SAFETEA-LU Reauthorization Process and USDOT’s Reform Proposal - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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SAFETEA-LU Reauthorization Process and USDOT’s Reform Proposal

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  1. SAFETEA-LU Reauthorization Process and USDOT’s Reform Proposal Todd KohrOffice of the Assistant Secretary for Transportation PolicyU.S. Department of Transportation November 2008

  2. Presentation outline • Major transportation policy challenges • Window of legislative opportunity • Many voices in the debate • USDOT’s reform proposal • The path ahead

  3. Major transportation policy challenges • Loss of a sense of direction • Decline in system performance • Poor investment decisions • Weaknesses of the fuel tax • Looming funding shortfalls

  4. Window of legislative opportunity • SAFETEA-LU expires on 9/30/09 • Highway Trust Fund on course for deficits in FY10 and beyond • Growing consensus on need for a new approach

  5. Many voices in the debate • U.S. Department of Transportation • Two Congressionally-created commissions • State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) • Other associations and interest groups • Congress • Incoming Administration

  6. USDOT’s surface transportation reform proposal • Policy document (rather than bill text) • Makes the case for reform • Largely defers on revenues and funding levels • Provides strategy for Federal programs and investment • Six central themes

  7. 1. Clarify and focus the Federal role • Consolidate programs to focus formula $ in areas of greatest Federal interest • Offer grants for projects of national significance, corridors, and innovative metro congestion plans • Empower States and localities to use (and raise) resources to fund their other transportation priorities

  8. 2. Use data and technology to drive safety projects • Emphasize risk-based, data-driven safety approaches • Build on the success of strategic highway safety plans • Administer safety grants in a more integrated fashion • Encourage the use of crash avoidance technologies

  9. 3. Increase State and municipal flexibility • Consolidate dozens of highway / transit programs into three new multi-modal programs • Empower metro boards to fund transportation projects regardless of mode • Allow broad project eligibility within funding programs

  10. 4. Strengthen basis for investment decisions • Require States and metro areas to set performance goals and track progress • Require benefit-cost & public-private partnership analyses • Base discretionary funding awards on merit and clear transportation criteria

  11. 5. Encourage pricing and leveraging of Federal $ • Allow tolling of Federal-aid facilities(while limiting uses of toll revenues) • Encourage States to pursue PPPs where appropriate(while safeguarding public interest) • Increase the flexibility of innovative financial tools(Federal loans, credit assistance, private activity bonds) • Expand authority for States to use infrastructure banks

  12. 6. Improve and streamline environmental review • Include environmental goals within performance mgmt. • Reform environmental review process to reduce delays (while protecting the environment) • Offer a “mitigated alternative” to NEPA • Experiment with shifting focus from process to outcomes

  13. President’s bill Senate committees House committees Full House Full Senate Conference committee Full Congress President Final law Miles to go before we sleep Reform proposal Obama Administration National Commissions AASHTO Alphabet soup Members of Congress

  14. For more information http://www.fightgridlocknow.gov/reform/ todd.kohr@dot.gov

  15. Central themes of reform proposal • Clarify and focus the Federal role • Use data and technology to drive safety projects • Increase State and municipal flexibility • Strengthen basis for investment decisions • Encourage pricing and leveraging of Federal $ • Improve and streamline environmental review