Federal Transportation Bill Salvages Funding for Transit-Dense Northeast

Photo: MTA | Flickr

While we await the details on the finalized federal transportation bill,  there is at least one piece of good news: the Herrera Beutler amendment didn’t make the cut.

The amendment would have redistributed transit funding allocated in the formula-based High Density States Program to an entirely discretionary, nationwide Competitive Bus Grant program. If it remained in the bill, the seven densely populated states along the Boston-Washington Corridor would have collectively lost $1.6 billion in six years worth of funding. But luckily, Northeastern lawmakers were quick to fight the cut, restoring $100 million for New York, $50 million for New Jersey and $25 million for Connecticut.

Instead, the transportation bill will boost funding for the High Density States Program (also known as the 5340 Program) by an additional $18.5 million. The bill’s lifespan was also shortened from six years to five, maximizing potential investment in a shorter period.

When proposing the amendment, U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA) called for fairness in nationwide bus funding. And fair is fair: the revised transportation bill will now include $1.5 billion for the nationwide Competitive Bus Grant Program.

Congress has until this Friday to approve the bill to avoid a gap in funding transportation projects nationwide.

1 Comment on "Federal Transportation Bill Salvages Funding for Transit-Dense Northeast"

  1. Ronald DeGray | December 4, 2015 at 5:05 pm |

    Please reinstate the Montrealer between Montreal and Washington, D.C. via St. Albans, VT. There is no reasonable public transportation between New England and Canada! It is incomprenensible that you have neglected supporting public transportationn, especially, Passenger rail via Amtrak.

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