On Monday, President Barack Obama proposed an ambitious long-term transportation spending plan in his 2012 budget as a way to boost U.S. economic competitiveness and spur job growth. The Obama Administration’s plan is a bold, $556 billion, six-year reauthorization of America’s transportation programs. It proposes four broad goals: (I) strengthen our infrastructure (II) spurring innovation, (III) ensuring safety, and (IV) reforming government and exercising responsibility. The spending plan includes a significant investment in programs which can assist improving public transportation and mobility in Idaho. For example:
- 127 percent increase – to $119 billion over six years – in funding for transit;
- $32 billion for a “race-to-the-top” style incentive program, called the Transportation Leadership Awards, to encourage fundamental reforms in the planning, building and management of transportation system;
- Innovative policy solutions will ensure that people in small towns and rural communities can more easily connect with regional and local transit options – and from one mode of transportation to another;
- Promote regional planning; and,
- Merge five transit programs into one state of good repair program and one specialized transportation program.
To move this plan through Congress, there will need to be a lot of dialogue. Please take a moment to contact your respective Congressman to inform them of how this plan will benefit Idahoans. Click here for contact information for the Idaho Congressional Delegation or to see the Dept of Transportation's Summary of the FY 2012 Budget.