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American Public Transportation Association

 To the Surface Transportation Conferees on 5 year proposal to fund Bus and retain 5340 High Density

 11/17/2015

Members of the Conference Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives for the Surface Transportation Authorization (H.R. 22)
Dear Conferees:

Restoring funding for the FTA Bus and Bus Facilities Program has been a core priority for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) since the program was significantly cut under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). As the House and Senate reconcile differences in the two chamber’s surface transportation program reauthorization proposals, APTA, while still opposed to the Herrera-Beutler Amendment, would like to offer an alternative funding proposal. APTA’s alternative proposal would not only fully restore funding for the Bus and Bus Facilities Program to pre-MAP-21 levels, whereas Herrera-Beutler would not, but it would also preserve the Association’s foundational position of providing for program growth without imposing major funding reductions in investment for any one region, mode, or group of transit providers.

Specifically, APTA proposes that Congress:

  • Collapse the six-years of funding into a five-year authorization bill to provide meaningful infrastructure investment to bring our systems into a state-of-good-repair.
  • Reallocate the sixth-year of transit funding proportionally between the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) categorical programs as proposed in the DRIVE Act.
  • Prior to that proportional reallocation, take sufficient funding off the top to fully restore the Bus and Bus Facilities Program to $1.0 billion beginning in federal fiscal year 2016 – the pre-MAP-21 levels adjusted for the overall program growth in MAP-21.
    • ​​​​Half of the $1.0 billion would continue to be apportioned pursuant to MAP-21’s Bus and Bus Facilities Sec. 5339 Formula Program and the balance would be allocated on a discretionary basis to address state-of-good-repair needs that cannot be currently met through the core urbanized area and rural area formula programs.
  • Growth in the Bus and Bus Facilities Program over the remaining years of the bill would be split 50/50 between the formula and discretionary components.
The attached table details the specifics of APTA’s revised five-year proposal. APTA strongly urges the Conference Committee to adopt this proposal to restore the Bus and Bus Facilities Program and recede to the Senate’s position that retains the Section 5340 apportionments. This nation needs a surface transportation bill that maintains an appropriate level of funding to not only meet current demands, but ensure its citizens have access to economic opportunity and prosperity.

​*APTA Revised Proposal Table, Drive Act Compared to APTA 5-Year Proposal
Sincerely,

Michael P. Melaniphy
President & CEO
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