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So long TEA-21, hello SAFETEA-LU: Congress finally approves $286 billion transportation bill

After almost two years, 10 extensions and lots of debate, Congress last Friday finally passed a Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) reauthorization bill.

The Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2005: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) will provide $286.5 billion for transit and highway projects during the next six years. The bill (H.R. 3) includes $52.6 billion for public transportation projects.

"This legislation will significantly address critical transportation infrastructure needs across the country, enhance the mobility options of millions of Americans and begin to reduce congestion," said American Public Transportation Association President William Millar in a prepared statement.

Federal transportation officials also are pleased a reauthorization bill is in place.

"State and local officials now have the resources, flexibility and support they need to make driving safer, fight congestion and ensure that the nation’s transportation system keeps pace with the rapidly expanding economy," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/1/2005