As I wrote about, one of the major issues overlooked in last year’s presidential election was the investment into our country’s mass transit infrastructure. I personally voted for the Obama/Biden ticket for many reasons with one of them being that they would be more serious about investing in mass transit. The news seemed to reflect this with the talk of a huge stimulus package that will probably get passed in the short term.
Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee released a summery of the House’s version of the stimulus legislation. Tri-State Transportation Campaign Executive Director Kate Slevin has more in this entry:
Today the House Appropriations Committee released a summary of the House version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009, the proposed federal stimulus legislation. The announcement says the legislation will be considered in the next few weeks. On the transportation front, the proposed legislation includes $30 billion for highway construction and $10 billion for transit and rail “to reduce traffic congestion and gas consumption.”
The highway portion will fund some of the 5,100 highway and bridge projects, totaling $64 billion, that could start construction within six months. There is no detail as to how this money will be allocated or whether it will go to maintenance or expansion projects.
Click here for the complete entry.
Why am I not surprised to see mass transit get a smaller portion of the funds? I will be honest, I would love to see a fair 50/50 split of money between roads & mass transit. However I am a realist & understand that hell will freeze over before an even split occurs with any sort of funding now or ever. However if the ratio is similar to what was released in yesterday’s summary, it will once again feature mass transit getting the short end of the stick. I yearn for the day when our leaders will truly embrace the need to invest in mass transit.
xoxo Transit Blogger