Ports-to-Plains Investors
Index

 

 

Newsletters

      Ports-to-Plains



 

 

 

 

 

Ports-to-Plains Alliance

Entries in Federal Transportation Funding (36)

Wednesday
Jan102018

The potential ramifications of Trump's proposed infrastructure plan

Pacific Standard

January, 10 2018

President Donald Trump took many opportunities in 2017 to rail against the state of the United States' infrastructure, most recently using the fatal Amtrak crash in Washington state to point out the country's crumbling bridges, roads, and railways. "[O]ur soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly," he tweeted, harkening back to his oft-repeated promise to invest $1 trillion rebuilding the country.

That plan turned into little more than a punch line this past year. But come January, the White House will begin a push, in earnest, for a national infrastructure package that gets to $1 trillion in overall investment, using $200 billion in federal "seed" money, a senior official recently told Fox News.

Trump advisers had previously described an infrastructure package that would rely on the private sector to make up the $800 billion difference. In this version, most of the $200 billion would be rewarded on a competitive basis to states and localities that promise to raise new, infrastructure-dedicated revenue on their own, for a total of $1 trillion, according to White House officials. Some portion of the $200 billion would directly fund projects in rural areas.

Tuesday
Nov142017

New ATRI Research Provides Clear Guidance on Infrastructure Investment

ATRI

Novemver 14, 2017 

As the Ports-to-Plains Alliance continues its advocacy for fixing the federal Highway Trust Fund and for the state level funding, we believe it is critical to look carefully at transportation funding options. The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) recently released A Framework for Infrastructure Funding which assesses the nation’s infrastructure funding options.  Did you know that to support the nation’s infrastructure, the trucking industry pays $41.3 billion in federal and state highway-user taxes.  The trucking industry, in fact, pays nearly 46 percent of highway user fees collected for the Highway Trust Fund.

The Ports-to-Plains Alliance hopes you will not only read the news release but download the complete assessment.  As the news release indicates, “the only meaningful mechanism for attaining the administration’s vision for a large-scale infrastructure program is through a federal fuel tax increase.  The inefficiency of other mechanisms, including mileage-based user fees and increased tolling, will fall far short of the needed revenue stream without placing undue hardship on system users.”


The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), a well-known leader in transportation-related research, is an organization whose hallmark is innovative thinking, critical analysis and uncompromised excellence. As part of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) Federation, ATRI benefits from the broad support of the ATA and its members.

The ATA represents over 35,000 motor carriers through the affiliated trucking associations in 50 states. As a result of ATRI’s prominence within the trucking industry, state and federal agencies turn to ATRI for trucking-related research, particularly when industry insight and cooperation is essential to the success of the project. 
Wednesday
Jun072017

Trump to Outline Infrastructure Plan That Includes Rural Funding

Bloomberg Politics

 June 7, 2017

U.S.President Donald Trump will outline his vision on Wednesday for an infrastructure plan that includes federal grants to rural areas as well as to states and localities to create additional funding for projects, according to a preview of the speech provided by the White House.

Trump is scheduled to speak in Cincinnati as part of what the White House has billed as a week-long effort to formally launch the initiative to deliver the $1 trillion in infrastructure investment he has promised to upgrade crumbling roads, bridges, airports and other assets.

The president proposes allocating $200 billion in federal funding over 10 years to spur at least an additional $800 billion in spending by states, municipalities and the private sector. The federal funds will be divided into four categories:

* A mixture of grants and loans to “transformative’’ projects, with Trump’s proposal to place the U.S. air-traffic control system under a private, non-profit corporation as an example.

* Grants to rural areas to repair bridges, roads, and waterways. Critics of Trump’s approach have raised concerns that rural areas would not be able to use tolls or fees needed to attract private investment.

* Enhanced loan programs, with the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, or TIFIA, as an example of how federal funds can be used with state, local, and private dollars to fund projects.

* Incentive programs with grants to states and municipalities to create additional funding for infrastructure.

Wednesday
May312017

Trucking groups question Trump’s push for highway privatization

Commercial Carrier Journal

May 31, 2017

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year has drawn tepid reactions from some trucking groups, particularly over his call for allowing greater tolling efforts on U.S. Interstates.

Trump’s budget, as noted Monday, proposes removing the ban on tolling existing Interstate lanes, according to most interpretations, along with slashing billions from the Department of Transportation’s annual budget, greater privatization of public rest stops and attempts to drum up investment from private companies for highway projects.

Several trucking groups, however, have balked at Trump’s proposal to fund highways via tolls, as have anti-toll groups, obviously. Others, such as the International Bridge, Turnpike and Tunnel Association, have expressed tepid support, arguing any step toward boosting highway funding is better than no steps.

Read on...

Wednesday
May242017

Trump slips infrastructure plan into budget

Politico

May 24, 2017

The Trump administration finally laid out its long-promised vision for a $1 trillion national infrastructure plan Tuesday — with nary a peep of fanfare and the president not even in the country to talk it up.

It arrived as a six-page fact sheet packaged with President Donald Trump’s $4.1 trillion proposed 2018 budget. As expected, it laid out a vision for $200 billion in direct federal spending over the next decade on needs such as roads, bridges, tunnels, railroads and expanded broadband, along with incentives for states, cities and private investors and efforts to reduce the burdens of regulations. 

“The administration’s goal is to seek long-term reform on how infrastructure projects are regulated, funded, delivered and maintained,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told reporters Tuesday. She said the administration expects “to have more details forthcoming,” including a legislative package later this year, but described the concepts handed out.

Read on...

Tuesday
May232017

Heartland Expressway gaining traction in Washington

Scottsbluff Star Herald

May 23, 2017

Deb Cottier, Heartland Expressway AssociationWith chatter of President Trump’s proposed $1 trillion-infrastructure package, The Heartland Expressway is gaining traction on Capitol Hill, according to Daniel Bennett of Panhandle Area Development District and Scottsbluff City Manager Nathan Johnson.

Bennett, Johnson and Kimball City Administrator Dan Dean participated in a fly-in to the nation’s capital at the end of April, joining a delegation from the Ports-to-Plains Alliance. Ports-to-Plains is a grassroots organization of over 275 communities and businesses, including the Heartland Expressway, the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway in North and South Dakota, and the Eastern Alberta (Canada) Trade Corridor Coalition. Their goal is to advocate for a robust international transportation infrastructure to promote economic security and prosperity throughout North America’s energy and agricultural heartland including Mexico to Canada.

Wednesday
Sep302015

Hoeven, Senators, Western Governors Meet to Move 6-Year Highway Bill; Bill Includes More Than $1.6 Billion for ND

Meeting participants. Left to right, Bullock, Daines, Rounds, Daugaard, Thune, Enzi, Mead, Barrasso, Hoeven and Dalrymple.

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven and Senate colleagues today met with a group of four western governors to advance a six-year federal highway bill. The governors were on Capitol Hill to meet with members of the Commerce and Appropriations committees to develop a strategy for passing a long-term transportation bill that will give states the certainty they need to begin large infrastructure projects.

The Senate passed a new six-year highway bill in July that will provide North Dakota with more than $1.6 billion. The formula is favorable to North Dakota and increases highway funding for the state to $270 million, about $30 million a year more than it currently receives.

“A strong, long-term highway bill is important not only for the western states, but for the entire country,” Hoeven said. “The fact that five western governors would make the trip to meet with us underscores the importance of this bill to their states’ economies. The current transportation bill will enable important infrastructure projects to move forward, which will create jobs, grow our economy and improve safety.”

Governors Jack Dalrymple (R-N.D.), Steve Bullock (D-Mont.), Dennis Daugaard (R-S.D.) and Matt Mead (R-Wyo.) were in Washington with the Western Governors’ Association to meet with lawmakers on critical issues to their states.

The Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act reauthorizes the nation’s transportation programs for six years. The six-year Senate bill provides $350 billion in contract authority for the 2015-2021 period. The measure makes up for a lack of highway trust fund revenues by adding about $45 billion in offsets. The bill does not increase the deficit or increase taxes.

DRIVE Act Highlights for North Dakota:

  • Increases Transportation Funding for North Dakota by maintaining the federal aid highway formula structure and increasing the amount each state will receive every year:
  • North Dakota will receive an average of $270 million a year in highway formula funding over six years, an average of $30 million more than the state receives today.
  • Makes completing transportation projects easier by making National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) reforms, cutting red tape.
  • Provides six years of increased funding, giving state and local governments the certainty and stability they need to improve and develop our nation’s transportation infrastructure.
  • Increases Transit Funding to North Dakota by approximately $1 million a year, increasing from more than $14 million in the first year to more than $17 million by the sixth year. Overall, the bill increases public transportation funding nearly $1.5 billion over MAP-21 levels.
  • Improves Safety:  The bill’s safety and regulatory title makes important enhancements for safer highways as well as freight and passenger rail service through effective implementation of new technologies, new tools for federal safety watchdog agencies, reforming grant programs for states and transparency that promotes accountability.
  • Includes a New National Freight Strategy and Strategic Plan to improve freight transportation networks that serve agriculture, retail, manufacturing and energy sectors.
  • Includes the Federal Permitting Improvement Act to improve the permitting process for major capital (more than $200 million in investment) projects across sectors, including energy.
  • Assistance for Major Projects (AMP) Program to provide grants for large projects of national or regional significance and includes at least a 20 percent set aside for rural areas.

Original News Release from Senator John Hoeven (ND)

Thursday
Sep242015

USDOT, More Business Groups Push for Bill Action as Congress Juggles Deadlines

AASHTO Journal

September 18, 2015

Top officials from the U.S. Department of Transportation pressed Congress to pass a substantive long-term surface transportation bill before 2015 runs out, while scores of industry groups urged lawmakers to end a cycle of short extensions and provide the economic lift a long-term bill can bring.

Increasingly in recent days, lawmakers focused on a range of other looming issues with closer deadlines, including the need to agree on a government-wide funding plan before the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year or face a potential government shutdown.

House Transportation Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., has not yet scheduled a markup session for his committee's version of a long-term highway, transit and rail programs authorization. He has said he expects that to occur late this month or early in October.

Congress will also need to extend the Federal Aviation Administration, whose authority is set to expire that same day, to avoid interrupting some of its programs that affect a number of state departments of transportation. Politico reported that Senate Commerce Chairman John Thune, R-S.D., said he and Shuster have been discussing how to move an FAA extension, perhaps by attaching it to a short-term government funding bill.

The Highway Trust Fund is authorized through Oct. 29, which takes it past the Sept. 30 end of the federal fiscal year and would leave the Federal Highway Administration unaffected during a possible government shutdown before then.   Read on…