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House bill proposes $1.7 billion to help transit agencies handle soaring fuel costs

Yesterday, the House passed the “Saving Energy Through Public Transportation Act of 2008” (H.R. 6052), which authorizes $850 million in both FY2008 and FY2009 to help transit agencies keep fares down and expand service despite rising fuel costs, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

Co-sponsored by Reps. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) and John Mica (R-Fla.) — who serve as the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s chairman and ranking member, respectively — as well as Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), the bill now is subject to Senate passage and the appropriations process.

Between 2004 and 2008, transit agencies’ fuel costs rose 166 percent, causing many of them to raise fares, cut service or defer projects, according to an APTA survey conducted in April.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/27/2008