August 1, 2019 – The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation convened for a hearing on July 31 regarding the current status of positive train control (PTC) implementation and next steps. In this hearing, witnesses did little to instill confidence that railroads and commuter rail agencies will meet the December 2020 deadline for PTC implementation which was delayed from its initial 2018 deadline.
Eno Transportation Weekly
July 26, 2019 – The House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials held a “Railroad Shippers Roundtable” on July 25, following up on the June 20 hearing. The various participants were in consensus regarding their most pressing issues, namely faulty communication with railroad companies and problematic demurrage and accessorial charges.
March 22, 2019 – Just a day after the White House released their budget proposal for 2020, which would significantly cut funding for rail and transit programs, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development held a hearing on March 12 to discuss the challenges and opportunities regarding passenger rail development.
March 20, 2019 – The President’s fiscal year 2020 budget request for the Department of Homeland Security includes proposals for a small cut in Transportation Security Administration operational funding, a large cut in Coast Guard procurement, and a two-thirds cut in Federal Emergency Management Agency transportation security grants.
March 21, 2019 – Amtrak sent its fiscal 2020 budget request to Congress yesterday and asked for $141 million less than Congress actually appropriated for fiscal year 2019. The 2020 request of $1.80 billion is the amount authorized by Congress in the FAST Act of 2015, but Congressional appropriations for Amtrak and other railroad programs in 2018 and 2019 have exceeded the authorized amounts significantly.
March 20, 2019 – What a difference a year makes. In 2019, the Trump Administration requested zero new funding for discretionary grant programs. In 2020, they are requesting $4 billion.
March 19, 2019 – In the full fiscal year 2020 federal budget request released this week, the assumptions for the tax receipts of transportation excise taxes over the next decade made by the White House Office of Management and Budget are significantly above the estimates for those taxes made by the Congressional Budget Office. And the Administration once again boosts its overall receipt totals by requesting new transportation user fees that Congress is unlikely to approve.
March 15, 2019 – As part of the Trump Administration’s fiscal 2020 budget rollout, the Federal Transit Administration this afternoon released its detailed annual report on its Capital Investment Grant program, including updates on the project status and ratings of every proposed subway, light rail, and bus rapid transit project in the United States.
March 8, 2019 – This week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told an Association for Better New York breakfast meeting that he wants to attach legislation forcing the federal government to start funding a $13.6 billion project to build new passenger rail tunnels under the Hudson River to the next “must-pass” spending bill. But it’s hard to see Schumer getting what he wants without either violating Congress’s ban on earmarks, or else fundamentally restructuring the mass transit Capital Investment Grant program.
March 8, 2019 – On March 4, the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) issued a formal response to the Federal Railroad Administration’s February 19 notice that it intended to cancel the $929 million grant of fiscal year 2010 appropriations promised by the Obama Administration for the Golden State’s troubled high-speed rail project.
Tuesday, March 12 – House Transportation and Infrastructure – Subcommittee on Aviation – subcommittee hearing entitled “Looking Forward: Aviation 2050” (witness list here) – 10:00 a.m., HVC-210 The Capitol.
March 1, 2019 – Yesterday, the chairman and ranking Democrat of the Senate Finance Committee, Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), jointly introduced legislation that would provide temporary extensions of numerous targeted tax breaks that expired at the end of 2017 or 2018.
February 20, 2019 – Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Transportation said it will not pay the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) the final $929 million in federal appropriations that was legally committed to the state’s high-speed rail program by the Obama Administration.
February 14, 2019 – Yesterday, Sen.
February 13, 2019 – The failure of the California high-speed rail project doesn’t necessarily mean the doom of HSR in the U.S. The California project followed seven “worst practices” that other projects could avoid.
February 12, 2019 – Earlier today, new new governor of California, Gavin Newsom (D), told state legislators in his first “State of the State” address that he was backing away from plans to build a high speed rail project that would connect San Francisco and Los Angeles, but that he would finish the segment of the project currently underway in the central part of the state.
February 8, 2019 – On February 6, the U.S. House of Representatives passed five bills from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Three of the five bills were significant for the transportation sector as they would improve oversight of rail safety, protect scenic byways, and establish a commission to commemorate Route 66.
February 8, 2019 – This week, the director of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) told Congress that he has ordered the strengthening of cybersecurity requirements for its new transit procurement, but said that further attempts to ensure the survival of a domestic railcar manufacturing industry should come in the form of Congress passing a law.
February 8, 2019 – This week, President Trump gave an interview to local journalists where he appeared to say that money for the $11+ billion Hudson River Tunnel has already been “set aside.”
February 4, 2019 – Here is a list of every mention of transportation, infrastructure, highways, transit, rail, aviation, and waterways made by Presidents Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump in the last 20 State of the Union addresses, 1999-2018.