July 11, 2018
Transportation for America
The Joint-Transportation Committee had a special meeting on July 11th to accommodate guest speakers Beth Osborne and Chris Rall from Transportation for America, during their organization’s visit to the Northwest.
Transportation for America is a member-driven organization that does transportation advocacy and education across the country as an “alliance of elected officials, business, and community leaders across the country” with a mission to “ensure states and the federal government invest in smart transportation solutions”. Depending on the project and the jurisdiction responsible for its implementation, T4A suggests that cities, counties, and states pursue federal funding solutions like Formula Transit Funding, Small Starts, BUILD (formerly known as TIGER), and Passenger Rail Funding. T4A focuses on these programs because their organization’s mission is to promote the pursuit of ‘real’ funding options, rather than complex loan agreements. Those stances and the emphasis placed on ‘real funding’ and building ‘smart projects’ in their organization’s platform explains their tendency to focus on infrastructure maintenance projects over high-cost, large projects. Osborne and Rall also said that their organization is diligently involved in talks about the impending Transportation Reauthorization Bill that will be up for consideration in 2019-20 due to the current Administration’s apparent feelings of skepticism towards federal transportation funding options. Since the 2016 election, T4A has noted tighter requirements for transportation funding awards, administrative delays, and a new condition that federal loan funds cannot be counted as a local match during the project fundraising process.