A Washington transit advocacy group is charging that the Trump Administration is purposely holding off on releasing more than $1.5 billion in funding for projects at the state level that have already been approved by Congress.
In its Stuck in the Station report, the Transportation for America notes that in the last two years, Congress has authorized more than $2.3 billion in funding for transit projects to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
That money was specifically designed to pay for the construction and expansion of transit systems in large, medium-sized, and small cities across the U.S.
But, according to the report, while projects with a federal dollar investment of just over $782 million are now underway, those projects only represent “a small portion” of projects “that have been in the funding pipeline for years.”
The remaining $1.5 billion in Congress-approved transit projects are still waiting to be authorized by the Department of Transportation.
Continues the report: “Bulldozers and heavy machinery are sitting idle. Steel and other materials are getting more expensive by the day. Potential construction workers are waiting to hear about a job that should have materialized yesterday.”
The report puts the blame for the delay in funding on the Trump Administration, which it charges has been less than enthused about transit projects to begin with.
Noting that many of the projects only await a grant contract signature from Elaine Chao, the Secretary of Transportation, the report urges her to do so.
Transportation for America represents business and civic leaders pushing for local solutions to transportation issues. Besides transit, the group is concerned with land use policy and smart growth matters.
By Garry Boulard
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