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Transit funding remains uncertain

Mon, 26 Mar 2012 17:16:10 CDT
By: Charlie Schlenker

The head of the Bloomington Normal Public Transit System says once again he's not entirely sure what will happen on federal transit by the end of the week. That's when funding authority is due to expire. Andrew Johnson says the House and Senate are at odds over the length of an extension. The Senate wants a shorter period than the House.

   

Complicating everything is the fact the highway trust fund is failing rapidly.

   

Johnson says some sort of extension will likely pass, but the uncertainty makes transit planners jobs very difficult.

   

A lone positive about the recent debate, Johnson says, is that the public has clearly signaled to lawmakers that voters want a separate dedicated funding source for mass transit. Current legislation expires Saturday, and House Republican leaders have been unable to push through a new transportation bill or agree to back a bipartisan Senate version. A backup plan is a temporary fix: a 90-day extension of the current legislation.

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