What Are The Politicians Doing?
Legislation in DC
The following information is some of the
"transportation legislation" activities in DC. Links to the
bills have been provided. I have also included a sample letter for
citizens to use to contact their elected politicians (AKA
Representatives and Senators).
Citizens must get involved and demand changes. The
politicians have already wasted too much time and too many tax dollars
on rail systems that don't relieve traffic congestion. IT IS TIME TO
SEND ALL POLITICIANS A MESSAGE. THE ROAD TO PUBLIC OFFICE IS CHANGING.
IT IS TIME THE POLITICIANS STOPPED RAILROADING CITIZENS.
HR 4545 - Amtrak Reauthorization Act of 2002 (Introduced in House)
A Bill to authorize appropriations for the benefit of Amtrak for fiscal
year 2003, and for other purposes. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:h.r.04545
HR 2329 - High Speed Rail Investment Act of 2001 (Introduced in House)
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a credit to holders
of qualified bonds issued by Amtrak, to amend title 49, United States
Code, to provide for approval by the Secretary of Transportation of
projects to be funded by those bonds, and for other purposes. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:h.r.02329:
HR 2205 - Amtrak Good Neighbor Act of 2001 (Introduced in House)
To amend title 49, United States Code, to promote the cooperation of
Amtrak with local governments in the implementation of activities to
enhance railroad property and structures. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:h.r.02205:
HR 2654 - Transit Rail Accommodation Improvement and Needs Act for the
21st Century (Introduced in House).
A bill to designate the Surface Transportation Board as a forum to
improve passenger rail and other fixed guideway passenger transportation
by allowing improved access to freight track and rights-of-way for fixed
guideway transportation in consideration for just and reasonable
compensation to freight railroads. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:h.r.02654:
HR 2299 - Department of Transportation and Related Agencies
Appropriation Act 2002 (Referred to Senate Committee after being
Received from House)
Next Generation High-Speed Rail - For necessary expenses for the Next
Generation High-Speed Rail program as authorized under 49 U.S.C. 26101
and 26102, $25,100,000, to remain available until expended.
Capital Grants to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation - For
necessary expenses of capital improvements of the National Railroad
Passenger Corporation as authorized by 49 U.S.C. 24104(a), $521,476,000,
to remain available until expended.
`Federal Transit Administration, Capital investment grants' in Public
Law 105-277; to be available as follows:
$10,296,000 for Alaska or Hawaii ferry projects;
$25,000,000 for the Atlanta, Georgia, North line extension project;
$10,867,000 for the Baltimore, Maryland, central light rail transit
double track project;
$11,203,169 for the Boston, Massachusetts, South Boston Piers transitway
$5,000,000 for the Charlotte, North Carolina, south corridor transitway
$35,000,000 for the Chicago, Illinois, Douglas branch reconstruction
$23,000,000 for the Chicago, Illinois, Metra North central corridor
commuter rail project;
$19,118,735 for the Chicago, Illinois, Metra South West corridor
commuter rail project;
$20,000,000 for the Chicago, Illinois, Metra Union Pacific West line
$2,000,000 for the Chicago, Illinois, Ravenswood reconstruction project;
$5,000,000 for the Cleveland, Ohio, Euclid corridor transportation
$70,000,000 for the Dallas, Texas, North central light rail transit
$60,000,000 for the Denver, Colorado, Southeast corridor light rail
$192,492 for the Denver, Colorado, Southwest light rail transit project;
$25,000,000 for the Dulles corridor, Virginia, bus rapid transit
$30,000,000 for the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Tri-Rail commuter rail
$3,000,000 for the Johnson County, Kansas-Kansas City, Missouri, I-35
commuter rail project;
$60,000,000 for the Largo, Maryland, metrorail extension project;
$1,800,000 for the Little Rock, Arkansas, river rail project;
$10,000,000 for the Long Island Rail Road, New York, East Side access
$49,686,469 for the Los Angeles North Hollywood, California, extension
$5,500,000 for the Los Angeles, California, East Side corridor light
rail transit project;
$3,000,000 for the Lowell, Massachusetts-Nashua, New Hampshire commuter
rail extension project;
$12,000,000 for the Maryland (MARC) commuter rail improvements project;
$19,170,000 for the Memphis, Tennessee, Medical center rail extension
$5,000,000 for the Miami, Florida, South Miami-Dade busway extension
$10,000,000 for the Minneapolis-Rice, Minnesota, Northstar corridor
commuter rail project;
$50,000,000 for the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, Hiawatha corridor
$4,000,000 for the Nashville, Tennessee, East corridor commuter rail
$20,000,000 for the Newark-Elizabeth, New Jersey, rail link project;
$4,000,000 for the New Britain-Hartford, Connecticut, busway project;
$141,000,000 for the New Jersey Hudson Bergen light rail transit
$13,800,000 for the New Orleans, Louisiana, Canal Street car line
$3,100,000 for the New Orleans, Louisiana, Desire corridor streetcar
$13,000,000 for the Oceanside-Escondido, California, light rail
$16,000,000 for the Phoenix, Arizona, Central Phoenix/East valley
$6,000,000 for the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, North Shore connector light
rail transit project;
$20,000,000 for the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, stage II light rail ,
transit reconstruction project;
$70,000,000 for the Portland, Oregon, Interstate MAX light rail transit
$5,600,000 for the Puget Sound, Washington, RTA Sounder commuter rail
$14,000,000 for the Raleigh, North Carolina, Triangle transit project;
$328,810 for the Sacramento, California, light rail transit extension
$15,000,000 for the Salt Lake City, Utah, CBD to University light rail
$718,006 for the Salt Lake City, Utah, South light rail transit project;
$65,000,000 for the San Diego Mission Valley East, California, light
rail transit extension project;
$2,000,000 for the San Diego, California, Mid Coast corridor project;
$80,605,331 for the San Francisco, California, BART extension to the
$113,336 for the San Jose Tasman West, California, transit light rail
$40,000,000 for the San Juan, Puerto Rico, Tren Urbano project;
$31,088,422 for the St. Louis, Missouri, MetroLink St. Clair extension
$8,000,000 for the Stamford, Connecticut, urban transitway project; and
$1,000,000 for the Washington County, Oregon, Wilsonville to Beaverton
commuter rail project.
HR 3591 - Systematic Passenger Infrastructure and Network Overhaul
through Financial Freedom Act (Introduced in House)
To provide for the competitive operation of the Northeast rail corridor
and Autotrain using State and private sector initiatives.
TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP- Effective on the date of the enactment of this
(1) title to all property of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation
necessary for the operation of the main line of the Northeast Corridor
between the District of Columbia and Boston, Massachusetts, and the
Autotrain shall transfer to the Secretary of Transportation; and (2) the
note and mortgage described in section 24907 of title 49, United States
Code, is canceled, in consideration for the transfer described in
paragraph (1). http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c107:H.R.3591:
HR 1967 - Gas Price Spike Act of 2001 (Introduced in House)
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose a windfall profit
tax on oil and natural gas (and products thereof) and to allow an income
tax credit for purchases of fuel-efficient passenger vehicles, and to
allow grants for mass transit.
PURCHASE OF FUEL-EFFICIENT AMERICAN-MADE PASSENGER
In the case of an individual, there shall be allowed as a credit against
the tax imposed by this chapter for the taxable year an amount equal to
the cost of any qualified passenger vehicle purchased by the taxpayer
during the taxable year.
MASS TRANSIT FARE REDUCTIONS DURING GAS PRICE SPIKES
The Secretary of Transportation may make grants to the operator of a
mass transit system to assist the operator in reducing fares paid by
passengers using the system. (b) USE OF GRANTS- Grants received under
the program shall be used solely for implementing a fare reduction
described in subsection (a) that is applied equally to all passengers
using the mass transit system.
HR 3166 - Rebuild America Financing Infrastructure Renewal and Security
for Transportation Act of 2001 (Introduced in House).
The purposes of this Act are as follows:
(1) To invest in the Nation's infrastructure to enhance
the security of rail , environmental, highway, transit, aviation,
maritime, water resources, and public buildings infrastructure.
(2) To create jobs and economic activity to put people back to work and
stimulate the Nation's economy.
(3) To create long-term capital assets for the Nation that will help the
United States address its enormous infrastructure needs and improve its
(4) To demonstrate the commitment of the Federal Government to economic
recovery, thereby increasing the confidence of consumers and businesses.
FINDINGS AND PURPOSES
(10)Transportation-related goods and services contribute more than
$980,000,000,000 annually to the United States economy.
(17) The Nation also continues to face enormous non-security
transportation and environmental infrastructure needs.
(18) In 68 urban areas, highway congestion alone costs travelers
4,500,000,000 hours of delay, 6,800,000,000 gallons of wasted fuel, and
$78,000,000,000 in cost productivity and wasted fuel (more than three
times the $22,000,000,000 cost in 1982).
(19) Similarly, States estimate that 40 percent of assessed waters, or
20,000 discrete areas of the Nation's lakes, rivers, streams, and
coastal waters, do not meet State water quality standards.
(20) States, cities, transit authorities, airport authorities, and other
entities have ready-to-go infrastructure projects, which will create
long-term capital assets for the United States and which can help
stimulate the Nation's economy.
(21) Each $1,000,000,000 invested in infrastructure construction creates
approximately 42,000 jobs and $2,100,000,000 in economic activity.
LIMITATIONS ON AMOUNT OF BONDS DESIGNATED-
(1) IN GENERAL- There is a qualified Amtrak bond limitation for each
fiscal year. Such limitation is--
(A) $1,500,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2002 through 2011, and
(B) zero after fiscal year 2011.
(2) LIMITS ON BONDS FOR NORTHEAST RAIL CORRIDOR AND
(A) NORTHEAST RAIL CORRIDOR- Not more than $3,000,000,000 of the
limitation under paragraph (1) may be designated for qualified projects
on the northeast rail corridor between Washington, D.C., and Boston,
(B) INDIVIDUAL STATES- Not more than $3,000,000,000 of the limitation
under paragraph (1) may be designated for any individual State. The
dollar limitation under this subparagraph is in addition to the dollar
limitation for the qualified projects described in subparagraph (A).
(3) LIMIT ON BONDS FOR OTHER PROJECTS- Not more than $100,000,000 of the
limitation under paragraph (1) for any fiscal year may be designated for
all qualified projects described in subsection (j)(1)(C).
HRES 369 - Recognizing the goals and objectives of the Intelligent
Transportation Systems Caucus. (Introduced in House)
Recognizing the goals and objectives of the Intelligent Transportation
Whereas intelligent transportation system (ITS) technologies benefit the
people of the United States;
Whereas ITS technologies are being deployed in the United States to
reduce traffic congestion, improve driver safety, reduce the number and
severity of vehicular accidents, improve the safety and dependability of
transportation systems, enhance the competitiveness of the automotive
industry, provide multimodal traveler information, facilitate the
movement of freight, increase border and port security, improve
operating efficiencies for commercial vehicles and transit, promote
international trade, safeguard the environment, facilitate emergency
response and evacuation, and ensure the security of critical
infrastructure in the United States;
Whereas in testifying before the Senate, Secretary of Transportation
Norman Y. Mineta stated that one of the core principles and values for
the Department of Transportation in the surface transportation
reauthorization process is to `foster `intelligent everything' in the
development and deployment of technology, such as pavement monitoring,
message systems, remote sensing, and toll collection';
S 1150 - Interstate Highway System Toll Free Holiday Act (Introduced in
A bill To waive tolls on the Interstate System during peak holiday
WAIVER OF TOLLS ON THE INTERSTATE SYSTEM DURING PEAK HOLIDAY TRAVEL
(a) DEFINITIONS- In this section, the terms `Interstate System', `public
authority', `Secretary', `State', and `State transportation department'
have the meanings given the terms in section 101(a) of title 23, United
(1) IN GENERAL- No tolls shall be collected, and no vehicle shall be
required to stop at a toll booth, for any toll highway, bridge, or
tunnel on the Interstate System during any peak holiday travel period
determined under paragraph (2).
(2) PEAK HOLIDAY TRAVEL PERIODS- For the purposes of paragraph (1), the
State transportation department or the public authority having
jurisdiction over the toll highway, bridge, or tunnel shall determine
the number and duration of peak holiday travel periods, which shall
include, at a minimum, the 24-hour period of each legal public holiday
specified in section 6103(a) of title 5, United States Code.
(1) IN GENERAL- For each fiscal year, upon request by a State or public
authority and approval by the Secretary, the Secretary shall reimburse
the State or public authority for the amount of toll revenue not
collected by reason of subsection (b).
(2) REQUESTS FOR REIMBURSEMENT- On or before September 30 of a fiscal
year, each State or public authority that desires a refund described in
paragraph (1) shall submit to the Secretary a request for reimbursement,
based on actual traffic data, for the amount of toll revenue not
collected by reason of subsection (b) during the fiscal year.
(3) USE OF REIMBURSED FUNDS- A request for reimbursement under paragraph
(2) shall include a certification by the State or public authority that
the amount of the reimbursement will be used only for debt service or
for operation and maintenance of the toll facility, including
reconstruction, resurfacing, restoration, and rehabilitation.
HR 4925 - To amend title 23, United States Code, to provide an exemption
from Interstate System weight limitations for milk hauling vehicles in
the State of Connecticut. (Introduced in House) http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c107:H.R.4925:
SECTION 1. EXEMPTION FROM INTERSTATE SYSTEM WEIGHT LIMITATIONS FOR MILK
HAULING VEHICLES IN CONNECTICUT.
Section 127(a) of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding at
the end the following: `The State of Connecticut may allow, by special
permit, on Interstate System highways in the State the operation of
vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of up to 99,000 pounds for the
hauling of milk in liquid form.'.
S 485 - Interstate Tolls Relief Act of 2001 (Introduced in Senate)
To amend Federal law regarding the tolling of the Interstate Highway
SEC. 2. INTERSTATE SYSTEM RECONSTRUCTION AND REHABILITATION PILOT
Section 1216(b) of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century
(112 Stat. 212-214; 23 U.S.C. 19 nt) is repealed.
SEC. 3. TOLLS ON BRIDGES AND TUNNELS.
Section 129(a)(1)(C) of title 23, United States Code, is amended by
striking `toll-free bridge or tunnel' and inserting `toll-free major
bridge or toll-free tunnel'.
SEC. 4. LIMITATION ON USE OF TOLL REVENUES.
Section 129(a)(3) of title 23, United States Code, is amended by--
(1) striking `first' in the first sentence and inserting `only'; and
(2) striking `If the State certifies annually that the tolled facility
is being adequately maintained, the State may use any toll revenues in
excess of amounts required under the preceding sentence for any purpose
for which Federal funds may be obligated by a State under this title.'.
H.R.3366 - Metropolitan Washington Regional Transportation Act
(Introduced in House) http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c107:7:./temp/~c107hpL70H:e874:
Congress finds that--
(1) congestion is a serious problem in the metropolitan Washington
region, as evidenced by recent studies that have found that congestion
costs each man, woman, and child in the region close to $800 per year in
lost time, wasted fuel, and environmental damage;
(2) in the past, regional leaders have successfully worked together to
address important transportation needs, through such institutions as the
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, the Washington Metropolitan
Area Transit Authority, and the National Capital Region Transportation
Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments;
(3) even greater regional cooperation is needed to prevent congestion in
the metropolitan Washington region from worsening, in light of
predictions that there will be a 31 percent increase in population, a 41
percent increase in employment, and a 46 percent increase in vehicle
miles traveled in the region over the next 25 years;
(4) while transportation needs will grow significantly over the next 25
years, spending is expected to fall short of transportation needs over
the same period by more than $43.5 billion, even with expected increases
in Federal and State spending;
(5) none of the existing metropolitan-wide transportation agencies
within the metropolitan Washington region has the necessary powers,
authorities, and resources to meet the current and future transportation
needs of the region;
(D) to permit single-occupancy vehicles to travel on high-occupancy
lanes in the region, if--
(i) the affected signatory or signatories consent to charge tolls to
single-occupancy vehicles given access to high-occupancy lanes;
(ii) the toll can be implemented in a way that does not reduce the level
of service; and
(iii) the affected signatory or signatories consent to use the toll
revenues for regional transportation projects;
S 1015 - Railroad Crossing Delay Reduction Act (Introduced in Senate)
A bill to require the Secretary of Transportation to issue regulations
to address safety concerns and to minimize delays for motorists at
railroad grade crossings.
Bottom line - THE POLITICANS ARE NOT REPRESENTING US AND CITIZENS MUST
DEMAND CHANGES. This is very apparent when you consider the actions and
legislation of those elected to public office.
Next time your local politicians starts whining for money to fix the
roads, please give them a lesson in true representation, accountability
and fiscal responsibility. The above information demonstrates reckless
spending at the expense of our transportation system. They have the
money to fix the roads and highways. Now all they need the courage and
ethics to do the right thing and start representing their constituents.
If elected officials don't start representing the people instead of the
SIGs, we will see more dogs on the ballot and they will start winning!
Please take the time to get involved in our process. We are all part of
this system and we must assume responsibility our role in it. It is
imperative that you communicate with all of your elected politicians and
government agencies. They must be put on notice that citizens are
demanding true representation and accountability on the part of their
government. The road to public office must change. Politicians and SIGs
must stop railroading our transportation system.
Please use the attached letter as a guide or add your information and
send this letter to all of your elected politicians and transportation
agencies. They want public involvement and it is time we gave it to
them. For more information on getting involved, please write Ax the Toll
Road Tax, PO Box 720685, Orlando, FL 32872.
To: Representative/Senators Name
Office and District
From: Citizen and Voter Name
Re: Meeting Our Transportation Needs - It is Time for a Change
As a citizen of the United States and as a registered voter of your
district, I am obligated to inform you of my complete dissatisfaction
and outrage with our current transportation policy.
I as a concerned citizen have taken the time to learn more about our
transportation policies and current legislation. This includes ISTEA ,
TEA-21, HR 4545, HR 2299, HR 3166, HR 2329, HR 2205, HR 2654, etc. I
have also taken the time to learn more about alternative modes of
transportation (mass transit). Based on this research, it is very
apparent, that our current policy does not and will not support our
For the record - I oppose any additional taxpayer funding for Amtrak,
light-rail, high-speed rail systems. It is a proven fact that rail
systems are not cost effective and they do not address the traffic
congestion on the highways. Rail should be completely privatized. My gas
taxes should be used to exclusively to expand highways/roadways and to
improve traffic flow.
The following statement was copied from the "2002 Urban Mobility
Study" by the Texas Transportation Institute (see TTI web site: http://mobility.tamu.edu/ums/study/front_and_back/big_picture.stm
): "Over the last 19 years, traffic volumes have increased faster
than road capacity and the alternative modes have not provided the
needed relief either because they are not extensive enough, or they are
not used for enough trips."
The last part of this statement identifies the key problems with rail
systems. The fact is alternative modes of transportation (rail) are not
extensive enough and people simply don't like to use them. Americans
love their cars and the love the freedom to commute as they please. It
is time to stop wasting our gas taxes on rail and fix the highway
gridlock!! It is not rocket science!!
Bottom line….It is very apparent that our current transportation
policy and programs have not been developed to meet the needs of our
state and our country. It is time for all elected officials to start
listening to and representing their constituents. It is time to
eliminate Special Interest Groups (SIGs) from public policy. SIGs should
not control our government and our transportation policy. As a citizen
and a voter, I want to know what YOU are going to do about our costly
and totally ineffective transportation policy. I want to know what YOU
are doing to represent your constituents. I want to know the names of
the SIGs that are influencing our transportation policy. As a citizen, I
have a right to know.
Citizen for transportation reform and true representation for the
Please write to the Federal Railroad Administration, Secretary Norman Y.
Mineta and your elected officials and let them know we need better roads
and highways. We definitely do not need more Amtrak boondoggles that
will cost us for the rest of our taxpaying lives.
Locate your U.S. and State Senators and Representatives at http://www.congress.org
Contacting the U.S. Senate http://www.senate.gov/contacting/index.cfm
U.S. House of Representative http://www.house.gov/
Member Information http://clerk.house.gov/members/index.php
Write Your Representative Service http://www.house.gov/writerep/
Federal Railroad Administration Headquarters Address
1120 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20590
Hours of Operation 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
For Regional Offices go to http://www.fra.dot.gov/safety/regional/index.htm
U.S. Department of Transportation http://www.dot.gov/contact.html
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, DC 20590
Send Comments or questions, as well as email for the Secretary and other
Department of Transportation officials, to firstname.lastname@example.org.