Issues in Transportation: Background, Policy and Funding


Naja T. Johansen (Editor)

Series: Transportation Issues, Policies and R&D
BISAC: TRA000000

Federal assistance to public transportation is provided primarily through the public transportation program administered by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The federal public transportation program was authorized from FY2016 through FY2020 as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the program as authorized by the FAST Act. Unless legislative action is taken, formula funding for the federal transit program could be decreased by approximately $1 billion in FY2020, roughly 12% from the amount authorized in the FAST Act as reported in chapter 2.

Almost every conversation about surface transportation finance begins with a two-part question: What are the “needs” of the national transportation system, and how does the nation pay for them? Chapter 3 is aimed at discussing the “how to pay for them” question. The 116th Congress is expected to address surface transportation reauthorization, including consideration of how to deal with the persistent gap between projected HTF revenues and program costs as discussed in chapter 4 and 5.

Chapter 6 begins by discussing FHWA assistance for the repair and reconstruction of highways and bridges damaged by disasters (such as the 2017 Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria) or catastrophic failures (such as the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge in Washington State in 2013). This is followed by a discussion of FTA’s assistance program, established in 2012, which has provided assistance to public transportation systems on two occasions, once after Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and again after the 2017 hurricanes.

The focus of chapter 7 is how best to implement and finance a system of deterrence, protection, and response that effectively reduces the possibility and consequences of terrorist attacks without unduly interfering with travel, commerce, and civil liberties.

The focus of chapter 8 is on truck freight and that portion of the rail and port industries that transports truck trailers and containers (intermodal freight).

The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program provides long-term, low-interest loans and other types of credit assistance for the construction of surface transportation projects as reported in chapter 9.

DOT opened the Build America Bureau in July 2016. Chapter 10 assesses, progress DOT made to establish the Bureau and carry out its responsibilities, the Bureau’s process for evaluating applications, and whether the Bureau provided a clear rationale for decisions in that process.

Chapter 11 examines the implications for federal transit policy of the current weakness and possible future changes in transit ridership.
Chapter 12 discusses the extent to which information exists about future transit workforce needs and FTA assists with addressing current and future transit workforce needs.
(Imprint: SNOVA)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Federal Public Transportation Program: In Brief
William J. Mallett

Chapter 2. FY2020 Funding for Transit Could Be Decreased Due to Highway Trust Fund Law
William J. Mallett and Robert S. Kirk

Chapter 3. Funding and Financing Highways and Public Transportation (Updated)
Robert S. Kirk and William J. Mallett

Chapter 4. Highway and Public Transit Funding Issues
Robert S. Kirk and William J. Mallett

Chapter 5. Reauthorizing Highway and Transit Funding Programs
Robert S. Kirk and William J. Mallett

Chapter 6. Emergency Relief for Disaster-Damaged Roads and Public Transportation Systems
Robert S. Kirk and William J. Mallett

Chapter 7. Transportation Security: Issues for the 116th Congress
Bart Elias, David Randall Peterman and John Frittelli

Chapter 8. Freight Issues in Surface Transportation Reauthorization
Ben Goldman

Chapter 9. The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Program
William J. Mallett

Chapter 10. Surface Transportatio: Action Needed to Guide Implementation of Build America Bureau and Improve Application Process

Chapter 11. Trends in Public Transportation Ridership: Implications for Federal Policy
William J. Mallett

Chapter 12. Transit Workforce Development: Improved Strategic Planning Practices Could Enhance FTA Efforts


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