T4A on Federal Transportation Funding News
Following the big announcement from Ray LaHood yesterday about important changes in transportation funding, which Alex blogged about, I had a chance to hop on a Transportation for America partner call today to hear their perspective on the issue (as many of you are aware, RenewLV is the regional lead on the Transportation for America campaign).
As expected, the news was incredibly well-received. With livability being a key component of the new formula, it will allow for greater spending for public transportation projects (which, under the former funding formula were restricted to projects that would directly show they would reduce traffic congestion) and give way to more sustainable development. T4A is rightfully thrilled about the integration of the livability component, but warned that it does not mean that the New Starts program will see an increase in funds nor will the program see a decrease in demand. New Starts provides funding for many new light and rapid rail projects, or larger public transportation projects (for example, facilities for bus vehicles, among other examples).
Still, the change goes a long way in the fight to keep communities at the forefront in transportation funding. On the T4A call, it was mentioned that Sec. LaHood acknowledged the strain on New Starts funds, calling on the need for more investment dollars. With a change in priorities within the administration (focused on more public transit funding) comes the hope that more funding might come.
What are your thoughts on this matter? Post your comments below.