Guideway Modernization (Rail Mod) – $2 billion

Capital Investment Grants (New Starts) – $2.5 billion

Total Highway Funding

$27,060,000

$30,000,000

Highway Funding Breakdown

(Suballocation)

  • Funds distributed through STP program
  • 40% of funds will be suballocated to urbanized areas, and are eligible for transit
  • 5% of funds reserved for CMAQ, and eligible for transit
  • $60 million for waterborne transit-
  • Funds distributed through STP program
  • 45% of funds will be suballocated to urbanized areas, and are eligible for transit
Total Intercity and High Speed Rail Funding

$3,100,000,000

$1,100,000,000

Intercity and High Speed Rail Funding Breakdown Amtrak – $850 million

Intercity Passenger Rail Grant

Program – $250 million

High Speed Rail Corridor Investments – $2 billion

Amtrak -  $800 million

Intercity Passenger Rail Program* – $300 million

(Priority given to High Speed Rail projects)

Supplemental Discretionary Grants for a National Transportation System Program

(Multi-Modal)

$5,500,000,000

No Provision

Transit Program Details

Urbanized Area, Rural Area and Growing States and High Density States Formula Grant Programs (5307, 5311, 5340)
  • Urbanized Area Formula Grants (5307)  -  $5.96 billion
  • Rural Area Formula Grants (5311) – $840 million
  • Growing States and High Density Formula Grants (5340) – $1.6 billion
  • $200,000,000 Set aside for discretionary grants to “to public transportation agencies for capital investments to reduce energy consumption or greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Small Transit Intensive Cities formula not used in 5307 apportionments
  • 50% of funds must be obligated within 180 days;
  • Remaining 50% must be obligated within 1 year;
  • “Use it or lose it provision” -  First 50% of funds not obligated within 180days redistributed to recipients who have successfully obligated their apportionment; second 50% not obligated within 1 year redistributed to “Supplemental Discretionary Grants for a National Transportation System Program”
  • 100% federal share
  • funds shall be apportioned by FTA “as soon as possible”
  • Urbanized Area Formula Grants (5307) – $6.75 billion
  • Rural Area Formula Grants (5311) – $750 million
  • Growing States and High Density Formula Grants (5340) – $0
  • Small Transit Intensive Cities formula not used in 5307 apportionments
  • 50% of funds must be obligated within 90 days; remaining 50% must be obligated within 2 years
  • “Use it or lose it provision” – DOT shall redistribute funds not obligated within the specified time periods to other recipients eligible under the programs to use in a “timely manner”
  • 100% federal share
  • FTA required to apportion funds within 7 days of enactment
Fixed Guideway Modernization Program (Rail-Mod) No provision.
  • $2 billion provided
  • 50% of funds must be obligated within 90 days; remaining 50% must be obligated within 2 years
  • “Use it or lose it provision” – DOT shall redistribute funds not obligated within the specified time periods to other recipients eligible under the programs to use in a “timely manner”
  • 100% federal share
  • FTA required to apportion funds within 7 days of enactment;
Capital Investment Grants

(New Starts Program)

No Provision.
  • $2.5 billion provided
  • discretionary grants competitively awarded by DOT
  • priority shall be given to projects that are currently in construction or are able to award contracts based on bids
    within 90 days of enactment (FFGAs)
  • 50% of funds must be spent (contracts or binding commitments) by grantee within 90 days of award or be redistributed by DOT
  • current matching requirements remain
Supplemental Discretionary Grants for a National Transportation System Program
  • $5.5 billion provided for discretionary grants to states and local governments for the following eligible projects:Highway and bridge projects, including interstate rehabilitation,     improvements to rural collector road system, reconstruction of overpasses and interchanges, bridge replacements, and seismic retrofit projects for bridges and road realignments;Public transportation projects including New Starts and Small Starts projects;Passenger and freight rail improvements and port infrastructure improvements.
  • Grants range from $20,000,000 to $500,000,000;
  • 100% federal share;
  • projects must be completed within 3 years
  • funds must be distributed equitably among geographic regions and urban and rural areas
  • -Secretary must issue grant criteria within 75 days of enactment;-applications must be submitted within 180 days of enactment;
  • -projects must be awarded within 1 year of enactment;
No provision.
Rail Program Details
Amtrak
  • $850 million for Amtrak Capital Improvements
  • $800 million for Amtrak Capital Improvements
Intercity Passenger Rail Grants
  • $250 million for Intercity Passenger Rail grants
  • funds distributed under the Sec. 24401 Intercity Passenger Rail Grant program
  • 100% federal share
  • projects must be in STIP at time of application
  • priority given to projects that can be completed within 2 years and increase safety and reliability of intercity passenger trains.
  • $300 million for Intercity Passenger Rail grants;
  • funds distributed under the Sec. 24401 Intercity Passenger Rail Grant program;
  • preference given to projects that can be awarded within 180 days of enactment;
  • preference given to FTRA compliant rolling stock;
  • preference given to projects that promote High Speed Rail
High Speed Rail Corridor Program
  • $2 billion provided for discretionary grants for capital projects in designated high speed rail corridors;
  • grants distributed under the High Speed Rail program (Sec. 26106)
  • grants must be awarded by September 30, 2011
  • 100% federal share
No provision.
Other Issues
Maritime Transportation
  • $60 million in grants under the FHWA’s Ferry Boat Discretionary Program; competitive discretionary grants to be distributed to states for the construction of ferry boats and ferry terminal facilities.
  • priority given to projects that can be completed within 2 years;
  • $100 million provided for grants for “assistance to small shipyards,” through the Maritime Administration for capital improvements to small shipyards to improve productivity of nation’s shipbuilding industry
No provision.
Commuter Tax Benefit
  • Increases monthly pre-tax commuter transit and vanpool benefits to the same level as provided for pre-tax parking benefits, up from $120 to $230 per month.
  • Provision effectiveness to coincide with enactment.
  • Sunsets December 31, 2010.
No provision.
High Speed Rail Bonds
  • Current provision states a project is eligible for tax-exempt bonds only if a project is reasonably expected to operate at a speed in excess of 150 mph.
  • Chairman’s Modifications alters language to allow projects to be eligible for tax-exempt bonds if a project is reasonably expected to attain a top speed of 150 mph.
  • Only bonds issued after enactment are eligible.
  • No sunset provision.
No provision.
Transit Security Grants
  • $100,000,000 for Public Transportation Security Assistance, Railroad Security Assistance and Amtrak Security Updates;
  • Funds available until 9/30/2010
No provision.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program
  • $3.5 billion provided for state and local governments to implement transit eligible energy efficiency and conservation programs
  • $4.2 billion provided for state and local governments to implement transit eligible energy efficiency and conservation programs
  • $2.1 billion to be distributed via formula, remaining $2.1 billion to be awarded via discretionary grant program

Table Sources: American Public Transportation Association, House Appropriations and Ways and Means committees, Senate Appropriations and Finance committees


  • Dave

    CMAQ – if anyone is wondering stands for Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (no congestion here yet)

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