"In today’s global economy, first-class jobs gravitate to first-class infrastructure. We’ll need Congress to protect more than three million jobs by finishing transportation and waterways bills this summer. But I will act on my own to slash bureaucracy and streamline the permitting process for key projects, so we can get more construction workers on the job as fast as possible.”
President Barack Obama
2014 State of the Union
The FY 2015 President’s Budget request includes a $302 billion four-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal that will improve the operation and condition of the Nation’s surface transportation systems. By targeting funding and implementing innovative reforms, this proposal will improve the way government operates, will ensure resources reach areas of need, and will create opportunities for all Americans.
Investing in Freight Networks and Improved Goods Movement
A dedicated freight funding program will foster economic growth and improve the efficiency and reliability of freight movement in the United States. This proposal includes $10 billion over 4 years for a new multimodal freight grant program—including rail, highways and ports—for projects that address the greatest needs for the efficient movement of goods across the country. The proposal includes significant incentives to encourage coordinated investment in freight infrastructure and will give shippers, truck and rail industry representatives and associated labor organizations a meaningful role in crafting investment decisions in partnership with state and local officials. The proposal will help advance the President’s export initiative.
Improved Project Delivery
In May 2013, the President signed a memorandum to modernize the Federal infrastructure permitting process while creating incentives to improve outcomes for communities and the environment. The Administration is expediting review timelines by increasing transparency and accountability measures and improving interagency coordination through concurrent (rather than consecutive) project review. The proposal will further advance and institutionalize reforms to the project delivery system through a range of measures, including establishing a new Center that will be administratively housed within the Department of Transportation.
Improved Investment Decision-Making at the Regional/Local Level
The Department of Transportation will continue to incentivize Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to strengthen their ability to address Regional needs.p>
Creating Ladders of Opportunity for our citizens that will:
- Improve Access to Jobs and Education
The Administration is dedicated to enhancing opportunities for all Americans by investing in transportation projects that better connect communities to centers of employment, education, and services. The Administration’s comprehensive surface transportation proposal will advance this priority in a variety of ways. It will greatly expand existing transit programs that help to create ladders of opportunity for all populations. It includes $2.2 billion for a new bus rapid transit program that will link people to job and educational opportunities in fast growing areas. It will remove barriers to local workforce training and hiring efforts. And it will implement a new performance element in the Federal-aid Highway program to ensure future investments connect communities to jobs, training, and education.
- Workforce Development
The proposal includes a $400 million workforce development program over four years to support and enhance the size, diversity, and skills of our Nation’s construction workforce through partnerships with the U.S. Department of Labor, States, and other key stakeholders. It also creates an incentive grant program for States that use their on-the-job training funds effectively.
Emphasizing a “Fix-it-First” Approach for Highway and Transit Grants
The Administration’s reauthorization proposal not only focuses on expanding transportation capacity but also underscores the importance of preserving and improving today’s transportation assets. The “Fix-it-First” approach focuses on three elements: encouraging government and industry partners to make optimal use of system capacity, implementing sound asset management principles, and focusing on achieving and maintaining a state of good repair.
Improved Safety for Pedestrians and Bicyclists
This proposal builds additional safeguards into our transportation systems that will increase driver awareness of bicyclists and pedestrians, and provide a safer environment for all road users.