Federal Public Transportation Program: In Brief

Federal Public Transportation Program: In Brief.  Congressional Research Service. William J. Mallett. Updated May 14, 2019

Federal assistance to public transportation is provided primarily through the public transportation program administered by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The federal public transportation program was authorized from FY2016 through FY2020 as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (P.L. 114-94). This report provides an introduction to the program as authorized by the FAST Act. Major federal involvement in public transportation dates to the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964 (P.L. 88-365). Prior to the mid-1960s there was very little public funding of public transportation. With much lower ridership than existed at the end of World War II and mounting debts, however, many private transit companies were reorganized as public entities. Federal funding was initially used to recapitalize transit systems. Today, the focus of the federal program is still on the capital side, but the program has evolved to support operational expenses in some circumstances, as well as safety oversight, planning, and research.

[PDF format, 12 pages].

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Announcing the Economic Value Atlas: A New Approach to Regional Transportation and Land Use Planning

Announcing the Economic Value Atlas: A New Approach to Regional Transportation and Land Use Planning. Brookings Institution. Adie Tomer. June 5, 2019

Metropolitan areas need a new approach to regional economic development and infrastructure investment. Competition to attract the most productive industries and workers, rising price tags on large and small infrastructure projects, an emerging focus on inclusive economic outcomes, and demand for more livable and resilient neighborhoods all place significant pressures on regional leaders to deliver an advanced, competitive economy that works for all people. That means old policy playbooks that overly focus on business recruitment and congestion mitigation will no longer suffice.

Instead, metropolitan governments and their civic partners need a suite of land use and infrastructure policies and practices that work in service of broader economic objectives.

Over the past 18 months, the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program worked alongside Metro—Portland, Oregon’s metropolitan planning organization—to begin addressing this need. The result of that effort is the Economic Value Atlas, or EVA. The objective of the Economic Value Atlas is to better align economic development, regional planning, and infrastructure investment in support of regional economic goals. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, various paging].

How to Enable Electric Bus Adoption in Cities Worldwide

How to Enable Electric Bus Adoption in Cities Worldwide. World Resources Institute.  Xiangyi Li et al. May 2019

Electric buses could pioneer a new age of clean and efficient urban transport and put cities on track towards sustainability. However, electric bus adoption is not accelerating fast enough for the world to meet transport-related global climate objectives and help limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius.

The aim of this report is to fill in knowledge gaps and provide actionable guidance for transit agencies and bus operating entities to help them overcome the most common and debilitating barriers to electric bus adoption. It provides a step-by-step guidance to establish and achieve electric bus adoption targets using concrete and diverse real-world experiences.

Transit agencies and bus operating entities are encouraged to maximize electric bus adoption targets based on local conditions and to develop a responsible strategy for implementation. They should be actively involved in planning and analysis; be serious about piloting and testing projects; and collaborate with city policymakers and other stakeholders to accelerate a responsible adoption of electric buses. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 68 pages].

The Higher Road: Forging a U.S. Strategy for the Global Infrastructure Challenge

The Higher Road: Forging a U.S. Strategy for the Global Infrastructure Challenge. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Matthew P. Goodman et al. April 23, 2019

Over the next 15 years, more hard infrastructure is projected to be built around the world than currently exists. This global build-out is already underway, and the changes it brings will only accelerate. Infrastructure projects, especially in the transport, energy, information and communications technology (ICT), and water sectors, have long been recognized as the backbone of modern economies. Going forward, emerging digital infrastructure, including fifth-generation (5G) networks, remote sensing, and other advanced technologies, will be especially critical. As our infrastructure is transformed, so will be the economies it fuels, the regions it connects, and the global commons it underpins. These trends are too powerful and potentially beneficial for the United States to stop, and too consequential to ignore. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 61 pages].

The Tech-Enabled Energy Future: Transition by Design

The Tech-Enabled Energy Future: Transition by Design. Council on Foreign Relations. Amy Myers Jaffe March 08, 2019

A new wave of energy innovation is remaking the transportation, electricity, and manufacturing sectors. This so-called fourth industrial revolution is already creating great uncertainty about the future energy landscape, lessening common interests between oil-producing nations and the world’s largest economies. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 30 pages].

Federal Traffic Safety Programs: In Brief

Federal Traffic Safety Programs: In Brief.  Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. David Randall Peterman. October 26, 2018.

 Driving is one of the riskiest activities the average American engages in. Deaths and serious injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of preventable deaths. In 2017, 37,133 people were killed in police-reported motor vehicle crashes in the United States, and in 2016 an estimated 3.14 million people were injured.1 Many of the people who die in traffic crashes are relatively young and otherwise healthy (motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 17 and 23).2 As a result, while traffic crashes are now the 13th leading cause of death overall, they rank seventh among causes of years of life lost (i.e., the difference between the age at death and life expectancy).3 In addition to the emotional toll exacted by these deaths and injuries, traffic crashes impose a significant economic toll. The Department of Transportation (DOT) estimated that the annual cost of motor vehicle crashes in 2010 was $242 billion in direct costs and $836 billion when the impact on quality of life of those killed and injured was included.4 About one-third of the direct cost came from the lost productivity of those killed and injured; about one-third from property damage; 10% from present and future medical costs; 12% from time lost due to congestion caused by crashes; and the remainder from the costs of insurance administration, legal services, workplace costs,5 and emergency services.

 [PDF format, 11 pages].

Blending Climate Funds to Finance Low-Carbon, Climate-Resilient Infrastructure

Blending Climate Funds to Finance Low-Carbon, Climate-Resilient Infrastructure. Brookings Institution. Joshua P. Meltzer.  June 20, 2018

 The world’s core infrastructure—including our transport and energy systems, buildings, industry, and land-related activities—produce more than 60 percent of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally.

By 2030 the world will need to build approximately $85 trillion in low-carbon climate-resilient (LCR) infrastructure in order to meet the Paris climate change agreement’s goal of keeping the global average temperature increase well below 2 degrees Celsius by 2050. Meeting this infrastructure investment need will require doubling today’s global capital stock. This paper defines LCR infrastructure as including renewable energy, more compact cities, and suitable mass transit as well as energy efficiency measures. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 53 pages].