On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure announced the introduction of a five-year, $494 billion proposal that would increase highway spending by 42 percent and public transportation spending by 72 percent.

The New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act, is a key component of the Moving Forward Framework that House Democrats, led by House Transportation Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) released earlier in the week.

The Committee has scheduled a markup for Wednesday, June 17. The current surface transportation authorization legislation expires on September 30.

The Invest in America Act would double funding for technology deployment to increase innovation and create new programs to fund green materials research and to deploy green construction materials and practices to create smarter, more efficient transportation systems.

The legislation includes several provisions including tolling, VMT pricing pilots, and advanced mobility programs of interest to OmniAir members. A few highlights are below:

  • Sec. 1110 requires for any new tolling agreements, regional interoperability of electronic collection. The section also mainstreams funding for congestion pricing projects.
  • Sec. 1306 authorizes a new $250 million grant program to reduce traffic gridlock in large metropolitan areas.
  • Sec. 5303 establishes a National Automated Vehicle Clearinghouse at a university. Includes highly automated vehicles and mobility innovation (Mobility on Demand and as a Service).
  • Sec. 5304  directs the U.S. Department of Transportation to study how automated vehicles interact with general road users, including pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Sec. 5401 doubles funding available for state-level pilots of “user-based alternative revenue collection mechanisms,” also known as VMT pricing.
  • Sec. 5402 creates a 5-year National Surface Transportation Funding Pilot that would test a national VMT pricing program—examining multiple in-vehicle and mobile technologies.

A full, section-by-section summary of the bill is available here.

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which last year introduced its own $287 billion surface transportation bill, is holding a hearing today on the need for increased infrastructure investment as a response to the COVID-19 crisis.

 

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