Five-Year Transportation Bill Has a Ways to Go

House and Senate versions of the five-year surface transportation reauthorization bill are on different tracks, headed in different directions.

June 10, 2021, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


North Dakota

Bob Pool / Shutterstock

"Funding for public transportation is one of the sticking points as Congress considers reauthorizing the nation's surface transportation legislation," writes Chris Teale.

And there's clearly some middle ground yet to be found between House and Senate versions of the bill.

House Democrats recently "introduced the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act, a $547 billion, five-year reauthorization bill."

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted in May to advance the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021. While the Senate's version of the bill attracted criticism from transit advocates, the House Democrats' version of the bill is proving much more popular.

"There’s a lot of great, some good, a few things that could use further refinement, and a couple of missed opportunities; but nothing that falls into the category of 'bad,' much less 'ugly,'" according to a post by Stephen Lee Davis for Transportation for America.

As for the details, Teale provides the following: "Included in the bill, which Democrats first introduced last year, is $109 billion for transit, which committee leaders called 'record investments.' The purpose of the money is to increase routes and reduce public transportation’s maintenance backlog, which previous estimates have indicated will cost around $90 billion."

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