Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
9/28/1978--Indefinitely postponed in Senate.
(Measure indefinitely postponed in Senate (Text as amended incorporated in S. 3073)) Amends the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964 to revise the discretionary grant and loan program under such Act. Authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to make such grants or loans to States and local public bodies and agencies for:
(1) the construction or extension of fixed guideway systems;
(2) the acquisition, construction, and improvement of certain mass transportation facilities and equipment where emergency circumstances exist;
(3) the introduction of new technology into public transportation;
(4) financing the costs incurred in connection with projects for the acquisition of land and the costs of preparing such land for urban development purposes to enhance any mass transportation project approved under such Act;
(5) acquisition, construction, and improvement of facilities and equipment to improve the coordination between public transportation and other forms of transportation, and to enhance urban economic development and incorporate private investment; and
(6) modification of equipment and fixed facilities deemed necessary by the Secretary to avoid any adverse effects resulting from the Northeast Corridor project.
Requires that applicants for such funds possess the legal, technical, and financial capacity to carry out the proposed project and that they have continuing control over the use of the facilities and equipment involved.
Requires the Governor of the State involved together with the appropriate local officials to designate a single recipient to receive and dispense the funds granted under this Act for the construction or extension of fixed guideway systems.
Authorizes the Secretary to announce an intention to obligate funds for a mass transportation project through the issuance of a letter of intent to the applicant.
Stipulates that such a letter shall not be deemed as a commitment but as an intention to obligate funds from future appropriation Acts. Permits the Secretary to approve combined bus and rail projects utilizing both funds for routine purchases and for major fleet expansions and new starts.
Eliminates the present provision which earmarks a specified amount of the funds made available under such Act for areas other than urbanized areas.
Authorizes appropriations in specified amounts for each of the fiscal years 1979 through 1983 to carry out the discretionary grant and loan program under such Act. Authorizes appropriations in specified amounts for each of the fiscal years 1979 through 1983 to carry out the urban, small urban, and rural transit programs and for other grant programs under such Act. Requires the Secretary to report to Congress:
(1) annually on the status of the Federal public transportation program including a list of outstanding grants or other contractual agreements made under this Act, and
(2) on proposed authorization requests covering fiscal years 1981 through 1984 and covering fiscal years 1983 through 1986.
Revises the apportionment formula for the mass transit grant program for urbanized areas.
Stipulates that funding under the new formula shall be based on population, population density, commuter rail train miles, the number of fixed guideway system route miles, and bus replacement costs and bus seat miles.
Stipulates that funds made available for areas with a population of 200,000 or over shall be received and dispensed by a recipient as designated by the Governor of the State and the local officials involved.
Stipulates that with respect to areas with a population of less than 200,000, such funds shall be made available to the Governor of the State involved to be distributed in a fair and equitable manner.
Stipulates that any apportioned funds which remain unobligated three years following the fiscal year for which they were apportioned shall be added to the amount available for apportionment in the next fiscal year.
Limits the total amount of a Federal grant for operating assistance projects to one-third of the total eligible operating expenses incurred in the operation of the services which are assisted under this Act. Authorizes the use of up to 50 percent of the amount apportioned to urbanized areas of 200,000 or more population for urban highway projects.
Stipulates that Federal funds available for expenditure for mass transportation projects shall not be in substitution for the average amount of State and local government funds and other transit revenues expended on transit operations in the area over the two prior fiscal years.
Excludes reimbursement payments for the transportation of school children.
Permits continued Federal assistance if reduced State and local government funding is offset by an increase in operating revenues through changes in fare.
Permits designated recipients that have been able to effect significant cost savings due to efficiencies resulting from shift of operations to have their required maintenance of effort (MOE) level reduced in an amount proportionate to the amount of savings effected by such efficiencies.
Directs the Secretary to cooperate with State and local officials in the development of transportation plans to meet future needs.
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to States and local public bodies for planning and technical studies of public transportation projects.
Removes specified restrictions regarding the availability of fellowships for public transportation training programs.
Prohibits the use of funds under such Act for the acquisition of mass transportation assets by one public body from another in the same geographic area.
Authorizes the Interstate Commerce Commission to exempt State or local mass transportation services from certain Interstate Commerce Act provisions unless:
(1) public interest would not be served;
(2) it would result in an undue burden on interstate commerce; or
(3) the services are not subject to State or local regulation.
Requires such mass transportation systems to be subject to all Federal laws pertaining to safety and employer-employee relations.
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants and loans to provide transportation services for the transportation needs of the elderly and handicapped.
Provides capital and operating assistance through a formula grant program for small urban and rural areas to promote public transportation in such areas.
Prohibits discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, or age in any project or activity funded under such Act. Permits the Secretary to undertake, or provide, financial assistance programs that address human resource needs as applied to public transportation activities, such as employment training programs.
Authorizes the Secretary to convert mass transportation equipment and facilities loans under such Act to capital grants under specified conditions.
Directs the Secretary, in consultation with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, to report to Congress concerning ways and means by which Federal mass transit funds can be allocated taking into account air pollution as a criterion for distribution.
Requires the National Railroad Passenger Corporation to notify appropriate parties of a proposed discontinuance of service as recommended by the Secretary prior to October 1, 1979.
Authorizes the Corporation to continue service if an affected State, region, or local agency agrees to reimburse the Corporation for a reasonable portion of the costs of continued operation.