federal funding

National Opportunity Zones Ranking Report

The newly created federal Opportunity Zones program will likely go down as the largest and most significant federal community development initiative in U.S. history. With pre-designated lower-income communities that have been nominated by each state slated to receive trillions of dollars in new

Federal grant to increase efficiency in Midwest rail network, untangle Chicago bottleneck

By Michael Brenneis Chicago has become a notorious rail bottleneck, responsible for delays that impede freight delivery, Amtrak, Metra passenger service, and even drivers trying to cross rail lines. Now, one of the worst tangles—the 75th Street corridor—is about to get a little better thanks

Federal bill continues support for transportation programs

By Alex Beckmann The new federal “omnibus” appropriation bill, enacted March 23, provides over $86 billion for the U.S. Department of Transportation, a record funding amount and an increase of almost $10 billion from U.S. DOT’s FY ‘17 funding levels. Road, transit, and rail programs all

Avoiding a government shutdown, Congress agrees to fund popular transportation programs

By Beth Osborne On May 4, Congress passed a spending deal to fund the government through the end of the current fiscal year (FY2017) that ends on September 30, 2017.  In this agreement, Congress accommodated President Trump’s requests for more defense and security spending but maintained and

CBO report suggests changes to increase productivity of federal highway program

By Bill Holloway The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just released a new report, Approaches to Making Federal Highway Spending More Productive, which outlines problems with the way the federal government spends money on highways and suggests some potential fixes. The report argues that

Conflict over drunk driving penalties divide safety advocates

By Bill Holloway As Congress hashed out the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, one area of heated debate centered on how to effectively reduce drunk driving. As described in Governing, the debate has focused on whether states should require that everyone convicted of drunk

Politico examines Wisconsin’s “Love Affair with Overpasses”

By Eric Sundquist The transportation record of a prominent presidential candidate is the jumping off point for a lengthy, critical report on American transportation policy in Politico last week. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker recently proposed to dramatically increase borrowing in order to support

How MPOs Are Handling TAP and SRTS (National Center for Safe Routes to School, 2013)

Large Metropolitan Planning Organizations are taking on a new role in supporting bicycling, walking, and Safe Routes to School as they begin to administer a portion of the new federal Transportation Alternatives program. This white paper from the National Center for Safe Routes to School is

State DOT funding increases for public transportation

By Chris Spahr A new report from AASHTO shows that state funding for transit has increased from $13.8 billion in FY 2007 to $13.983 billion in 2011. This funding increase is a result of 18 states increasing their public transit funding by $1.23 billion, which made up for decreases in some other

Economist urges less general revenue, more user fees to support air travel

By Eric Sundquist The use of general revenue to support highways, transit, and intercity rail is familiar. Now with the across-the-board cuts dictated by the federal budget sequester, it’s also clear how much air travel relies on non-user revenue. Disruption in air travel has been one of the