Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Here We Go Again

I received the following email from the Federal Transit Administration yesterday. At this point it doesn't look like SRTC would be impacted immediately but some other area agencies could be if we reach the "cash management" levels referenced.

As you know, the most recent Congressional extension of the current surface transportation authorization, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, is set to expire in less than 3 weeks on July 31.

As you may recall from the 2-day surface authorization lapse that occurred in March 2010, while revenue will still be deposited in the Highway Trust Fund, if Congress does not act prior to July 31, no new contract authority will be available for capital projects, essential maintenance, or operational support.

As a result, it is likely that some agencies would be forced to reduce vital transit services or cut routes. However, the Federal Transit Administration would continue to have the ability to reimburse grantees for costs obligated prior to the authorization lapsing subject to the availability of funds in the Mass Transit Account. If Congress doesn't take appropriate action the highway account would reach critical levels requiring cash management in this coming August and the Mass Transit account would reach similar critical levels this fall.

As you may know, the Administration's GROW AMERICA proposal and FY 2016 budget would request a call on Congress to enact a 6-year, $478 billion surface transportation reauthorization proposal in an effort to provide long-term stability. Not only does this proposal provide States and local transit agencies with extended funding certainty, it also increases overall transportation investment by 45 percent, providing funding growth and smart policy reforms to strengthen the American economy.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can provide additional information or assistance on this matter.

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.