H.R. 3200 (112th): Local Flexibility for Transit Assistance Act

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Oct 13, 2011 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3200

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

October 13, 2011

(for himself, Ms. Berkley, Mr. Berman, Mr. Boswell, Mr. Brady of Texas, Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania, Ms. Brown of Florida, Mr. Capuano, Mr. Chandler, Ms. Chu, Mr. Connolly of Virginia, Mr. Cummings, Mr. Diaz-Balart, Mr. Doyle, Mr. Engel, Mr. Filner, Mr. Frank of Massachusetts, Mr. Gonzalez, Mr. Al Green of Texas, Mr. Grijalva, Ms. Hirono, Mr. Johnson of Georgia, Ms. Kaptur, Mr. King of New York, Mr. Langevin, Mr. Larsen of Washington, Mr. LaTourette, Mr. Lewis of Georgia, Mr. Lipinski, Ms. McCollum, Mr. McGovern, Mr. McIntyre, Ms. Moore, Mr. Nadler, Mrs. Napolitano, Ms. Norton, Mr. Peters, Mr. Quigley, Mr. Rahall, Mr. Rangel, Ms. Richardson, Ms. Linda T. Sánchez of California, Mr. David Scott of Georgia, Mr. Shuler, Mr. Sires, Ms. Sutton, Mr. Bishop of New York, Mr. Clay, Mr. Cohen, Mr. Davis of Illinois, Ms. DeGette, Mr. Ellison, Ms. Fudge, Mr. Garamendi, Mr. Hastings of Florida, Mr. Higgins, Mr. Pallone, Mr. Perlmutter, Mr. Towns, Ms. Tsongas, Mrs. Miller of Michigan, Mrs. Biggert, Mr. Tiberi, Mr. LoBiondo, Ms. Baldwin, Mr. Moran, Ms. Waters, Mr. Ackerman, Mr. Altmire, Mr. Barrow, Mr. Blumenauer, Mr. Carson of Indiana, Mr. Costello, Mr. Deutch, Mr. Gutierrez, Ms. Matsui, Mr. George Miller of California, Ms. Woolsey, Mr. Pascrell, Mr. Braley of Iowa, Ms. Jackson Lee of Texas, Ms. Sewell, Mr. Cleaver, Mr. Carter, Ms. Bordallo, Mr. Kildee, Mrs. Capps, Mr. Tonko, Mr. Jackson of Illinois, Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Mr. Clarke of Michigan, Mr. Lynch, Mr. Payne, Mr. Cicilline, Mr. Dingell, Mr. Serrano, Mr. Keating, Mr. Waxman, Mr. Crowley, Mr. Kucinich, Mr. Holden, Ms. Edwards, Mr. DeFazio, Mr. Michaud, Mr. Gene Green of Texas, Ms. Lee of California, and Mr. Walz of Minnesota) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

A BILL

To provide flexibility of certain transit functions to local entities.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Local Flexibility for Transit Assistance Act.

2.

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

While transit ridership has increased in the face of falling disposable income, transit agencies are being forced to implement some of the deepest service cuts, sharpest fare increases and layoffs as a result of declining revenues and increasing fuel prices.

(2)

According to the American Public Transportation Association, over the past 2 years, 84 percent of transit systems have raised fares, cut service, or are considering either of these measures in the near future.

(3)

Additionally, over the same period of time, transit systems across the country have seen a 56-percent reduction in rush hour service, a 62-percent reduction in off-peak service, and a 40-percent reduction in geographic coverage leaving thousands of transit drivers without a job.

(4)

These cuts have left thousands of transit dependent Americans without a way to get to work.

(5)

It is the policy of the Government to significantly increase the number of individuals who have access to viable public transportation systems and services in order to maximize Americans’ ability to access jobs and economic opportunity.

(6)

It is the policy of the Government that the ability of all citizens to move quickly and at a reasonable cost shall be increased, especially in light of the growth in highway traffic congestion and the resulting cost to our Nation’s productivity and economic strength.

3.

Urbanized area formula grants

Section 5307(b)(1) of title 49 is amended—

(1)

by redesignating subparagraphs (E) and (F) as subparagraphs (G) and (H), respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after subparagraph (D)—

(E)

operating costs of equipment and facilities for use in public transportation in an urbanized area with a population of more than 200,000 for a designated recipient, direct recipient, or subrecipient under section 5311, providing public transportation in the area and operating less than 100 buses in fixed-route service in such area during peak service hours.

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4.

Targeted and temporary flexibility for designated recipients in crisis

Chapter 53 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

5341.

Targeted and temporary flexibility for designated recipients or direct recipients in crisis

(a)

Definition

For purposes of this section the term crisis period means that the unemployment rate, as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of any metropolitan statistical area located within a designated recipient’s or direct recipient’s service area is at or higher than 7 percent for the preceding month or the national average retail price of regular grade gasoline during a quarter, as reported by the United States Energy Information Administration, has increased by more than 10 percent compared to the same quarter during the previous year.

(b)

Conditions for flexibility

(1)

In general

If a designated recipient or direct recipient operates at least 100 buses in fixed-route service during peak service hours, in an urbanized area with a population of more than 200,000, and is certified under paragraph (3) as being in a crisis period, the agency may use funds provided under section 5307 for operating costs of equipment and facilities, subject to the conditions set forth in paragraphs (2) and (3).

(2)

Limitation on use of funds

A designated recipient or direct recipient that meets the criteria set forth in paragraph (1) may use—

(A)

50 percent of funds provided under section 5307 if it operates in an urbanized area with a population of more than 200,000 but less than 500,000;

(B)

45 percent of funds provided under section 5307 if it operates in an urbanized area with a population of more than 500,000 but less than 1,000,000; or

(C)

40 percent of funds provided under section 5307 if it operates in an urbanized area with a population of more than 1,000,000.

(3)

Certification by secretary

To be eligible to use funds for operating costs of equipment and facilities under this section, a designated recipient or direct recipient shall request that the Secretary certify, not later than 30 days after such request is made, that the agency is in a crisis period. After each quarter, the Secretary shall monitor each designated recipient or direct recipient in a crisis period to determine if the agency no longer qualifies as being in a crisis period. When the Secretary determines that an agency is no longer in a crisis period, the agency has 3 additional consecutive quarters to use the funds for operating costs of equipment and facilities.

5342.

Local control of transit operating flexibility

(a)

General eligibility requirements

If a designated recipient or direct recipient operates at least 100 buses in fixed-route service during peak service hours and is in an urbanized area with a population of more than 200,000 and—

(1)

such recipient’s percentage of revenue for the operating cost of equipment and facilities for use in public transportation from non-Federal sources, excluding system-generated revenue, is at least equal to such revenue from the previous fiscal year; or

(2)

the recipient receives revenue for the operating cost of equipment and facilities for use in public transportation derived in whole or in part from dedicated sources of revenue;

the designated recipient or direct recipient may use funds provided under section 5307 for operating costs of equipment and facilities, subject to the percentage limitations in subsection (b).
(b)

Limitations on use of funds

A designated recipient or direct recipient that meets the criteria set forth in subsection (a) may use—

(1)

30 percent of such funds if the area served has a population of more than 200,000 but not more than 500,000;

(2)

25 percent of such funds if the area served has a population of more than 500,000 but not more than 1,000,000; or

(3)

20 percent of such funds if the area served has a population of more than 1,000,000.

(c)

Conditional increase in percentage limits

If the designated recipient’s or direct recipient’s percentage of revenue for the operating cost of equipment and facilities for use in public transportation from non-Federal sources, excluding system-generated revenue, is greater than such revenue from the previous fiscal year, the designated recipient or direct recipient may increase the applicable percentage specified in subsection (b) by a percentage that is not greater than the year-over-year increase in such amount.

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