Washington, D.C. -- Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, today signed the conference report on the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act – a historic transportation bill.
Senator Boxer said: “I am proud that for the first time in 10 years our Committee has led the way to a five-year, fully-funded transportation bill which is essential for jobs, for our safety, and for our economic standing in the world.”
Every state will receive a five percent increase in highway funding in the first year of the bill, with transit receiving an eight percent increase. In the last year of the bill, highway funding will be 15 percent higher with an 18 percent increase for transit.
Senator Boxer said: “It was a mammoth task to complete work on this bill, which included the work of four committees in the U.S. Senate. I am proud that we initiated two new programs – one, the National Highway Freight Program which will improve goods movement and two, the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects Program, a competitive grants program to support major projects.
“For the first time there is funding specifically targeted to help commuter railroads install positive train control, and I am very pleased that we are continuing to invest in pedestrian and bike paths. The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) has been reauthorized, which is great news for any state that wants to leverage its local and state contributions.
“I am deeply moved that we included the Raechel and Jaqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act in the bill to protect consumers from leasing unsafe recalled rental vehicles.
“I expect this bill to have a huge amount of support throughout the country from businesses and workers alike. Although it is not perfect, I believe it is a major accomplishment for our people who expect us to fund a top notch transportation system. With more than 61,000 structurally deficient bridges and 50 percent of our nation’s roads in less than good condition, this bill is imperative, and to know it is funded for five years gives me great satisfaction.”