DOT announces new road and transit funding

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The first new transportation funding mechanism passed by Congress in seven years goes into full effect this week.  Many of the spending provisions of the $105 billion Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) bill that was approved by Congress in June will take effect on Monday.  Implementation comes with the beginning of the new fiscal year for 2013.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has heralded the changes as the start of a “new transportation era” that will “really change the … status quo.”

The many parts of the transportation bill taking effect include an increase in funding for the popular Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan program and a provision allowing the loans to be used for almost half the construction of new transportation projects.  Under the new legislation, states will be allowed to opt out of spending their transportation allocations on bike and pedestrian programs.

LaHood said that the Department of Transportation was making sure state and local governments were ready for the changes that have been legislated to federal road and transit spending. He said DOT was providing documents this week to “clarify MAP-21’s innovative project delivery methods and important changes to funding programs.”

“Additional information addresses the many changes in the new law from MAP-21’s predecessor,” he added in a reference to the 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) bill, which expired in 2009 and was temporarily extended until 2012. The transportation bill is scheduled to run through the end of fiscal 2014 in September of that year.  Read More.

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