Infrastructure in the News: July 5, 2012
The Hill: President to sign highway, student loan funding bill Friday
President Obama on Friday will sign the combined transportation, student loan and flood insurance bill at a White House event. The White House said Tuesday that Obama would sign the measure authorizing $105 billion for spending on road and transit projects over the next two years in an event with construction workers and college students. The ceremony will follow a two-day bus trip through Ohio and Pennsylvania for Obama. That trip concludes with an event in Pittsburgh Friday afternoon. Obama is also timing the signing for the June jobs report, which will provide the latest snapshot of the U.S. economy.
Politico Morning Transportation: BY THE NUMBERS
MT brings you the latest bill shorthand, culled from smart transportation sources and inspired by wildly divergent numbers strewn across the Internet. The closest estimate for the transportation piece's total price tag is about $118 billion (the $105 billion figure oft-used is only for two full years). That leads us to length. The bill is 27 months. So if you see "the $118 billion, 27-month bill" in the next MT, you know where it came from. Readers, let us know if we missed something. More numbers: Here's the state-by-state apportionment breakdown tables for transit (http://bit.ly/N8O34Y) and various surface programs (http://bit.ly/N8NQ1B).
Press Release: Congress Approves Federal Highway Bill Valued at $105 Billion
Iteris, Inc., a leader in providing intelligent traffic management information solutions, sees a revitalized and strengthened market for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) after both the House and Senate last Friday approved legislation that includes the federal surface transportation reauthorization bill.
MSNBC Blog: This is a win? After Dems cave, transportation bill creates no new jobs
The intransigence of Republicans in Congress has become so extreme that even bad results are now considered victories by Senate Democrats and the White House. Raising the debt ceiling—once a routine matter—while agreeing to painful spending cuts is the most prominent example. But a less-noticed one occurred last week.
The Hill: Commuter tax benefit gets GOP champion
A Republican lawmaker from New York has filed a bill to make the tax benefit given to people who use public transportation systems to get to work equal to the one given to workers who drive. The benefit allows commuters to sent aside a specified amount of their paychecks per month from the deductible income on their taxes for their trips to work. It had been $230 for commuters who traveled using public transportation until the beginning of 2012, while parking benefits were increased to $240 this year.
Atlantic Cities: Why Environmental Reviews Are Slowing Down Big Projects
Building major infrastructure projects takes a long time. Not just because they're big, but also because their potential impact on the environment is big. And according to a new report, the time it takes to get projects like bridges and highways through the environmental review process has grown longer and longer over time.
Fast Lane: DOT support for America's veterans, rural transit riders covers a lot of ground
When we talk about public transportation, it's all too easy to picture big city subways and wide avenues with bus stops on each block. But for much of our country, transit service can actually be quite different. It means rural service with isolated bus stops or transit vans available by appointment. No matter how transit looks in your community, DOT wants to make sure you can ride it where you need to go.
Sacramento Bee: High-speed rail bill includes regional money, oversight language
Lawmakers preparing for a crucial vote this week on high-speed rail will see a bill tailored to include funding for regional transportation improvements in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas, as well as language designed to address longstanding concerns about the California High-Speed Rail Authority's oversight of the project. Lawmakers expect to consider the $68 billion project in committee on Thursday, before a floor vote in the Senate on Friday.
Transportation Issues Daily: Wash. State Gubernatorial Candidates Talk Transportation Issues with Seattle Times Ed Board
Washington State’s two main gubernatorial candidates addressed transportation issues in a recent joint appearance before the Seattle Times Editorial Board. The resulting news article, and endorsement editorial backing McKenna, did not include the transportation conversation. But the Times’ Sharon Pian Chan live-blogged the interview, and so we have a rough transcript of the conversation from her blogging:
“Public transportation is a vital component of the nation’s total transportation infrastructure picture, and with ridership expected to grow, dependable public transportation systems will be vital to the transportation needs of millions of Americans.”