U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx MArch 4 praised the administration’s vision for transportation as outlined in his $90.9 billion budget requested for the U.S. Department of Transportation.
These funds will lay a new foundation for economic growth and competitiveness by addressing our growing infrastructure deficit, investing in our national infrastructure network, increasing safety and efficiency, and providing greater access to ladders of opportunity.
“President Obama has offered the kind of aggressive transportation budget our country needs – one that replenishes the Highway Trust Fund today while also helping ensure the country has a safe, efficient transportation system for tomorrow,” said Foxx. “These funds will do everything from helping communities tackle their transportation to-do lists to improving access to ladders of opportunity. And we will do everything at the Department of Transportation to make this budget a reality, including sending a bill to Congress to support it.”
The centerpiece of the President’s FY 2015 budget for the Department is a four-year, $302 billion surface transportation reauthorization proposal that will improve America’s highways and transit networks, continue building on the Department’s overall safety record, while also ensuring a stable funding source for rail. The proposed budget would be paid for with $150 billion from transition revenue generated from business tax reforms, along with current revenues from the gas tax.
Addressing the National Infrastructure Deficit
In order to tackle the nation’s growing infrastructure deficit and improve quality of life, the four-year, $302 billion budget includes $199 billion to rebuild America’s roads and bridges. The budget provides $72 billion to help meet the growing demand for transit, in addition to $19 billion to create and improve passenger rail service and $6.7 billion to build on the Department’s highway safety achievements.
Increasing Ladders of Opportunity
In light of transportation’s role in connecting people with jobs, education and other opportunities, the President’s FY 2015 transportation budget includes a focus on projects that provide greater opportunities for more Americans. For example, the budget includes $2.2 billion for a Rapid Growth Area Transit Program that will link people to job and educational opportunities in fast growing areas, along with $120 million for a workforce development program to support and enhance the diversity of our nation’s transportation workforce.
Building on the department’s continuing efforts to cut red tape and increase efficiency, the budget will provide $8 million to support an Interagency Infrastructure Permitting Improvement Center that will spearhead efforts to improve and expedite the federal approval and permitting processes across government.
Investing in the Safe Transportation of Energy Products
In addition to providing $10 billion over four years to strengthen the country’s freight system, the FY2015 budget proposal includes $40 million over two years to support multimodal prevention and response efforts that will improve the safe transportation of energy products. This funding is a direct outcome of the Department’s comprehensive efforts regarding the transportation of crude oil from the Bakken region and will be managed by the Office of the Secretary for increased inspections, investigations and research.