Rangel: House GOP Has No Idea Where Transit Funding Would Come From

Today at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, four members of New York’s congressional delegation joined the head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in decrying House GOP efforts to drastically alter how the federal government supports transit in cities.

Reps. Joe Crowley, Charlie Rangel, Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney joined MTA chief Joe Lhota to decry the House Republicans' attempt to end dedicated federal funding for transit. Photo: ##http://www.streetsblog.org/2012/02/06/nyc-congress-members-mta-chief-repudiate-house-gop-attack-on-transit/##Noah Kazis##

Under the House’s plan, instead of receiving a roughly 20 percent cut of the federal gas tax, transit would receive a one-time transfer from the general fund. In theory, at least. In practice, there would be no guarantees that transit would receive any funding.

Noah Kazis, from our sister blog in New York, has more from today’s presser:

Charlie Rangel, former chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, which passed the anti-transit provision, said he asked influential House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan where the money to pay for transit would come from in the general fund. “The answer was they did not know at that time,” said Rangel.

Other new rules that the speakers found objectionable would no longer require states to set aside an extra 1 percent of funds for transit in cities of over 200,000 residents, and would prohibit transit authorities that operate bus and rail services from receiving grants from the “bus and bus facilities fund.”

  • Let’s be clear. AASHTO is not opposed to the House bill. We are opposed to the Ways and Means proposal that would end dedicated funding for transit. Here is a link to a story that describes the situation, 
    http://www.aashtojournal.org/Pages/020312house.aspx. AASHTO’s letter to the Ways and Means committee says:

    “We believe that the two complementary accounts need to be maintained in order to support a well-funded, multimodal transportation system … We respectfully request that the current Highway Trust Fund structure with its two accounts and respective revenue allocations be retained.” 

    Hope that helps clarify things.