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American Public Transportation Association

 Letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies

​July 11, 2017

The Honorable Mario Diaz-Balart  
Chairman     
Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development  
Committee on Appropriations   
U.S. House of Representatives  
Washington, DC 20515   
 
The Honorable David Price
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

 
Dear Chairman Diaz-Balart and Ranking Member Price:
 
On behalf of the more than 1,500 member organizations of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), I write to convey our views on the fiscal year 2018 (FY18) Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies appropriations bill that was released last night and will be considered by the Subcommittee later today.
 
APTA commends the Subcommittee for fully funding Federal Transit Administration (FTA) programs supported by the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund at the $9.733 billion level authorized by the FAST Act and appreciates the bill language directing the Secretary to both continue administering the Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program in accordance with the procedural and substantive requirements of current law and transmit to Congress the Annual Report on Capital Investment Grants with the FY19 budget proposal, including proposed funding allocations.  In addition, APTA is grateful that the legislation continues support for Amtrak and fully funds the commitment to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority made under Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008.
 
However, we are deeply concerned that the legislation sets total funding for the CIG program at $1.753 billion, which is $549 million below the level authorized in the FAST Act, and eliminates the TIGER grant program. We are particularly concerned that this bill does not provide sufficient funding for several CIG projects Congress supported and appropriated money to in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017.  This would potentially stall the progress of these projects and slow the entire CIG pipeline. 
 
APTA urges Congress to fully fund the CIG program at the authorized level and ensure that the Administration enters into grant agreements for projects which have met the appropriate statutory criteria.  There are some 54 CIG projects in the FTA ratings process all of which address transportation needs in communities that have already made significant state and local funding investments.  These projects generate economic benefits, attract business development in project corridors, connect workers to jobs, create good new jobs, and relieve highway and road congestion.  These projects alone add up to $38 billion in new investment, and account for 800,000 jobs and $90 billion in economic output nationally.
 
We are grateful for the opportunity to comment and for your efforts to advance a FY18 appropriations bill. We look forward to working with you to strengthen this legislation as the annual appropriations process continues. 
 

Sincerely,


Richard A. White

Acting President and CEO

 
Cc: The Members of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee on Appropriations
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