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American Public Transportation Association

 Further Analysis on President Trump’s Budget

February 15, 2018


Further Analysis on President Trump’s Budget

Following up on our previous Legislative Alert, we wanted to provide this table that shows how the Administration’s budget for public transportation compares to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 appropriations, and the FY 2018 and FY 2019 authorizations under the FAST Act.  It is important to note that the actual amounts appropriated for FY 2018 and FY 2019 will ultimately be determined by the congressional appropriations process.  

This table shows that the Administration’s budget proposes full funding for FAST Act programs funded out of the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund.  However, the Administration proposal calls for deep cuts in public transportation programs funded out of the General Fund, especially the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program.

Amounts in Millions

FY17 Enacted

FY18 FAST Act

FY19 FAST Act

FY19 Trump Budget

FTA Programs

Transit Formula Grants (Mass Transit Account)

9,734

9,733

9,939

9,939

Capital Investment Grants

2,413

2,302

2,302

1,000

Technical Assistance and Training

5

5

5

0

Administrative Expenses

113

115

115

112

Grants to WMATA*

150

150

150

120

Select Transit Formula Grants (Mass Transit Account)

§ 5307 and § 5336 Urbanized Area Formula

4,630

4,727

4,827

4,827

§ 5311 Rural Basic Formula

565

578

591

591

§ 5337 State of Good Repair

2,550

2,594

2,638

2,638

§ 5339(a)(b)&(c) Bus and Bus Facilities Aggregate

720

747

777

777

FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION (FRA) PROGRAMS

Total Amtrak Funds

1,495

1,600

1,700

738

Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements

68

230

255

0

Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair

25

175

300

0

Restoration and Enhancement Grants

5

20

20

0


*Grants to WMATA are authorized under a different bill, the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) of 2008, not the FAST Act.  

Under the FAST Act, and the Administration proposal, total funding for Trust Fund programs increases by $206 million in FY 2019, compared to the FY 2018 authorization. The Urbanized Area Program would increase by $100 million over the same period.  The State of Good Repair program would increase by $44 million, and the total Bus and Bus Facilities program would increase by $30 million.  The proposal, like the Administration budget for FY 2018, would only provide CIG funding needed to pay for projects with existing full funding grant agreements (FFGAs) or small starts agreements.  It proposes to reduce CIG funding to $1 billion, from the $2.3 billion authorized under the FAST Act.

APTA President and CEO Paul Skoutelas Testifies Before Congress

On Thursday morning, APTA President and CEO Paul Skoutelas testified before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.  The hearing was titled “Oversight of Positive Train Control Implementation in the United States.”  To view the written testimony provided to the subcommittee, please click here​.  Other witnesses included:

  • The Honorable Robert Sumwalt, Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board 
  • Mr. Juan D. Reyes III, Chief Counsel, Federal Railroad Administration 
  • The Honorable Edward Hamberger, President and Chief Executive Officer, Association of American Railroads 
  • Mr. Richard Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, Amtrak 
  • ​Mr. John P. Tolman, Vice President and National Legislative Representative, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen 
To view the hearing in its entirety, please visit the Committee website here.

FRA Announces Grant Funding Opportunities

Also on Thursday, The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today announced that it is accepting applications for $73 million in grant funding for projects that can strengthen intercity passenger rail, support capital projects and boost safety initiatives that may include the implementation of positive train control, improved highway-rail grade crossings, and congestion mitigation.

To view the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NoFO) for Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program, please click here.

To view the NoFO for the Restoration and Enhancement Grants Program, please click here

Ronald Batory Confirmed at FRA; Thema Drake Nominated to FTA

The Senate confirmed Ronald Batory yesterday as Administrator of the FRA.  APTA issued a statement congratulating Batory, noting his more than 45 years of leadership experience in the railroad industry. 

Additionally, APTA congratulated Thelma Drake on being nominated to be Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).  As the former director of Virginia’s Department of Rail and Public Transportation and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2005–2009 , Drake has hands-on experience with public transportation issues at the city, state, and national levels.  

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