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American Public Transportation Association

 To Sen. Shelby (incl. Sen. Brown) on Increased Funding to Support a Long-term Authorization Bill and Concerns FTA Buy American Levels

 7/22/2015

The Honorable Richard C. Shelby*
United States Senate
304 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Shelby:

APTA appreciates that the Senate is trying to address the nation’s transportation infrastructure needs by acting on a long-term authorization bill. Based on our preliminary review of the Senate bill it seems to be a good start in terms of transit authorization levels. We would prefer to see more growth in the overall transit program, and in discretionary bus funding as well, but the bill attempts to address industry priorities in a fairly balanced way and it does so with modest increases in all major programs.

We are concerned about the reliability of funding to support the multi-year bill. The measure reportedly includes funding for only two or three years, and more revenues would need to be raised to support out-year funding. While the bill puts more than 22 percent of the revenues into the Mass Transit Account, we want to be sure that revenues in the bill will support the transit program for as long as they support the highway program. Finally, the bill increases domestic content required under FTA Buy America to levels that transit manufacturers do not believe is achievable.

We look forward to working with both Houses as an authorization bill advances and we appreciate the opportunity to comment on the measure.​
Sincerely,

Michael P. Melaniphy
President and CEO
MPM/tjj
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