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3/18/2010



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Senate approves bill to extend surface transportation fund through 2010


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Yesterday, the Senate passed the HIRE Act, which would extend the Highway Trust Fund through year’s end and provide billions of dollars for mass transit and highway infrastructure projects. Previously passed by the House and supported by the American Public Transportation Association, the bill is expected to be signed into law by President Obama today.

The HIRE Act would release funding for public transportation in the 2010 appropriations bill and extend the deadline for federal surface transportation legislation until Dec. 31. Since the last surface transportation act expired in fall, Congress has been granting short-term extensions; the latest extension is set to expire on March 28.

The Highway Trust Fund extension will enable states and local agencies to advance mass transit and highway projects, creating and preserving 1 million jobs, said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, in a prepared statement.

“Now … we will focus on moving forward with a transformational transportation authorization that will create jobs and build the infrastructure America needs for economic recovery and long-term prosperity,” she said.


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