Monday’s Headlines Are On the Brink

  • A bipartisan Senate infrastructure bill is expected to be unveiled today (The Hill). The main sticking point is transit funding — typically, 80 percent of transportation funding goes to roads and 20 percent on transit. Republicans want to spend less on transit, while Democrats have apparently given up fighting for more and just want to maintain the status quo (NBC News). Moderate Democrats are so focused on a deal that they’ll probably allow the cuts (American Prospect). But more transit funding could be rolled into a Democrat-only reconciliation bill later (Roll Call).
  • Federal data shows that transit ridership is coming back, with some communities reaching 80 percent of pre-pandemic ridership. (Mass Transit
  • Surprisingly, the states that spend the largest percentages of their budgets on infrastructure are mostly red, including Nebraska, Tennessee, North and South Dakota, Alaska, Utah, Texas and Arizona. But most of that money was spent on utilities and highways. (U.S. News & World Report)
  • For a variety of reasons, California lawmakers are reluctant to pour more money into high-speed rail. (Cal Matters)
  • Massachusetts might be the only state left in what was originally a 13-state compact to combat climate change by taxing carbon. (Boston Globe)
  • A planned park built on top of I-95 in Philadelphia has been pushed back two years. (WHYY)
  • Lyft is bringing self-driving cars, accompanied by backup drivers, to Austin and Miami. (KXAN)
  • Bike rental shops in the South Carolina beach town of Hilton Head are reporting record bike and part thefts. (WJCL)
  • Asheville residents are pushing for more bike lanes after a spate of crashes. (Citizen-Times)
  • Don’t let Elon Musk anywhere near public transit. (Pop Dust)
  • Tax the space billionaires, one congressman says. (Forbes)
  • Why don’t more people get on bikes? Maybe it’s Hollywood’s depictions of cyclists as dorky kids or even dorkier spandex-clad adults. (Slate)

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But What About the Highways-Transit Split?

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As transit fans and policy wonks digest the details of House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar’s (D-MN) new proposal, one question is coming to mind: Does it change the typical 80-20 split in the percentage of funding that goes to highways versus transit? The short answer is, not really. While road programs got […]