Long Range Transportation Plans, what's their future?

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cipher's picture
cipher
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 19 2009
Posts: 51
Long Range Transportation Plans, what's their future?

The Trust funds that fuel DOT and Federal Highway Administration are not being fed properly. I hear that congress will most likely pass the Continuing Resolution bill again to keep the ball rolling for one month at a time.

To me, it seems like the long range planning and forecasting programs, like 2030 etc. may cease to be funded "for a while", but on the other hand, I also understand that congress would not like to send out shock waves or raise concerns by doing such a thing. So even when the money has a more important and immediate use, they probably won't hinder those long range programs.

any thoughts?

EndGamePlayer's picture
EndGamePlayer
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 2 2008
Posts: 546
Re: Long Range Transportation Plans, what's their future?

HI mayanKPJ- Got a link for further reading? EGP

cipher's picture
cipher
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 19 2009
Posts: 51
Re: Long Range Transportation Plans, what's their future?

I work for a transportation planning firm , so i get updates from DC about what they hear there. It has been a problem for a while that everyone is looking at:

http://logisticstoday.com/operations_strategy/highway-trust-fund-almost-broke-0615/

Here is another peice of news:

http://www.examiner.com/x-7864-Dallas-Budget-Travel-Examiner~y2009m8d20-Congress-members-lament-Highway-Trust-Fund-delays

In addition I read this general information:

With the September 30 expiration of the SAFETEA-LU authorization bill and the October 1 start of the new fiscal year rapidly upon us next week, Congress engaged in a flurry of activity over the past several days to pass temporary extensions to assure funding for vital programs does not lapse. 

 

SAFETEA-LU Reauthorization

 

Congress continues to disagree over the length of a temporary extension until a six-year long-term bill can be passed.  House T&I Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-MN) still believes it is possible to pass a six-year bill this fall and therefore he supports only a three-month extension of the current program.  The Senate committee leadership continues to push for an 18-month extension since they will be too busy with health care reform and climate change legislation to work on a surface transportation bill.  The House passed a three-month extension this week, HR 3617, but the full Senate has not been able to pass any extension bill because of a lack of unanimous agreement on the length of the bill. 

 

Therefore, as of October 1 and until a stand-alone extension can be passed, the highway and transit programs will be covered by a one-month extension that has been included in the FY’10 Continuing Resolution (CR) appropriations bill (see more below).

 

The House three-month extension bill does not include any additional funding for the programs since there are sufficient funds in the Highway Trust Fund following the transfer of $7B in General Funds into the Trust Fund in July.  However, a six, twelve, or 18-month extension would require additional funding.  The Senate Finance Committee has passed a bill to transfer over $26B in additional General Funds to finance an 18-month extension.

 

Still unresolved is the issue of the $8.7B rescission of unobligated FHWA contract authority that was included in the original SAFETEA-LU bill.  Several attempts have been made to amend various bills to repeal the rescission, but so far have been unsuccessful.  The biggest obstacle is the House leadership’s insistence that the cost of the repeal be offset with cuts in other programs.  If the rescission goes into effect it will have serious consequences for state DOTs. 

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