$100.8 million net proposed public transportation funding increases are part of Governor Rick Snyder’s 2013-2014 transportation budget recommendations according to William Hamilton, fiscal analyst at the House Fiscal Agency. Hamilton unrolled the line items of the Governor’s recommendations during a House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation meeting on Tuesday, February 26. It appears that there is more funding to be allotted for public transportation than initially thought. The following is a listing of these funding changes from FY 2012-2013:
- Bus Transit – Local Bus Operating: $14.5 million increase
- Bus Transit – Non-Urban Operating/Capital: $2.2 million increase
- Rail Operations and Infrastructure: $27 million increase
- Specialized Services: $15.4 million increase
- Intercity Services: $1.7 million increase
- Bus Capital: $32.3 million decrease
In addition to these changes from the previous fiscal year budget, the following are new Comprehensive Transportation Fund (CTF) line items from Governor Snyder’s budget recommendations:
- Rural/Urban Intercity Connector: $1.2 million
- Rail Infrastructure Assistance: $10 million
- Regionalization Initiatives: $5.2 million
- Urban Modernization: $50.5 million
A new Discretionary State Operating fund of $5.4 million is called for as well. According to Hamilton this supplemental fund is intended to compensate for urban transit agencies that will be affected by anticipated reduced support for the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) from the Detroit general fund.
Representative Rob VerHeulen, chairman of the Subcommittee on Transportation, asked Hamilton if the Commercial Corridor Fund (CCF) would be distributed under the Public Act 51 (1951) formula. The CCF is another recommended new addition to the transportation budget in FY 2013-2014, comprising of the largest portion of the transportation funding increase at $1.1 billion. Hamilton believes it to be clear that the CCF will be distributed under a new funding formula, separate from PA 51; however he does not know what this new funding formula will be.
Later that day, Trans4M core members Tim Fischer of the Michigan Environmental Council, John Langdon of the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers, and I, along with Dusty Fancher of the Midwest Strategy Group, met with Senator Roger Kahn, chairman of the Senate Infrastructure Modernization Committee. In the meeting, Kahn said that he sees the progress of the transportation funding discussion going towards figuring out how to fund the Governor’s recommended transportation budget increases, and then moving on to the matter of a new funding formula and PA 51 reform afterwards. He finds them to be two separate matters.
Support for this sequence of events was echoed by John LaMacchia II of the Michigan Municipal League, a core member of Trans4M, to both the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Transportation this week.
By: Dan Sommerville, Transportation For Michigan Fellow