Where Did the Federal Transit Funding Go?

The final infrastructure deal cutting by more than half the transit funding proposed in the American Jobs Plan.

2 minute read

August 31, 2021, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

San Francisco Muni

Michael Vi / Shutterstock

As Congress finalized its infrastructure deal, writes Jeff Davis, the funding allocated to public transit shrank "from $85 billion (really $110 billion) in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, down to $48.5 billion in the June bipartisan infrastructure 'framework,' to $39.2 billion in the final bipartisan infrastructure deal."

In the June 24 BIF, "President Biden and his team had signed off on a framework that reduced the total above-baseline funding for roads, bridges, and major projects by 31 percent ($49 billion) from the combined total in the original American Jobs Plan. But the White House had also endorsed a framework that reduced above-baseline funding for public transit from $110 billion (including the electric transit buses) to $48.5 billion, which was a 56 percent reduction from the original request."

Then, transit funding was slashed again by $4.4 billion. "This time the reduction came entirely from the general fund advance appropriations for the Federal Transit Administration, reducing that amount of money from $24.35 billion to $20.00 billion, and reducing the total above-baseline mass transit funding provided by the bill down to $39.2 billion."

"Transit advocates are looking to reopen the bipartisan bill by getting additional funding for mass transit as part of the budget reconciliation bill that will move through Congress in September and October." But if that happens, Davis writes, "members of the bipartisan Senate negotiating team might feel obligated to reopen the other parts of the bill that were negotiated in exchange for the lowered transit funding."

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