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South Plainfield, NJ

FAST ACT- Fixing America’s Surface Transportation ACT

FAST ACT- Fixing America’s Surface Transportation ACT

Kudos from the EMCA to our Federal Government! For the first time in a decade, the U.S. has “long-term” transportation funding, as the house of Representatives, Senate, and President voted overwhelmingly to pass the five year, $305 billion FAST ACT! After years of short-term band-aids and patchwork extensions, we now have a plan that will begin to deal with our aging network of roads, bridges, rail and transit systems and will provide our state and local governments with the long term certainty they need to begin forming their own plans. Hopefully, this will bring our old and worn infrastructure into the 21st century.

Overview

ROADS AND BRIDGES

  1. Facilities commerce and the movement of goods by refocusing existing funding for a National Highway Freight Program and a Nationally Significant Freight and Highway projects program
  2. Expands Funding available for bridges off the National Highway System
  3. Streamlines the environmental review and permitting process to accelerate project approvals without sacrificing environmental protections
  4. Eliminates or consolidates at least six separate offices within the Department of Transportation and establishes a National Surface Transportation and Innovative Finance Bureau to help states, local governments, and the private sector with project delivery
  5. Increases transparency by requiring the Department of Transportation to provide project-level information to Congress and the public
  6. Promotes private investment in our surface transportation system
  7. Promotes the deployment of transportation technologies and congestion management tools
  8. Encourages installation of vehicle-to-infrastructure equipment to improve congestion and safety
  9. Updates research and transportation standards development to reflect the growth of technology

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  1. Increases dedicated bus funding by 89% over the life of the bill
  2. Provides both stable formula funding and competitive grand program to address bus and bus facility needs
  3. Reforms public transportation procurement to make federal investment more cost effective and competitive
  4. Consolidates and refocuses transit research activities to increase efficiency and accountability
  5. Establishes a pilot program for communities to expand transit through the use of public-private partnerships
  6. Eliminates the set aside for allocated transit improvements
  7. Provides flexibility for recipients to use federal funds to meet their state of good repair needs
  8. Provides for the coordination of public transportation services with other federally assisted transportation services to aid in the mobility of seniors and individuals with disabilities
  9. Requires a review of safety standards and protocols to evaluate the need to establish federal minimum safety standards in public transportation and requires the results to be made public

HIGHWAY & MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY

  1. Focuses funding for roadway safety critical needs
  2. Increases percentage of National Priority Safety Program states can spend on traditional safety programs
  3. Ensures more states are eligible for safety incentive grant fund sand encourages states to adopt additional safety improvements
  4. Encourages states to increase safety awareness of commercial motor vehicles
  5. Increases National Highway Traffic Safety Administration civil penalties cap

TRUCK & BUS SAFETY

  1. Overhauls the rule making process for truck and bus safety to improve transparency
  2. Consolidates truck and bus safety grant programs and provides state flexibility on safety priorities
  3. Incentivizes the adoption of innovative truck and bus safety technologies
  4. Requires changes to the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program to improve transparency in the FMCSA’s oversight activity
  5. Improves truck and bus safety by accelerating the introduction of new transportation technologies

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

  1. Grants states more power to decide how to spend training and planning funds for the first responders
  2. Requires Class 1 railroads to provide crude oil movement information to emergency responders
  3. Reforms an underutilized grant program from state and Indian tribe emergency response efforts
  4. Better leverages training funding for hazmat employees and those enforcing hazmat regulations
  5. Requires real-world testing and a data-driven approach to braking technology
  6. Enhances safety for both new tank cars and legacy tank cars
  7. Speeds up administrative processes for hazmat special permits and approvals
  8. Cuts red tape to allow a more nimble federal response during national emergencies

RAILROADS

  1. Provides roust reforms for Amtrak, including reorganizing the way Amtrak operates into business lines
  2. Gives states greater control over their routes, by creating a State-Supported Route Committee
  3. Speeds up the environmental review process for rail projects, without sacrificing environmental protections
  4. Creates opportunities for the private sector through station and right-of-way development
  5. Consolidates rail grant programs for passenger, freight, and other rail activities
  6. Establishes a Federal-State partnership for State o Good Repair grant program
  7. Strengthens Northeast Corridor planning to make Amtrak more accountable and states equal partners
  8. Allows competitors to operate up to three Amtrak long-distance lines, if at less cost to the taxpayer
  9. Strengthens passenger and commuter rail safety, and track and bridge safety
  10. Unlocks and reforms the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan program
  11. Includes reforms to get RRIF loans approved more quickly with enhanced transparency
  12. Provides commuter railroads with competitive grants and loans to spur timely Positive Train Control implementation
  13. Provides competitive opportunities for the enhancement and restoration of rail service
  14. Increases the rail liability cap

ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS

  1. Includes strongly bipartisan measures to simplify rules and regulations, aid consumers, enhance our capital markets, assist low-income housing residents, and help build a healthier economy
  2. Include bipartisan provisions to provide energy infrastructure and security upgrades
  3. Streamlines the review process for infrastructure, energy, and other construction projects

FINANCING PROVISIONS

  1. Includes fiscally responsible provisions to ensure the bill is fully paid for
  2. Ensures the Highway Trust Fund is authorized to meet its obligations through FY 2020
  3. Direct offsets from the FAST Act into the Highway Trust Fund to ensure fund solvency
  4. Reauthorizes the dedicated revenue sources to the Highway Trust Fund

House of Representatives Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Press Release

Blog Post Obtained from © Equipment Managers Council of America. All rights reserved. For original text, visit http://www.emca.org

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