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2/8/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

SAFETEA in numbers: Bush Administration proposes $284 billion transportation reauthorization bill as part of FY06 budget


Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Transportation unveiled its fiscal-year 2006 budget, which includes increased funding for the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2003 (SAFETEA).

The Bush Administration has proposed increasing the six-year surface transportation reauthorization bill -—introduced in May 2004 as a $256 billion proposal — to $284 billion because of legislation enacted last year that directs ethanol tax receipts into the Highway Trust Fund.

SAFETEA would establish a National Highway System to fund highway connections to intermodal freight facilities, continue the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Program, and create a new category of tax-exempt private activity bonds to finance freight transfer facilities.

Since the Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century expired in September 2003, Congress has extended the reauthorization bill six times. The most recent extension expires in May.

The administration’s FY2006 budget also proposed a $14 million funding increase for the Nationwide Differential Global Positioning System, which enables railroads to use positive train control technology to track train speed and location.


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