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Archive for the ‘Policy’ Category

Railroad Financing: Changes to the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program

Friday, July 22nd, 2016
Figure 1: Number and Dollar Amount of Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program Loans Approved, Fiscal Years 1998 through 2015, by Loan Type

Financing the various rail infrastructure projects will be challenging. Congress has not funded the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program—a program used to fund passenger rail projects—since fiscal year 2010 and appropriations to Amtrak have remained relatively steady at about $1.4 billion over the last 5 years. One potential source of funding is FRA’s Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) program, which is a $35 billion loan and loan guarantee program to finance, among other things, freight and passenger rail facilities. Since program inception in 1998 about $2.7 billion in loans have been executed, and no loan guarantees have been made.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Ranking Member, House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016
Congressman Peter DeFazio

In 2014, DeFazio was elected to the powerful position of Ranking Member on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Coast Guard, highways and transit, water resources, railroads, aviation, and economic development.

“[Citizens] need to speak up, speak out. They need to contact their members of congress, their senators. They need to particularly weigh in in an election year and, go to a debate, or ask them a question as publicly as you can, ‘what are you going to do to fix Americas infrastructure?'”

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Pension funds make billions available for infrastructure projects

Monday, July 18th, 2016
Mary Scott Nabers, president and CEO of Strategic Partnerships Inc.

Written by Mary Scott Nabers
President and CEO, Strategic Partnerships Inc.
Public pension funds represent about 18 percent of American-based institutional investment in infrastructure. And, at the end of the first quarter of this year, the number of public pension funds investing in unlisted infrastructure funds rose 12 percent from last year and 76 percent from five years ago.

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An Infrastructure Plan for America: How Investing in Infrastructure Will Lay the Foundation for Prosperity, Advance Environmental Goals, and Rebuild the Middle Class

Monday, July 18th, 2016
FIGURE 1 Transportation funding distribution

Infrastructure is the foundation that makes everything in the U.S. economy possible. Infrastructure is also essential to our national competitiveness. When done right, infrastructure investments produce broad-based prosperity for American businesses and workers, facilitating social mobility and enabling access to opportunities, people, and ideas.

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NACTO Policy Statement on Automated Vehicles

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CITY TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS (NACTO)
Positioning new mobility services to provide access and mobility to all, and to buttress rather than undermine the successful transit lines at the heart of our cities, is vital to realizing the value of fully automated vehicles for mobility. At the same time, policy at every level of government should address head-on the destructive potential for increased traffic, emissions from additional driving, and on-street congestion that could easily result from automated vehicle technology.

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Thom Hartmann: Why Can’t We Unite About Our Crumbling Infrastructure?

Friday, July 8th, 2016
Thom Hartmann: Why Can’t We Unite About Our Crumbling Infrastructure?

Thom talks to caller Bob about the fact that we should all be upset by our national need to invest in infrastructure.

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Shaping the Future of Construction: A Breakthrough in Mindset and Technology

Thursday, July 7th, 2016
Figure 1: Industry Transformation Framework

WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
The Engineering & Construction (E&C) industry strongly affects the economy, the environment and society as a whole. It touches the daily lives of everyone, as quality of life is heavily influenced by the built environment surrounding people. The construction industry serves almost all other industries, as all economic value creation occurs within or by means of buildings or other “constructed assets”. As an industry, moreover, it accounts for 6% of global GDP. It is also the largest global consumer of raw materials, and constructed objects account for 25-40% of the world’s total carbon emissions.

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ASCE: Our Nation’s Infrastructure Bill is Overdue and It’s Costing You

Thursday, July 7th, 2016
ASCE: Our Nation’s Infrastructure Bill is Overdue and It’s Costing You

The American Society of Civil Engineers’ “Failure to Act: Closing the Infrastructure Investment Gap for America’s Economic Future” economic study finds that our nation’s inadequate infrastructure is costing your family $3,400 a year. Watch the video to learn more about how underinvesting in infrastructure comes at a high cost.

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Planning for a Healthier Future

Monday, June 27th, 2016
MPO Performance Responsibilities

TRANSPORTATION FOR AMERICA
Cities and regions around the country face important choices about how and where they want to grow, how to connect people to economic prosperity and how to use limited resources to promote healthy communities and provide a great quality of life for all of their residents.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Martha Roskowski, Vice President of Local Innovation, PeopleForBikes

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
Martha Roskowski, PeopleForBikes

Martha Roskowski directs PeopleForBikes’ Green Lane Project, jumpstarting protected bike lanes and low-cost street retrofits in U.S. cities. Martha enjoys being part of the PeopleForBikes team and the way protected bike lanes turn a busy street into a comfortable and inviting place to ride.

“…What’s happening is there’s this realization that if you provide people with safe and comfortable places to ride by creating protected bike lanes on big, busy streets, by connecting them to completely separated pathways and side streets where the volume and speed of traffic is low, that people will ride. So they’re not crazy to not be out there on the streets today. The good news is that there’s rapid progress. In transportation terms there’s pretty rapid progress toward retrofitting streets to provide those spaces where people feel safe, and they are safe.”

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