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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-11 05:15 AM
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Finding the Means to Keep Transit Running



from the Transport Politic blog:



Finding the Means to Keep Transit Running

Yonah Freemark
May 20th, 2011


In a hearing in front of the Senate Banking Committee yesterday, Federal Transit Administration head Peter Rogoff spelled out his agencys priorities: Maintaining and renovating the nations existing public transportation networks, and providing temporary federal assistance for bus and rail operations.

Keeping transit running should be one of the nations top priorities, but the FTA has had to mostly stand by in recent years as region after region has experienced cuts in the services provided by local transit systems. This coming in the midst of a recession and mounting gas prices, each of which make a larger percentage of the population in need of non-automobile-based travel options. Thus the interest of Mr. Rogoff and the Obama Administration in general in providing aid to local agencies may come as a relief if members of Congress decide to jump on board.

Just this week, Washingtons Metro announced that its $66 million budget deficit expected for next year would have to be covered by some sort of service cuts. Top on its list is a proposal to decrease weekend train frequencies from every 12 minutes to every 18 on Saturdays and from every 15 minutes to every 20. Riders are being asked to complete a survey to express their opinions. With Rogoffs aid, the District could potentially avoid such cutbacks in the future though Washington, one of the nations only regions mostly unaffected by the recession, may not qualify as economically distressed, which is a criteria the FTA wants to use to determine which agencies would be able to take advantage of operations grants.

Similarly useful would be the FTAs State of Good Repair grants, which the agency wants to expand significantly and which would make it more feasible for cities like Chicago to keep their older rail lines in constant use. Both this and the transit operations aid initiative would require the Congress to approve at least some form of the Presidents proposed 2012 budget, a prospect that may be dimming in the face of disagreement about how to pay for increases in federal spending on transportation. ..............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2011/05/20/finding-t... /



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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-24-11 08:35 AM
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1. "Washington, one of the nations only regions mostly unaffected by the recession"
"Washingtons Metro announced that its $66 million budget deficit expected for next year would have to be covered by some sort of service cuts."

So the economy has been great there but the Metro authority mismanaged so badly that they face a huge budget deficit and now will cut services.
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