Word on Friday that Congress had finally passed the long-delayed transportation bill brought praise from Michael Melaniphy, CEO of the American Public Transit Association.
“On behalf of the 1,500 members of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), we commend the
Congress for passage of a bi-partisan surface transportation bill titled “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century,” Melaniphy said in a statement.
The bill passed the House 373 to 52 and the Senate 74 to 19, with one member voting present. Federal transportation funding will continue at approximately $54 billion a year, with public transportation funds set at $8.36 billion in FY2012, $8.47 billion in FY 2013 and $8.595 billion in FY 2014.
Previously, the public transportation industry was operating under nine short-term extensions of the surface transportation authorization since 2009. MAP21 provides for stable funding for public transportation for two years and will go through September 2014.
“This new bill will provide for a greater degree of certainty for public transit agencies and private sector businesses as they maintain, plan and implement public transportation projects,” Melaniphy said. “It includes improvements to keep our systems in a state of good repair; streamlines delivery of public transit projects; provides funding for new start projects and for a bus replacement and a bus facility program.
“We urge the President to sign this bill into law because investing in public transit is essential to creating American jobs and boosting our economy. We applaud the Congress for moving forward a measure that will have a great impact on the millions of Americans who rely on public transportation everyday for their transportation needs. We look forward to working with the Congress and Administration as we help implement this jobs bill for the nation.”