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Reason Foundation

Prez signs transpo bill

Ted Balaker
August 10, 2005, 10:21am

Here's the scoop: * Total: $286.4 billion over 2004-2009, up from $218 billion in the 1998-2003 highway act. * Includes more than $50 billion for bus, train and other transit programs and $6 billion for transportation safety programs. * Ensures that by 2008 every state will get at least 92 percent return in federal grants for contributions made, through the federal gasoline tax, to the Highway Trust Fund. * Guarantees that every state will see a minimum increase of 19 percent over its 1998-2003 funding level. Article here. And in California the signing of the bill means single occupant hybrids get access to carpool lanes: But hybrids' actual mileage is often lower than advertised. Consider Honda's Civic hybrid. The EPA says it gets 48 mpg. But when Consumer Reports tested it in real world driving conditions it got only 36 mpg. More on misguided hybrid love here. The Prez says that てthis is more than just a highway bill; it's a safety bill.て For example it establishes a safety belt incentive grant program. Notice that the incentive is for greater seat belt use, not, for example, lower fatality rates. So states, like Massachusetts and New Hampshire, that have very low seat belt use rates and very low highway fatality rates are out of luck. More on that here. Transcripts of W.てs speech here.

Ted Balaker is Producer

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