That's the good news. The bad news: no proposal for how to fund the plan. Here's USDOT's overview of the budget and policy plan.

The President proposes to increase federal support for transportation to $128 billion in 2012, compared to $77 billion in 2010.

The Administration will begin pushing for a $556 billion six-year transportation bill, almost doubling SAFETEA-LU funding levels . The revenue source is not identified, and the President wants increased spending to be compensated through reduced spending elsewhere (or revenue increases).

Funding would apparently come from a “bipartisan financing for the transportation trust fund,” though no such agreement on what that means yet exists.

Highlights:
  • Formally embraces a “fix-it-first” approach for highways and transit.

  • $13.4 billion in discretionary funding in 2012, a $1.3 billion decrease from 2010 levels. (This figure excludes $109 billion in obligation limitations for the surface transportation plan. Including surface transportation obligation limitations, Department of Transportation’s total budgetary resources increase by $53 billion over 2010.)

  • Includes a six-year, $556 billion surface reauthorization plan to modernize the country’s surface transportation infrastructure, create jobs, and pave the way for long-term economic growth.

  • Creates a single transportation account (the “Transportation Trust Fund”) by shifting all general fund transit programs, Amtrak and high-speed rail, TIGER-type grants, and the new National Infrastructure Bank to being funded out of the Trust Fund via contract authority.

  • Jump-starts productive investment and stimulates job growth with a first-year funding boost of $50 billion in 2012.

  • $8 billion in 2012 and $53 billion over six years for passenger rail

  • $30 billion over six years for a National Infrastructure Bank to invest in projects of regional or national significance to the economy. (Let’s hope the Administration sends a formal proposal on this to Congress. It’d be a first.)

  • $4.1 billion in FY 2012 and $28 billion over six years for a FHWA livability grant program targeting multi-modal transportation hubs and bike/ped/transit access
    Initiates Transportation Leadership Awards to create incentives for State and local partners to pursue critical transportation policy reforms.

  • $119 billion for transit over the next six years — about double the amount set aside for transit each year under the previous transportation bill.

Sources:

Transportation Weekly (subscription info: mail@transportationweekly.com)

"President Obama Proposes Major Funding Increases, Reorganization for Nation’s Transport,” Transport Politic

"Obama Proposes Infra Bank, Livability Grants, Doubling Transit Funds," StreetsBlog Capitol Hill
"Obama Budget Proposes $556B, Long-term Transportation Bill," StreetsBlog Capitol Hill

Posted On 2/14/2011 11:12:00 AM by Larry Ehl |

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