Transportation For America Trump admin's full budget proposal makes clear their intent to end federal support for transit construction - Transportation For America

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The Trump administration released their full budget proposal for 2018, ending any possible uncertainty about their belief that highway projects are always inherently in the national interest, transit of any type is explicitly a local concern, and leveraging greater local and state investment in transportation is not a trend to be encouraged. . . .

The administration reiterates their belief that transit is just a minor, local concern.

“Future investments in new transit projects would be funded by the localities that use and benefit from these localized projects,” they write, making it clear that they see no benefit in providing grants to cities of all sizes to build new bus rapid transit or rail lines, or expand existing, well-used lines so they can carry more passengers.

Unfortunately, they provide an extremely misguided justification for eliminating this funding.

MoBikeFed comment: Whether you are a Trump supporter or not, this approach to transportation funding is very concerning.

We know exactly what happens when the federal government focuses all of it funding on roads and highways alone--because that is the exact policy we followed from the 1950s through 1991, when the groundbreaking ISTEA federal transportation bill passed.

What happened up through 1991 is that bicycling, walking, and transit were gradually squeezed out of our entire national transportation system. Automobile travel became the only available option and transportation choice was reduced or eliminated.

Since 1991, with the passage of ISTEA, which broadened the focus of federal transportation funding to transportation in the broad sense--not just roads and highways--that situation has gradually, gradually turned around.

We are finally reaching the point, 26 years later, when we are starting to have real transportation choice back in the system, and in our cities, towns, and neighborhoods across the country.

That is why it is so disheartening to see the mistakes of the past repeated.

"Transit, bicycling, and walking are local matters" sounds like a great slogan, but the reality is that when the federal government eliminates those modes, cities and states inevitably follow suit.

That is the lesson of the federal highway funding for the five decades preceding 1991.

Let's not forget it.

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