Federal Government to Consider Social Equity in Funding Decisions

In new rules published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, the Department of Transportation is amending Bush era policies on awarding grants for Light Rail, Subway, and Bus Rapid Transit projects.

Lisa Caruso reports on the proposed changes which have rankled Bush era officials. The new rules, which will consider a project's "effects on air pollution, energy use, greenhouse-gas emissions and safety, and 'social equity impacts' such as affordable housing and job creation" when evaluating grant applications for the agency's New Starts and Small Starts programs may move DOT somewhat towards addressing the civil and human rights related concerns that were the subject of a piece we linked to earlier this week.

The rules would also streamline the approvals process by at least six months according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Not all are happy with the proposed changes, however. "The Federal Transit Administration 'is opening the door to an evaluation that is more subjective than it has been in the past and more prone to forecasting error,' said [David] Horner, a former chief counsel to the agency during the Bush administration."

Full Story: ‘Social Equity’ to Be Weighed in U.S. Transit Funding Rule

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