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House Transportation Bill Misses Mark on Transit

Transit advocates have little good to say about the recently-passed Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act. While it doesn't cut transit funding, it does nothing to expedite transit-based solutions.
October 29, 2015, 8am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Dave Hosford

A piece from Streetsblog chronicles how the pro-transit community is reacting to the Congressional bill. The good news is that "for the most part this bill holds funding for transit, biking, and walking steady." But obvious shortcomings remain. 

For one thing, the bill prioritizes transit regulation over auto regulation. Mariia Zimmerman responds, "Each year more layers are added to the regulatory onion [...] Yet when we look at the numbers killed on our transportation network: roughly 33,000 people die on roads each year, and less than 270 die on transit."

The bill also shortchanges municipalities by rejecting a proposed amendment "that would have directed more funding to towns and cities of all sizes and increased transparency in how projects are selected."

Environmental watchdogs have pointed out how the bill compromises the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process, "restricting the ability of agencies to comment on alternatives and, even worse, possibly eliminating the agencies' ability to consider superior alternatives or citizen-introduced alternatives."

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Published on Monday, October 26, 2015 in Streetsblog Network
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