The Surface Transportation Reauthorization Reform (STRR) Act is the House answer to a long-term transportation funding bill. This week the House Rules Committee will consider amendments to the bill. This is your opportunity to provide information that will help the House make the right decision about Capital Bus Investmeul> ACTION NEEDED TODAY:
Representatives Jaime Herrera-Beutler (Wash.) and Kurt Schrader (Ore.) will introduce a bipartisan amendment to the Act to significantly increase federal investment in the bus capital programs under Section 5339 in MAP-21. The STRR Act - as it stands right now - includes funding growth for Section 5339 in the first two years of the bill but no growth thereafter, leaving the vehicle capital needs of our nation’s transit providers chronically under-invested.
The amendment proposed by Representatives Herrera-Beutler and Schrader would utilize funding currently designed for seven high density states under the Section 5340 program to support bus and vehicle replacement needs in all 50 states through the Section 5339 program.
In order to be successful on the House floor, we need you to contact your House Representative’s staff in Washington, D.C., immediately, and express your support for the Herrera-Beutler/Schrader Amendment.
Your Representative’s staff can contact Chad Ramey in Congresswoman Herrera-Beutler’s office at [email protected] for more information or to sign-on as a co-sponsor of the amendment.
All SWTA region representative DC phone numbers listed below.
Use These Talking Points to Discuss the Herrera Beutler-Schrader Amendment
STRRs $90M competitive grant bus program 5339(c) for the Bus and Bus Facilities program is a good start, and grows to $200M in he second year but no growth over the rest of the life of the bill
The Herrera Beutler-Schrader Amendment would take the growing seven state high density earmark portion of Sec. 5340 and move those funds over to the 5339(b) competitive grant bus program. The growing states portion (the other 50%) of Sec. 5340 would be left alone and grows each year as portrayed under STRRA. None of the SWTA states benefit from the earmark portion of Sec. 5340 funding that would be used to invest in the 5339(b) competitive grant bus program. SWTA fully supports this amendment because it provides equity for all 50 states, not just the 7 states that have the earmark.
Under STRRA, the 50 state competitive grant bus program 5339(b) is flat funded after the second year at $200 M and also for the rest of life of the six year bill; whereas, the high density earmark portion of Sec. 5340 starts at $262,950 M in FY16 and grows to $284,816 M by FY21, and is split by only seven states.
Today, there is a several billion dollar unmet bus funding need across all of America, and there is no way to come close to meeting that amount under the STRRA Act.
Since MAP-21, there has not been a Bus & Bus Facilities program with enough funding to make it possible for bus systems in America to meet their minimum state of good repair needs. In most cases, systems are running buses on the street well beyond the FTA standard for usable life.
Bus transit funding can’t continue at the level specified in STRRA. The HB-S Amendment helps close the gap of where we are today vs. where we should be.
The HB-S amendment is a sustainable, nationally directed bus funding competitive grant program based on specific criteria ensuring older, less safe buses would be removed from our roads. Before MAP-21 and since 1982, bus transit capital funding was agreed to be 20% of the total transit capital funds. Since the implementation of MAP-21 that percentage has dropped to just 9.4%, and STRRA only gets back to 10.95% the first year of the bill . This is better but not even close to the level of funding before MAP-21 or what America needs today. At the end of the STRRA bills life the HB-S amendment, it will bring bus funding monies close to back in to levels seen prior to MAP-21 and allows for the bus transit grant program to grow each year as the rail state of good repair program does. 4
Bus transit systems carry over 51% of all transit riders in America, but get less than 9.4% of all the transit capital funding to do that monumental task.
Service would likely be cut nationwide affecting the riders who need it most. The STRRA Act does not fix the need for a sustainable bus program, but the HB-S Amendment goes a long way helping solve the issue
If representatives aren’t hearing from transit agencies, who will tell them? Break the SILENCE, call today.
Arizona House Representatives:
1st District, Ann Kirkpatrick - (202) 225-3361
2nd District, Martha McSally - (202) 225-2542
3rd District, Raul Grijalva - (202) 225-2435
4th District, Paul Gosar - (202) 225-2315
5th District, Mall Salmon - (202) 225-2635
6th District, David Schweikert - (202) 225-2190
7th District, Ruben Gallego - (202) 225-4065
8th District, Trent Franks - (202) 225-4576
9th District, Kyrsten Sinema - (202) 225-9888
Arkansas House Representatives:
1st District, Rick Crawford - (202) 225-4076
2nd District, French Hill - (202) 225-2506
3rd District, Steve Womack - (202) 225-4301
4th District, Bruce Westerman - (202) 225-3772
Colorado House Representatives:
1st District, Diana DeGette - (202) 225-4431
2nd District, Jared Polis - (202) 225-2161
3rd District, Scott Tipton - (202) 225-4761
4th District, Ken Buck - (202) 225-4676
5th District, Doug Lamborn - (202) 225-4422
6th District, Mike Coffman - (202) 225-7882
7th District, Ed Perlmutter - (202) 225-2645
Kansas House Representatives:
1st District, Tim Huelskamp - (202) 225-2715
2nd District, Lynn Jenkins - (202) 225-6601
3rd District, Kevin Yoder - (202) 225-2865
4th District, Mike Pompeo - (202) 225-6216
Louisiana House Representatives:
1st District, Steve Scalise - (202) 225-3015
2nd District, Cedric Richmond - (202) 225-6636
3rd District, Charles Boustany Jr. - (202) 225-2031