Wednesday, March 05, 2014

USDOT says proposed budget would address infrastructure deficit

U.S. Department of Transportation says its $90.9 billion proposed budget would lay a new foundation for economic growth and competitiveness by addressing growing infrastructure deficit, investing in the national infrastructure network and increasing safety and efficiency.

 

"President Obama has offered the kind of aggressive transportation budget our country needs, one that replenishes the Highway Trust Fund today while also helping ensure the country has a safe, efficient transportation system for tomorrow," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "These funds will do everything from helping communities tackle their transportation to-do lists to improving access to ladders of opportunity. And we will do everything at USDOT to make this budget a reality, including sending a bill to Congress to support it."

At the heart of the FY 2015 budget is a four-year, $302-billion surface transportation reauthorization proposal that will improve America's highways and transit networks, continue building on the department's overall safety record, while also ensuring a stable funding source for rail. The proposed budget would be paid for with $150 billion from transition revenue generated from business tax reforms, along with current revenues from the gas tax.

The budget provides $72 billion to help meet the growing demand for transit, in addition to $19 billion to create and improve passenger rail service. In light of transportation's role in connecting people with jobs, education and other opportunities, the budget includes $2.2 billion for a Rapid Growth Area Transit Program that will link people to job and educational opportunities in fast growing areas.

In an effort to cut red tape and increase efficiency, the budget will provide $8 million to support an Interagency Infrastructure Permitting Improvement Center that will spearhead efforts to improve and expedite the federal approval and permitting processes across government.

In addition to providing $10 billion over four years to strengthen the country's freight system, the FY 2015 budget proposal includes $40 million over two years to support multimodal prevention and response efforts that will improve the safe transportation of energy products. This funding is a direct outcome of USDOT's efforts regarding the transportation of crude oil from the Bakken region and will include increased inspections, investigations and research.

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