Surface Transportation Recommendations for Congress

Here are nine programs or policies that need to be changed when Congress reauthorizes transportation legislation

Approximately every six years, Congress reauthorizes U.S. surface transportation legislation, providing an opportunity to make changes and updates that affect millions of Americans. Reason Foundation has identified eight programs or policies that need to be changed in the next reauthorization.

Double the $15 Billion Cap on Private Activity Bonds (PABs) for P3 Projects

Arbitrary cap should be increased to allow states to stretch resources further

By Robert Poole

Recognize All HOT/BRT Lanes as “Fixed Guideways” for Transit Funding

All HOT lanes should receive equal treatment from FTA

By Robert Poole

Grant user-friendly tolling flexibility for Interstate highway reconstruction

States need a new option for reconstructing Interstate highways

By Robert Poole

Simplify Long-range Planning Requirements for Regional Transportation Plans
Long-range transportation planning mandates include unnecessary tasks that stretch far beyond transportation
By David T. Hartgen

Simplify Conformity Regulations for Regional Transportation Plans
Current rules create huge administrative burden without improving environment
By David T. Hartgen

Eliminate Surface Transportation Funding for Non-federal Modes
Fund can no longer support diversions to transit, active transportation and weed removal
By Baruch Feigenbaum

Add Taxpayer Protections to FRA’s RRIF Loan Program
Federal Railroad Administration program ripe for abuse without needed protections
By Robert Poole

Require Metro Planning Agencies to Consider Congestion in Transportation Plans
Taxpayers should get to judge whether transportation plans focus enough on congestion reduction
By Robert Poole

Eliminate the TIGER Program
Executive branch earmarking has focused on politics not policy
By Baruch Feigenbaum

Baruch Feigenbaum is senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation.

Robert Poole is director of transportation policy and Searle Freedom Trust Transportation Fellow at Reason Foundation.

David T. Hartgen

David T. Hartgen is Emeritus Professor of Transportation Studies at UNC Charlotte. Professor Hartgen is widely known in transportation circles. He established UNC Charlotte's Center for Interdisciplinary Transportation Studies in 1989 and now teaches and conducts research in transportation policy and planning. He is the author of about 330 studies on a wide variety of topics in transportation policy and planning, is the U.S. editor of the international academic journal Transportation, and is active in professional organizations. He is a frequent media interviewee in local and national outlets. Before coming to Charlotte he directed the statistics, traffic forecasting and analysis functions of the New York State Department of Transportation and served as a Policy Analyst at the Federal Highway Administration. He holds engineering degrees from Duke University and Northwestern University. He has taught at SUNY Albany, Union College and Syracuse University and lectures widely. His studies of the comparative performance of transportation systems have received nation-wide attention. He has also recently completed a major component of Reason's Mobility Study that estimates the cost of significantly reducing road congestion nation-wide, a comprehensive study of congestion in North Carolina, and a comparative study of the 50 state highway systems . His current research includes an assessment of the economic impact of highways in South Carolina, a review of transportation performance for the provinces of Canada, a national study of business impacts of congestion, and an assessment of congestion in mid-sized cities.