By BILL MOYERSBy Bill MoyersWashington (AP)A federal transportation funding package approved Wednesday by Congress will require states, including the District of Columbia, to make investments in mass transit as part of the $1.1 trillion transportation bill.
But the package also calls for more money to support high-speed rail, more funding for transit and more investments in high-tech infrastructure.
The legislation, approved on a bipartisan basis by the House Transportation Committee, was intended to be a first step in fixing an economic crisis in the country’s capital.
It will include $50 billion for transit, $1 trillion for rail and $1,200 billion for other investments.
The Senate is expected to take up the package next week, after which the House will take up a similar measure.
The bill was a key piece of President Barack Obama’s agenda for the first year in office, and has been championed by Republicans in the House and Senate.
The transportation bill is designed to address the nation’s transportation woes, which have led to the construction of new highways and bridges in the Northeast and Midwest, as well as the creation of high-capacity transit hubs and a new regional rail system.
The bills also includes money to help states combat opioid abuse, and money to fund Amtrak, which opened its first Northeast Corridor service this month.