The Morning Measure: Obama goes big for transportation

Feb 15, 2011
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To really figure out what’s important to a President their budget is where to look. President Obama released his proposed budget yesterday providing an insight into his domestic policy priorities.

One of those priorities is reforming and revitalizing America’s transportation system and the way our transportation system impacts land use. In his budget Obama proposes a $556 billion transportation reauthorization bill that includes:

$119 billion over the next six years for transit more than double the amount for transit in the prior reauthorization;

$53 billion over the next six years to improve the country’s passenger rail system (including building high-speed rail in some areas);

$30 billion in funding to launch the National Infrastructure Bank (I-Bank);

A first-year funding boost of $50 billion in 2012 to jump-start investment in roads rails and runways and to stimulate job growth;

$28 billion over six years in Livability Grants for projects like multi-modal transportation hubs and complete streets.

It is important to remember as The New Republic points out that this is a proposed budget and what comes out of Congress is likely to look much different. “The immediate struggle is with House Republicans about the FY2011 budget. To say these two budgetary proposals are on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum would rank understatement. The House plans to gut certain competitive multi-modal programs (the so-called TIGER grants) passenger rail and public transit. All get a significant bump in the administration’s proposal for next year.”

Over at The Transport Politic Yonah Freemark has an excellent (and slightly wonkier) breakdown of the proposed Transportation budget.

Tomorrow The Morning Measure will be looking at the President’s proposals for Energy.

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