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US Transportation Secretary unveils 2017 budget to expand safe, clean transportation options

Feb 09, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced President Obama’s $98.1 billion Fiscal Year 2017 Budget for the US Department of Transportation (DOT). The Budget reflects Secretary Foxx’s ambitious 30-year vision for the Department to take the United States “Beyond Traffic”, towards a transportation network that matches the changing geography of where people live and work; fosters innovation and adapts to evolving technology; and provides cleaner options and access to opportunity for people and communities across America.

Tomorrow, Secretary Foxx and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Acting Administrator Therese McMillian will host a press call to highlight key priorities in the President’s budget, including the FTA’s Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program, competitively funded projects that would create thousands of construction and operations-related jobs and help communities expand transportation choices that offer new ladders of opportunity for residents.

Beyond Traffic demonstrated that the population of the United States is expected to grow by 70 million over the next three decades, creating pressures that cut across modes and infrastructure – roads, rails, airspace, ports, and pipelines.

“Meeting future challenges will require a long-term vision for the transportation sector that includes more and cleaner options, and expands those options to communities across the country,” stated Secretary Foxx. “This budget brings us closer to that vision.”

The Budget addresses the Department’s top priority, safety, with high impact investments in the safe integration of emerging technologies, such as autonomous vehicles and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), which have the potential to transform transportation systems, save lives and reduce carbon emissions. Importantly, this Budget charts a path towards fundamental changes in the way the government balances and integrates surface transportation options.

This Budget fully supports the authorized funding levels in the recent surface transportation authorization, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act , but also moves to a regionally-focused approach to transportation funding that reflects the changing shape of the Nation’s communities, and prioritizes spending on projects that will have the most benefits.

FY 2017 Budget Focus Areas:

Invests in Clean, 21st Century Surface Transportation Options that Reflect America’s Changing Geography and Provide Access to Opportunity.

Enhances clean transportation options for American families: Over a 10-year period, the Budget invests an average of nearly $20 billion per year in new investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide new ways for families to get to work, to school, and to the store. The Budget would expand transit systems in cities, fast-growing suburbs, and rural areas; make high-speed rail a viable alternative to flying in major regional corridors; modernize our freight system; and expand the successful Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program to support high-impact, innovative local projects.

Supports investment decisions towards a “21st Century Regions” approach that reflects a changing demographics and economy: Increasingly, Americans are choosing to live in metropolitan areas and megaregions that often cross State lines, yet the majority of Federal transportation funding flows via formula, through the States. This Budget balances that funding stream, by directing billions of dollars through regional governments, such as Metropolitan Planning Organizations, empowering them to play a stronger role in decision-making. Over a 10-year period, the Budget invests an average of $10 billion a year towards a series of new, innovative programs that improve the balance of funding and decision-making and will accelerate the move towards smarter, cleaner, and more integrated communities.

Fully supports FAST-authorized funding levels for surface transportation programs, aimed at keeping the system safe and in a state of good repair. In addition to the proposed increases for surface programs, the Budget fully funds FAST Act levels for FY 2017, which include: $44 billion to invest in the nation’s critical highway and bridge systems; nearly $10 billion to support operations of public transit systems across the Nation; roughly $730 million for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to research and develop new, life-saving technologies and programs; and over $640 million to support nationwide motor carrier safety through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Advances Public and Private Sector Collaboration to Accelerate Cost-Competitive, Low-Carbon Technologies and Intelligent Transportation Systems.

Funds pilot deployments of safe and climate-smart autonomous vehicles to create better, faster, cleaner urban and corridor transportation networks: To accelerate the development and adoption of autonomous vehicles, the Budget includes $3.9 billion over ten years for large-scale deployment pilots to develop a common multistate interoperability framework for connected and autonomous vehicles.

Continues the transition to the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen): The Budget requests a total of $1 billion to support NextGen. This includes $877 million for NextGen Capital investments, an increase of $22 million above FY 2016, to advance modernization efforts; enhance automation; implement satellite-based surveillance capabilities; improve data communication practices and technology; and maximize traffic flow.

Ensures Transportation Safety Keeps Pace with Changing Technology and Organizational Needs.

Integrates surface transportation technologies safely into the transportation system: High impact investments will support activities like NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), to test vehicle safety through state-of-the-art equipment such as human-like crash dummies. The Budget invests an $35 million in FY 2017 for this integration.

Strengthens regulatory enforcement agencies across the Department through resources and organizational changes: Across the Department, agencies are taking action to strengthen the regulatory and enforcement capabilities that are key to protecting the safety of travelers and movement of goods. Investments would provide over $47 million for NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation to improve its effectiveness in identifying safety defects quickly, ensuring remedies are implemented promptly, and notifying the public of critical defects. The Budget’s $295 million request for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) also includes proposed organizational changes to elevate the role of research and analysis in support of regulatory development and enforcement.

Supports rail safety through research and development and implementation of positive train control (PTC): The Budget includes $213 million to support the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA’s) rail safety and development programs, including implementation and enforcement of PTC, as well as related track and bridge safety activities, and another $53 million for additional safety research. This includes $12.5 million to analyze and demonstrate the safety and environmental benefits of Electronically Con-trolled Pneumatic brakes.

Protects our maritime interests: The Budget provides over $428 million for the Maritime Administration to implement programs that promote the economic competitiveness, efficiency, and productivity of U.S. Maritime transportation.

Investing in 21st Century Government and Project Delivery.

Modernizes permitting and project delivery: The Budget supports investments that ensure we are making 21st century investments through 21st century delivery mechanisms. The Budget expands the Administration’s progress to expedite permitting and approval processes while protecting safety and the environment.

Supports ongoing establishment of a National Surface Transportation and Innovative Finance Bureau: Building on the Administration’s successful Build America Investment Initiative, the FAST Act created a new office to streamline and improve the application processes for credit programs, expedite project delivery, and promote innovative financing best practices. The Budget requests resources for implementation, as well as $275 million for the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Program, along with flexibility to also use resources from a range of new multi-modal programs to cover credit subsidy costs.

Protects cybersecurity and data integrity: The Budget includes $15 million to continue improvements to the Department’s cybersecurity. In addition, the Budget includes $4 million to assist the Department in meeting the requirements of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014.

US Transportation Secretary unveils 2017 budget to expand safe, clean transportation options
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx

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