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4/30/2004



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Congress extends TEA-21 for the third time


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Last September, Congress passed a six-month extension of the Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century (TEA-21). When the Feb. 29 expiration date approached, Congress tacked on another two months, expiring today. Now, Congress is buying itself another 60 days to consider reauthorization of the six-year transportation bill by extending TEA-21 to June 30.

"It is regrettable that time has again run out and Congress has again failed to enact comprehensive long-term surface transportation legislation," said American Public Transportation Association (APTA) President William Millar in a prepared statement. "In the meantime, traffic worsens, millions of American still need jobs and 32 states are unable to meet clean air standards. In many parts of the country, transit systems cannot keep pace with demand for bus and train services."

APTA is lobbying Congress to enact a long-term transit/highway reauthorization bill at a funding level no less than the $318 billion passed by the Senate in February, which includes $56.5 billion for public transportation. But Bush Administration officials have indicated the president would veto the Senate bill if the funding level was not reduced.


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