Bus and Bus FacilitiesNumber C-06-07 8/21/2007 C-06-07
August 21, 2007
This week we will be publishing a Federal Register Notice outlining how the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will allocate Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 Bus and Bus Facilities, New Starts, and Alternatives Analysis discretionary funding. The Notice will indicate that we are allocating all available FY 2007 Bus and Bus Facilities discretionary funds ($438 million) to support the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT) Urban Partnership Congestion Initiative. These funds will be strategically invested in our nation’s most congested areas, but the impact of these investments will be felt across the country.
The Department’s Congestion Initiative provides a unique opportunity to supply substantial amounts of funding to jump start innovative and comprehensive approaches to congestion reduction. As Secretary Mary E. Peters noted, each of the Urban Partner communities has “committed to fighting congestion now. Our commitment was to allocate the Federal contribution in a lump sum, not in bits and pieces over several years – an approach meant to get these projects off the drawing board and into action.” FTA is proud to be a part of this strategic investment approach that will increase mobility, provide critical congestion relief and showcase new solutions to combat the congestion that is choking our nation’s highways.
Transit plays a central role in each of the Urban Partnership programs. In fact, transit ridership is expected to grow as congestion pricing provides incentives for transportation system users to seek alternative travel options. These investments support President Bush’s comprehensive plan to improve our energy security by reducing America’s gasoline consumption by 20 percent in the next 10 years. In addition, these arrangements also can provide for significant new ongoing streams of revenue to support transit, well in excess of the amounts being invested. Recently, Mr. Michael Replogle, Transportation Director for the Environmental Defense Fund, said "Congestion pricing can speed commutes, cut gridlock, generate new revenue for innovative transit, help clean the air and address climate change. We salute the U.S. DOT for supporting innovation in America's cities. These agreements show how cities can use incentives to get the most out of their transportation infrastructure.”
That being said, we are also very appreciative of all of our grantees that applied for funds under both of the Bus Funding Notices of Availability. We recognize that many transit agencies spent considerable time and energy preparing their applications for funding. However, the applications which we received for Urban Partnerships afforded us the opportunity to accelerate a set of unique transit projects that will explore new ways of providing congestion relief and we are not alone in recognizing this unique opportunity.
We are joined in this effort by the Federal Highway Administration and the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, for a total Departmental investment of $850 million.
I want to again thank each of you for the important role you play in providing public transportation alternatives in each of your communities day in and day out. Clearly, our important work together couldn’t be accomplished without your extraordinary leadership. The FTA and U.S. DOT are excited about these new approaches to congestion mitigation through the deployment of these Urban Partnership Agreements and we hope that you will support us, as we continue thinking outside of the box, to address the transportation issues facing our great country.
James S. Simpson
Enclosures (view PDF)