House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and ranking Democrat Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) released Oct. 16 proposed legislation to reauthorize the federal highway and public transportation programs for six years. The “Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act (STRRA) of 2015” would authorize roughly $330 billion in surface transportation investments through fiscal year 2021.
The proposal would maintain current highway and transit funding levels, plus annual inflationary adjustments. Under the STRRA, core highway program investment would grow from the current $40.3 billion to $42.5 billion by FY 2018 and transit spending would increase from $10.7 billion in FY 2015 to $11.3 billion in FY 2018. Highlights of the bill include the creation a new $750 million per year Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects Program that would provide grants to highway, bridge, rail-grade crossing, intermodal and freight rail projects costing more than $100 million. The program would allow up to $500 million to be allocated to freight rail and/or intermodal projects.
The release of the House T&I Committee’s surface transportation proposal reinforces the importance of reaching out to your representative to urge them to support House passage of a multi-year highway/transit bill as soon as possible.