We commend the Subcommittee for fully funding the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) programs at the $9.733 billion level authorized by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. We appreciate the Committee directing the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to both continue administering the Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program in accordance with the current law and transmitting to Congress the Annual Report on CIGs with the FY 2019 budget proposal, including proposed funding allocations. In addition, APTA applauds that the legislation continues support for Amtrak and fully funds the commitment to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).
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 for the CIG program in the FAST Act. In addition, we are very concerned that the legislation also eliminates the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program. We are particularly concerned that this legislation does not provide sufficient funding for several CIG projects for which Congress provided appropriations in the FY 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill, thereby potentially stalling their progress and slowing the entire CIG pipeline.
APTA urges the committee to provide funding for the TIGER grant program, 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, in which communities have already made significant investments of state and local funding and all of which address transportation needs. These projects generate economic benefits, they attract business development in project corridors, they connect workers to jobs and create good jobs, and they relieve highway and road congestion. These projects alone add up to $38 billion in new investment, the account for 800,000 jobs, and $90 billion in economic output nationally.”
A copy of APTA’s letter to the Subcommittee can be seen here.
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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products.