Trump Moves to Immediately Gut Transit Expansion and TIGER Funding

Donald Trump. Photo: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons
Donald Trump. Photo: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

The budget outline that Donald Trump rolled out earlier this month would be a disaster for transit and cities. And the situation is even worse than we thought.

At risk, starting in fiscal year 2018, are $2.3 billion annually for transit expansion projects –jeopardizing plans in cities including Indianapolis, Seattle, and Atlanta that recently voted to tax themselves to fund transit — as well as $500 million a year in TIGER funds — which has funded dozens of multi-modal projects, including the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and Chicago’s Divvy bike share.

Now we’re learning that the threat is even more immediate, reports Stephen Lee Davis at Transportation for America. Get ready to call your members of Congress:

This week, it’s become clear that the 2018 fiscal year (which begins this October) isn’t soon enough for the administration — they are now asking Congress to make most of the same cuts and changes in (the rest of) this year’s budget for 2017.

That’s what the Office of Management and Budget is requesting for the federal transit capital construction program, according to Jeff Davis’ Eno Transportation Weekly. That’s paired with a request to cut funding for transit construction by about $400 million for the rest of this fiscal year. Unlike the President’s recent proposal for the next fiscal year (2018), these cuts are proposed for the budget that Congress is negotiating now to keep the government operating through October.

You can help save these vital programs.

We’re looking for national, state and local organizations to demonstrate their support for fully funded TIGER and transit Capital Investment Programs. Sign onto T4America’s nationwide support letter by Friday, March 31st. 

Budget background: The government is operating under a continuing budget resolution (CR) because Congress failed to pass individual spending bills in late 2016 for this fiscal year. They instead passed a single bill to keep the government functioning at 2016 funding levels for most programs. Congress must produce budgetary legislation of some kind before the current CR expires on April 28, or run the risk of once again shutting down the government.

More recommended reading today: The Urbanist reports that Seattle transit advocates are fighting attacks on the region’s voter-approved $53 billion transit expansion plan. And the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia says planning is underway for an 11-acre park capping a section of I-95 in Philadelphia, creating better connections to the Delaware River.

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The Red Line bus rapid transit project in Indianapolis, which voters approved as part of a package in November, is one of dozens of projects threatened by Donald Trump's budget proposal. Image: IndyGo

Think of Trump’s Budget as an Attack on Cities

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Yesterday Donald Trump released a budget outline that calls for severe cuts to transit, and the reaction was swift and scathing. The National Association of City Transportation Officials called it "a disaster" for cities. Transportation for America said it was a "slap in the face" for local communities that have raised funds to expand transit.