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House Passes Dedicated Bus Capital Amendment

the House passed (by voice vote) the CTAA-supported Herrera-Beutler/Schrader/Larsen/Loebsack/Turner/Cartwright/DelBene amendment, which adds significant revenue to the Section 5339 Dedicated Bus and Bus Facilities program. This victory is a direct result of the outstanding work by CTAA members across the country informing their House members about the importance of this amendment. There is still work to do as a House-Senate Conference Committee will hammer out the final bill in the coming weeks - but having this additional dedicated bus capital investment in the conference committee debate greatly improves our standing.

  • Herrera-Beutler/Schrader Amendment Talking Points (PDF)
  • Dedicated Bus Capital Funding in MAP-21 Reauthorization (PDF)(88 KB)
  • Full Bill Summary (PDF)
  • CTAA's Initial STRR Act Analysis (PDF)(228 KB)
  • MAP-21 Reauthorization Bill Funding Level Comparison (PDF)(187 KB)
  • Senate DRIVE Act (PDF)(403 KB)
  • The Senate passed a six-year MAP-21 reauthorization (with three years of pay-fors) 65-34 and then voted 91-4 (needed 60 votes) to extend MAP-21 by 3 months. Next up is President to sign the extention.

    June 23: The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is developing language for a long-term surface transportation reauthorization in the House. CTAA urges all of its members to contact their House members while they are back in their home districts in August to support the following facets of the Senate's DRIVE Act.

    • Overall investment increases in the transit program, particularly the key formula programs (Sections 5307, 5310 and 5311)
    • Increases in dedicated bus capital investment, including a blended formula-discretionary approach
    • Additional operating flexibility for all transit systems

    June 23: Senate Environment and Public Works Committee releases six-year, $43 billion reauthorization plan, named the DRIVE Act, for America's highway system. Analysis to come.. Full bill (PDF).

    June 23: The Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations subcommittee has approved a FY '16 spending proposal that includes $10.5 billion for public transportation. The full Senate Appropriations Committee will likely take up the proposal on Thursday, June 25.

    March 2015: The Federal Transit Administration has published the 2015 Apportionment tables for all of its programs. Here (PDF) is the Federal Register notice and here are the tables.

    March 13: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) released its ADA Reasonable Modification of Policies and Practices rule (PDF), which will become effective July 13, 2015. Responding to court-identified gaps in its ADA regulations, the new rule attempts to more clearly define the reasonable modifications transit operators are required to make to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities.

    Here's a closer look at the key community and public transportation committees and their leadership of the 114th Congress. MAP-21 (current federal surface transportation law) was extended last summer to May 31, 2015 - so these committees are charged with developing new surface transportation legislation or extending current law by that date.

CTAA

CTAA Applauds Obama Administration's Oil Tax Proposal (PDF)(192 KB)

CTAA Submits Comments to FTA for Transit Asset Management (TAM) Plans (PDF)

FAST Act program and state allocation tables (PDF)(5.12 MB)

FAST Act Program Comparison Graphs (PDF)(352 KB)

FAST Act Conference Report (PDF)(2.75 MB)

FAST Act Vote Counts House and Senate

Oct. 27: CTAA's Analysis of the FTA's Transit Asset Management NPRM (PDF)(277 KB)

June 22: CTAA responds to Senate Finance Committee working group's request for chronic care solutions.

May 22: New report provides detailed information (PDF)(686 KB) on all states seeking 1115 Medicaid premium assistance waivers.

May 15: Sign-On Letter on NEMT Waiver in Iowa (PDF)
CTAA and its membership have substantial concerns regarding Iowa's request for a 17-month extension of the existing waiver of the NEMT requirement. We ask that all members read this (attached) letter and express their concerns to the Iowa Department of Human Services.

Barb Cline Testifies on Behalf of CTAA and its Members
Barb Cline, Executive Director of Prairie Hills Transit in Spearfish, S.D., and Upper Midwest Member of the CTAA Board of Directors, testified today on behalf of rural and small-urban transit providers before the Senate Banking Committee. She focused her remarks on the need for additional dedicated bus capital funds and answered questions on workforce development, NEMT and more.

April 8: CTAA's Small Urban Network (SUN) unveils its Small Transit Intensive Cities (STIC) proposals in draft language (PDF)(1.31 MB). The SUN proposes to both double the current Section 5307 set aside for STIC, and move back the year in which the STIC benchmarks are set to allow systems to know the levels they need to hit in order to qualify for STIC.

Feb. 19: Iowa transit providers have come together to craft an excellent document focused on transit across the state with an emphasis on the state's bus capital replacement needs. View it here. (PDF)(4.41 MB)

Feb. 5: Scott Bogren's video Federal Transit Update.

Feb. 4: The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and its more than 4,000 members enthusiastically applaud the FY 2016 Budget Submission sent to Congress by the Obama Administration on Feb. 2.

Jan. 29: CTAA reissues MAP-21 reauthorization recommendations for 2015. Click here to download (PDF).

Communicate with Congress
Based on our Gathering meeting during EXPO 2014 in St. Paul, Minn., we've developed this easy-to-use card (PDF)(260 KB) that concisely communicates the importance of community and public transportation. We encourage you to schedule some time with your U.S. Senators and Representatives and bring this card with you. The "Here At Home" boxes highlight what your system does and how you do it. Then, print out the card to bring to the meeting. Also, share your card with your colleagues around the nation by saving version of the card and emailing it to Rich Sampson.

Administration

President Obama's FY '17 budget includes significant investment for a 21st Century Clean Transportation System

FTA publishes FY16 Apportionments, Allocations, Program Information and Guidance (PDF)

June 23: FTA announces proposed rule to revamp bus testing process. The proposed rule would establish minimum performance standards, a new pass-fail grading system for bus testing, and a weighted scoring process that would better assist local transit agencies in purchasing an appropriate vehicle. Comments are due August 24. Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-06-23/pdf/2015-14176.pdf

April 2: TIGER NOFA Released: US DOT announces $500 million in TIGER grants with applications due June 5 and pre-applications due May 4. Twenty percent of the funding ($100m) is set aside for rural communities. Please note that these funds can be used to purchase rolling stock, among others.

March 30: Secretary Foxx and the DOT sent a new version of Grow America - a six-year, $478 billion surface transportation bill - to Congress. The proposal would invest $115 billion in transit over the next six years, a more than 75 percent increase from current levels. The Administration specifically focuses transit investment on addressing the capital backlog across the industry, including a significant and necessary increase in bus capital investment.

March 13: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) released its ADA Reasonable Modification of Policies and Practices rule (PDF), which will become effective July 13, 2015. Responding to court-identified gaps in its ADA regulations, the new rule attempts to more clearly define the reasonable modifications transit operators are required to make to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities.

March 4: President Obama has submitted his official budget proposal to Congress, which Administration officials termed the first year of a six-year surface transportation reauthorization. Included in the proposal is nearly $2b for bus capital, $622m for Section 5311 and $264m for Section 5310.

Feb. 2: President Obama has submitted his official budget proposal to Congress, which Administration officials termed the first year of a six-year surface transportation reauthorization. Included in the proposal is nearly $2b for bus capital, $622m for Section 5311 and $264m for Section 5310.

Jan. 29: CTAA has learned that the state of Indiana has been granted a non-emergency medicaid transportation (NEMT) waiver for adults in the expanded Medicaid populations as an enticement to accept the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (PDF). Indiana now joins Iowa and Pennsylvania as ACA states with this NEMT waiver, while Tennessee, Montana, Virginia, Utah and Wyoming are expected to request such a waiver in the near future.

Oct. 27: CTAA Calls on Obama Administration to Reject Iowa NEMT Waiver Extension Request. CTAA implores the Obama Administration to reject a request by the state of Iowa to extend the elimination of transportation to medical services for new Medicaid patients.

Senate

June 23: Senate Environment and Public Works Committee releases six-year, $43 billion reauthorization plan, named the DRIVE Act, for America's highway system. Analysis to come.. Full bill (PDF).

The Senate passed a six-year MAP-21 reauthorization (with three years of pay-fors) 65-34 and then voted 91-4 (needed 60 votes) to extend MAP-21 by 3 months. Next up is President to sign the extention.

Key Congressional committee hearings looking at how to pay for surface transportation reauthorization failed to reveal any meaningful progress on the part of the House Ways and Means or Senate Finance committee. Increasing the gas tax, repatriation and tax reform were all hotly debated, but to little end. Senate Finance Hearing.

June 11: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) seemed to rule out the senate doing major tax reform, dousing hopes that such reform could be the source of much-needed revenue to shore up the Highway Trust Fund and thus pave the way for MAP-21 reauthorization.

June 10: Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) have filed a bill dubbed the Transportation Empowerment Act of 2015 that would lower the federal gas tax from 18.4 cents to 3.7 cents per gallon over the next five years. The devolution concept is not favored by the majority of Congress nor does it appeal to the Senate Banking Committee and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee membership. Details: http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/244597-bill-filed-to-eliminate-the-gas-tax.

March 17: Senators Wicker (R-Miss.) and Booker (D-N.J.) have reintroduced an "Innovation in Surface Transportation" bill designed to provide local officials with more control over the transportation planning process in their states and communities.

Senators Boxer and Paul Team Up to Draft Repatriation Bill for Transportation: In late January, Senator Barbara Boxer (ranking member of the Senate EPW Committee) and Senator Rand Paul teamed up to craft a repatriation bill that would create significant investment for all forms of surface transportation. Both Senators see it as a viable alternative to raising the federal gas tax.

Feb. 25: The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held it's second MAP-21 reauthorization-focused hearing today, focusing on the business case for investing in surface transportation and featuring testimony from owners, operators and users of the system.

Jan. 28: The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee today unanimously approved the Older American Act (OAA), which includes funding for a number of vital senior services like Meals on Wheels and which promotes the effective use of transportation. The OAA has not been reauthorized since 2011. Next up is the full Senate. Details.

Jan. 28: Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee holds first MAP-21 reauthorization hearing of the 114th Congress. United States Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and the governors of Alabama and Vermont provided the committee with testimony. Details.

Jan. 28: Senator Bernie Sanders (Vt.) today introduced the Let's Rebuild America Act, a $1 trillion surface transportation infrastructure bill that not only supports highways, bridges and public transportation, but also passenger rail. Details.

Jan. 23: Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) announces subcommittee membership

House

November 4: House Passes Dedicated Bus Capital Amendment

the House passed (by voice vote) the CTAA-supported Herrera-Beutler/Schrader/Larsen/Loebsack/Turner/Cartwright/DelBene amendment, which adds significant revenue to the Section 5339 Dedicated Bus and Bus Facilities program. This victory is a direct result of the outstanding work by CTAA members across the country informing their House members about the importance of this amendment. There is still work to do as a House-Senate Conference Committee will hammer out the final bill in the coming weeks - but having this additional dedicated bus capital investment in the conference committee debate greatly improves our standing.

House Working on Long-Term Reauthorization Bill

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is developing language for a long-term surface transportation reauthorization in the House. CTAA urges all of its members to contact their House members while they are back in their home districts in August to support the following facets of the Senate's DRIVE Act.

  • Overall investment increases in the transit program, particularly the key formula programs (Sections 5307, 5310 and 5311)
  • Increases in dedicated bus capital investment, including a blended formula-discretionary approach
  • Additional operating flexibility for all transit systems

Key Congressional committee hearings looking at how to pay for surface transportation reauthorization failed to reveal any meaningful progress on the part of the House Ways and Means or Senate Finance committee. Increasing the gas tax, repatriation and tax reform were all hotly debated, but to little end. House Ways and Means Hearing.

June 10: Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) have filed a bill dubbed the Transportation Empowerment Act of 2015 that would lower the federal gas tax from 18.4 cents to 3.7 cents per gallon over the next five years. The devolution concept is not favored by the majority of Congress nor does it appeal to the Senate Banking Committee and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee membership. Details: http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/244597-bill-filed-to-eliminate-the-gas-tax.

May 18: House members Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) recently introduced the Rural Veterans Travel Enhancement Act of 2015, which was earlier introduced by Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) as S. 603. The bills would reauthorize the Veterans Transportation Services program for five years, including a grant program for transportation for highly rural veterans.

April 29: House Appropriations Committee Releases FY '16 Transit Funding Bill. Last week, the House Appropriations Committee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) released its Fy 2016 proposal, funding transit at $10.7b, a $160m cut from last year. As with past proposals from this committee, the TIGER program bore the brunt of the proposed cuts, with transit formula programs held at current levels.

April 16: House Members Propose Gas Tax Increase, With a Twist. A bi-partisan group of House members led by Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) and Jim Renacci (R-Ohio - and including Transportation and Infrastructure Committee members Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.), Reid Ribble (R-Wisc.) - has proposed to raise the gas tax to buy time for a more permanent solution to transportation infrastructure investment. The proposal would immediately index the gast tax rate to inflation and then a federal gas tax increase would take effect in three years should Congress be unable to find a suitable replacement.

March 23: Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) issued a letter to members of the House Appropriations Committee to fully fund transit and rail in FY '16. The letter was co-signed by 10 members of the Illinois House Delegation.

March 19: Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) has introduced the DRIVE Act (HR 1461) which would take all funding for transit and other non-highway/bridge programs out of the Highway Trust Fund. Rep. Massie is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and his introduction of this bill could lead to a replay of House action three years ago in the run-up to MAP-21's passage. Committee leadership does not support this approach.

March 19: The House Appropriations Committee held a hearing today covering the budget and took testimony from FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan. Of note, McMillan discussed the need for more Bus and Bus Facilities investment and the impact on rural and tribal transit of the lack of certainty of federal transportation funds.

March 18: Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) has reintroduced the "Transit Accessibility Innovation Act" which would create a competitive grant program under the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to encourage transit systems to make public transportation more accessible and user-friendly for individuals with disabilities. CTAA has expressed official support for this bill. March 17: The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held its second major hearing on MAP-21 reauthorization, Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill: Laying the Foundation for U.S. Economic Growth and Job Creation. Witnesses included North Carolina Governor Patrick McCrory, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and Wyoming DOT Director John Cox. Major themes covered were the important federal role in surface transportation, potential sources of revenue for the Highway Trust Fund and the need for action.

March 12: Reps. Reid Ribble (R-Wisc.) and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) authored a Dear Colleague letter (PDF) supporting reauthorizing MAP-21 with a long-term bill featuring increased, dedicated investment.

March 4: The full House passed Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act by a 316-101 margin. The Act improves the nation's passenger rail system and reforms Amtrak by reducing costs, creating greater accountability and transparency, leveraging private sector resources, and accelerating rail project delivery. Senate action is next up.

Feb. 26: The House Appropriations Committee's Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommitee held a 90-minute hearing with Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx regarding the Administration's Grow America proposal as well as working on its annual Department of Transportation budget.

Feb. 11: The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee held its first MAP-21 Reauthorization hearing in the 114th Congress - a nearly three-hour session with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. Details here.

Feb. 3: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) has re-introduced a bill (HR 680: the UPDATE Act) that would phase in a nickel per gallon tax increase over the next three years on gasoline and diesel.

Jan. 28: Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) has introduced the Infrastructure 2.0 Act, legislation that would inject $150 billion into the Highway Trust Fund through corporate tax reform. Mr. Delaney offered a similar bill last Congress, then introducing the concept of repatriation as a means to pay for surface transportation when raising the gas tax is politically unpopular. Details.

Dec. 5: The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved raising retroactively the transit commuter tax benefit to $250 per month for 2014. It not yet clear how this will be implemented. Of note: this retroactive parity ends Dec. 31, 2014, so it is far from a meaningful solution to the ongoing parking-transit benefit parity effort.

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