President rolls out 2016 Transportation Proposal

The President’s Budget provides a total of $94.7 billion in 2016 for the Department of Transportation to make the critical investments in infrastructure to promote long-term economic growth, enhance safety and efficiency, and support jobs for the 21st century.

The Department of Transportation announcement says:  “We all know –from last year– the pitfalls of repeated short term funding extensions. So the President’s Budget includes $478 billion for a six-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal to support critical infrastructure projects and create jobs. The six-year budget includes $317 billion to rebuild America’s roads and bridges, an increase of almost 29 percent over current investment in our highway system. To help meet growing demand, it provides more than $143 billion to create and improve transit and passenger rail service, $18 billion for multi-modal freight programs to strengthen America’s global competitiveness and support the President’s “Made in America” trade agenda, and $1 billion annually for credit assistance for nationally or regionally significant transportation projects through our TIFIA program.”

It is indeed good to see multi-modal freight programs in the budget, but all too often the multi-modal is for enhancing truck competitiveness and not rail.  We will need to closely monitor what is authorized within the program, and even more important that Rail Solution and its members continue to press Congress on the need to modernize freight rail using the standards of the Steel Interstate System.

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