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Politics: Transit gets Victimized

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The future of federal transit spending is approaching a critical juncture, as two competing bills head for general votes on the floors of the House and Senate. The Metropolitan Planning Council has a good summary of what to expect should the House bill, which just passed committee, make its way to law. It would strip away the existing 2.86 cents/gallon gas tax dedicated to mass transit, to be replaced by an insecure $40B per year from the General Fund. That money would face competition from other programs in the appropriations process. Also, an amendment to restore bike and pedestrian funding was narrowly defeated. Across Capitol Hill, the Senate is advancing a more transit-friendly bill that would reinstate existing programs for the next two years and permit federal funding for non-capital transit expenditures for the first time. What a tough choice... [Metropolitan Planning Council]