77th Annual Meeting

BRINGING AN URBAN FOCUS TO THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM

WHEREAS, the public demand for multimodal transportation choices including bicycling, walking, and transit is increasing, while the growth in vehicles miles traveled is decreasing; and

WHEREAS, public transportation is the backbone of city transportation systems, and ridership has been soaring, with 2008 seeing the highest ridership numbers in fifty years, despite chronic underinvestment in transit systems and unequal funding treatment of transit and road projects by the federal program; and

WHEREAS, the ongoing growth in demand coupled with the economic downturn has overwhelmed transit agencies, which are left unable to expand services, with many being forced to cut services and increase fares; and

WHEREAS, investments that maximize transportation and land use connections through techniques such as transit-oriented development yield optimal economic vitality to localities and build livable, walkable communities; and

WHEREAS, aging infrastructure is causing maintenance needs to rise in cities across the nation, while federal resources continue to go toward building new road capacity at the neglect of caring for existing infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, freight trucks are the fastest growing component of traffic nationwide and bottlenecks at railways, ports and airport terminals are increasing; and

WHEREAS, the impending expiration of Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), the multi-year federal surface transportation law, on September 30, 2009 presents an opportunity to focus the federal transportation program on the pressing transportation needs of American cities and metropolitan areas, and to realize the transportation efficiencies and advantages that cities can offer,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that that federal investment in transit capital projects should be significantly increased to begin meeting the escalating demand for more public transportation and mitigate decades of underinvestment in transit; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that federal support of transit operations should be restored to capitalize on the unprecedented growth in public transit ridership; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the current unequal local match requirements for new road projects and new transit projects funded by the federal government should be raised or lowered to make them equal, eliminating the practice of a dual standard between the modes; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the definition of local match for transit projects should be expanded to include the portfolio of local investments in transit networks related to the FTA eligible project; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the FTA's evaluation criteria for new transit projects should be updated to include real estate value capture and land use and environmental benefits associated with the project; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that projects that increase bicycling and walking should be encouraged by streamlining the approval process for such projects and providing greater funding to support them, including establishing adequate minimum set asides for such projects within programs such as the Surface Transportation Program (STP); and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the federal transportation program should prioritize spending to bring existing infrastructure to a state of good repair by establishing accountability and performance standards on infrastructure conditions for projects seeking federal funding; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the federal program should establish a comprehensive national freight plan to manage growth, resolve bottlenecks at railways, ports and air freight terminals, and improve overall freight efficiency and safety.