Metro Magazine

NOV-DEC 2014

Magazine serving the bus and rail transit & motorcoach operations since 1904

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Page 18 of 47 rization facing several hurdles, most no- tably funding, key congressional staff engaged in overseeing public transpor- tation programs shared their views and outlook for the legislative process during the "Congress & the Federal Transporta- tion Agenda" session, one of many fea- tured during the EXPO. While acknowledging the importance of reauthorizing the surface transpor- tation bill, one key takeaway from the informative session was that both the proposed GROW America Act and the funding recommended by APTA will be difcult for Congress to come up with. In fact, it may very well be impossible unless a funding source is found, said An- drew Brady, majority professional staff member, Subcommittee on Highways and Transit and Committee on Trans- portation and Infrastructure. He also added it is already a challenge to main- tain enough funding to meet the current levels set in MAP-21. Brady said that Congressional mem- bers are open to hearing creative ideas from the industry, as well as feedback on which programs are most impor- tant and which programs or initiatives that may not be worth moving forward on. Basically, he said, any comments or suggestions are welcomed absent of asking for more federal funds for public transportation. Both Brady and Homer Carlisle, pro- fessional staff member, Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, said Congress is exploring ideas to come up with funding for the bill, but it is still a difcult nut to crack, with the politically unpopular idea of simply raising the gas tax beginning to look like it wouldn't be enough as many Americans continue to drive less and the fuel efciency of auto- mobiles continues to increase. On a brighter note, Brady did add that as soon as a funding source is identi- fed, Congress is ready to move on bill, 15 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014 m ETRO m AGAZINE > (From left) Mayors Chris Coleman of Saint Paul, Minn., Annise Parker of Houston, Chris Koos of Normal, Ill., and Frank Jackson of Cleveland discuss their roles in public transportation and their eforts to improve.

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