The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which sets national transportation policy, announced that the Surface Transportation Investment Act was approved by a bipartisan majority of the committee.
“It makes a big down payment, $78 billion, on rebuilding and revamping our nation's critical transportation infrastructure, a key to our economic future and creating more jobs," Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), chair of the committee, said in a statement.
The committee says this legislation creates new programs and updates existing programs to ensure that the U.S. Department of Transportation, states, local governments, and transportation providers can comprehensively solve the biggest transportation challenges. It also makes investments in the U.S. passenger rail system to ensure passengers, in both rural and urban areas, have better access to rail service.
The legislation provides historic investments in key infrastructure and safety priorities over the next five years including:
- Mega-Projects—authorizes $10 billion to help fund large, complex surface transportation projects.
- Railroad Crossings—authorizes $2.5 billion for railroad crossing separation projects, as proposed by Senator Cantwell’s Grade Crossing Elimination Act, to help ease congestion at blocked railroad crossings.
- Multimodal Investment —authorizes $7.5 billion for the RAISE discretionary grant program, which funds transit, rail, highway, and multimodal projects.
- Intercity Passenger Rail Expansion—authorizes $25 billion for Amtrak and intercity passenger rail.
- Supporting Vision Zero Plans—creates a new grant program to support Vision Zero safety plans.
The bill also authorizes over $1 billion for new and existing research and development programs.
SOURCE: Office of Senator Maria Cantwell