Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Promises about Transportation on The Obameter

Create a $60 billion bank to fund roads and bridges

"Will address the infrastructure challenge by creating a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to expand and enhance, not supplant, existing federal transportation investments. This independent entity will be directed to invest in our nation's most challenging transportation infrastructure needs. The Bank will receive an infusion of federal money, $60 billion over 10 years, to provide financing to transportation infrastructure projects across the nation. These projects will create up to two million new direct and indirect jobs and stimulate approximately $35 billion per year in new economic activity."

Improve port security through better radiation detection

"Will redouble our efforts to develop technology that can detect radiation and determine the danger it poses, and he will work with the maritime transportation industry to integrate this technology into their operations so as to maximize security without causing economic disruption."

Support regional innovation clusters

"Will create a federal program to support 'innovation clusters' – regional centers of innovation and next-generation industries. This innovation clusters program will provide $200 million in planning and matching grants for regional business, government and university leaders to collaborate on leveraging a region's existing assets – from transportation infrastructure to universities – to enhance long-term regional growth. Planning grants will be used to help seed local discussions about developing innovation clusters, and matching grants will help assist states with a variety of activities needed to build successful innovation clusters, including building research parks, workforce attraction efforts, supporting regional transportation projects tied to developing clusters, and bolstering local job training." (Editor's note: We've read this a bunch of times and still aren't sure what he means, but we're including it while we try to decipher it.)

Improve transportation in New Orleans

"Will help the New Orleans area develop regional transit partnerships so that public transit can be integrated across parish lines, providing seamless transportation options, including a possible light rail line to connect New Orleans and Baton Rouge through the petrochemical corridor in between."

Raise fuel economy standards

"Will increase fuel economy standards 4 percent per year ... ."

Enact tax credit for consumers for plug-in hybrid cars

"We will leverage private sector funding to bring these cars directly to American consumers. We'll give consumers a $7,000 tax credit to buy these vehicles."

Require plug-in fleet at the White House

"Within one year of becoming President, the entire White House fleet will be converted to plug-ins as security permits."

Require new federal fleet purchases to be half plug-in hybrids or electric vehicles

"Half of all cars purchased by the federal government will be plug-in hybrids or all-electric by 2012."

Require more flex-fuel cars for the federal government

"Government should lead the way here. I showed up at this event in a government vehicle that does not have a flexible-fuel tank. When I'm president, I will make sure that every vehicle purchased by the federal government does."

Provide tax credits for automakers to build fuel-efficient cars

"Will provide $4 billion retooling tax credits and loan guarantees for domestic auto plants and parts manufacturers, so that the new fuel-efficient cars can be built in the U.S. by American workers rather than overseas."

Mandate flexible fuel vehicles by 2012

"Will work with Congress and auto companies to ensure that all new vehicles have flexible fuel (FFV) capability . . . by the end of his first term in office."

Modernize air traffic system

"Will work with Congress to modernize the nation's air traffic control system and he will direct the new FAA Administrator to work cooperatively with the frontline air traffic controllers to restore morale and improve working conditions and operations at the agency."

Support funding and reform for Amtrak

"Will continue to fight for Amtrak funding and reform so that individuals, families and businesses throughout the country have safe and reliable transportation options."

Support high-speed rail

Will "Support development of high-speed rail networks across the country. Providing passengers with safe high-speed rail will have significant environmental and metropolitan planning advantages and help diversify our nation's transportation infrastructure. Our domestic rail freight capacity must also be strengthened because our demand for rail transportation has never been greater, leaving many key transportation hubs stretched to capacity. Obama and Biden are committed to renewing the federal government's commitment to high speed rail so that our nation's transportation infrastructure continues to support, and not hinder, our nation's long-term economic growth."

Support airline service in small towns

Will support "the continuation of the Small Community Air Service Development Program that helps small and mid-sized communities attract new air service, which is critical to local economic development. Obama and Biden will work to improve the effectiveness of these programs and increase the availability of rail transportation options for residents of rural communities."

Double federal program to help "reverse" commuters who go from city to suburbs

"Will double the federal Jobs Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program to ensure that additional federal public transportation dollars flow to the highest-need communities and that urban planning initiatives take this aspect of transportation policy into account. JARC funds have been used to connect low-income workers around the country with job opportunities."

Invest in public transportation

"Will re-commit federal resources to public mass transportation projects across the country. Obama and Biden will work with state and local governments across the country on efforts to create new, effective public transportation systems and modernize our aging urban public transit infrastructure."

Equalize tax breaks for driving and public transit

"The federal tax code rewards driving to work by allowing employers to provide parking benefits of $205 per month tax free to their employees. The tax code provides employers with commuting benefits for transit, carpooling or vanpooling capped at $105 per month. This gives drivers a nearly 2:1 advantage over transit users. Obama and Biden will reform the tax code to make benefits for driving and public transit or ridesharing equal."

Consider "smart growth" in transportation funding

"Will re-evaluate the transportation funding process to ensure that smart growth considerations are taken into account."

Will seek more accommodations of bicycles and pedestrians

Will "ensure that more Metropolitan Planning Organizations create policies to incentivize greater bicycle and pedestrian usage of roads and sidewalks."