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House Introduces INVEST in America Act, Includes TDM


Posted: 06/08/2021
Category: Public Policy


Last week, members of the House of Representatives introduced the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act. Introduced by Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Chair of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Chair of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), the INVEST in America Act invests $547 billion into surface transportation reauthorization.  

ACT was successful in efforts to include the definitions of Transportation Demand Management (TDM) and TDM Strategies in the bill. “We'd like to thank Chairman DeFazio, Representative Garcia and all of our members who helped in our efforts to incorporate this important language”, said David Straus, Executive Director of ACT.  “The codification of definitions for TDM and TDM Strategies is a core element of our MORE Through TDM Act (HR 2514), which we are continuing to advocate for in the House.”

The House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure is scheduled to markup the INVEST in America Act on June 9th. 

Bill Highlights

Found on page 78 of the 1,249-page bill are definitions of TDM and TDM Strategies:

“TRANSPORTATION DEMAND MANAGEMENT; TDM.—The terms ‘transportation demand management’ and ‘TDM’ mean the use of strategies to inform and encourage travelers to maximize the efficiency of a transportation system leading to improved mobility, reduced congestion, and lower vehicle emissions.”

“TRANSPORTATION DEMAND MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES.—The term ‘transportation demand management strategies’ means the use of planning, programs, policy, marketing, communications, incentives, pricing, data, and technology to shift travel mode, routes used, departure times, number of trips, and location and design work space or public attractions.”

The bill also includes additional provisions aligned with ACT’s goals:

Sec. 1202. Increasing the resilience of transportation assets. [new 23 USC 124] – Page 170, as part of a long-range transportation plan for MPOs, it must “identify investments and strategies to manage transportation demand and increase the rates of public transportation ridership, walking, bicycling, and carpools; and”…for Statewide and Nonmetropolitan planning, same language on page 180.

  • Revises sections 134 and 135 of title 23 to require MPO and state-prepared long-range transportation plans include strategies to mitigate and reduce climate impacts and a vulnerability assessment of critical transportation assets, evacuation routes, and facilities repeatedly damaged by disasters.

    • The MPO and state must identify projects to address identified vulnerabilities, which are eligible for funding under the newly established pre-disaster mitigation program.
  • Establishes a pre-disaster mitigation program under 23 USC 124, which receives $6.25 billion in apportioned funds over the life of the bill for resilience projects identified in the state and MPO vulnerability assessments.

Sec. 1306. Gridlock reduction grant program. – Page 342

  • Establishes a $500 million grant program to reduce traffic gridlock in large metropolitan areas.

    • Supports projects to reduce and mitigate the adverse impacts of traffic congestion; make better use of existing capacity; and employ innovative, integrated, and multimodal solutions to reducing gridlock. Includes eligibility for intelligent transportation systems, real-time traveler information, transportation demand management, and multimodal solutions.

Sec. 1401. Metropolitan transportation planning. [23 USC 134] – Page 395, (4) COORDINATION BETWEEN MPOS.— ‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—If more than one metropolitan planning organization is designated within an urbanized area under subsection (d)(7), the metropolitan planning organizations designated within the area shall ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, the consistency of any data used in the planning process, including information used in forecasting transportation demand.”

  • Requires MPOs to consider carbon pollution and emissions reduction, climate change, resilience, and hazard mitigation throughout the planning process.
  • Adds additional planning considerations for accessibility and equity, including a holistic look at housing and land use policies. Consistent with Section 1403, incorporates performance-based planning and transportation system access into project selection.
  • Revises the MPO designation and consultation processes to facilitate better regional coordination.

Sec. 1404. Transportation demand data and modeling study. – Page 428, “(v) develop transportation demand management strategies to maximize the efficiency of the transportation system, improve mobility, reduce congestion, and lower vehicle emissions.”

  • Requires the Secretary to compare observed data to transportation demand forecasts from a sampling of states and MPOs.
  • Requires the Secretary to publish best practices and guidance on forecasting and transportation demand management strategies that most effectively reduce congestion travel times and carbon pollution.
  • Encourages the Secretary to work with UTCs and the private sector to carry out this section.
  • Make the activities described under this section explicitly eligible for funding under 23 USC 503(b).

Sec. 2107. Metropolitan transportation planning. [49 USC 5303] – Page 586-587, “(4) COORDINATION BETWEEN MPOS.— ‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—If more than one metropolitan planning organization is designated within an urbanized area under subsection (d)(7), the metropolitan planning organizations designated within the area shall ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, the consistency of any data used in the planning process, including information used in forecasting transportation demand.”

  • Requires MPOs to consider carbon pollution and emissions reduction, climate change, resilience, and hazard mitigation throughout the planning process.
  • Adds additional planning considerations for accessibility and equity, including a holistic look at housing and land use policies.
  • Revises the MPO designation and consultation processes to facilitate better regional coordination. Sec. 5307. Third-party data integration pilot program. – Page 979-980, requires info on traffic demand
  • Establishes a pilot program to leverage anonymous crowdsourced data from third-party entities to implement integrated traffic management systems that will improve traffic flow.

Sec. 1213. Carbon pollution reduction. [new 23 USC 171] – Page 262

  • Creates a new carbon pollution reduction apportionment program.
  • Provides broad flexibility to the states to fund projects eligible under title 23 or chapter 53 of title 49, provided that the projects reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Includes eligibility for intercity bus vehicles and facilities and passenger rail projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve mobility on public roads.
  • Allows states to use up to 10 percent of funds for operating costs of public transportation and intercity passenger rail.
  • Requires the Secretary to annually evaluate carbon dioxide emissions per capita on public roads in each state and issue an accompanying progress report.

    • States that achieve the most significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions will receive additional flexibility in project federal share and program transferability.
    • States making the least progress in emissions reduction are required to dedicate additional federal funds to projects that will reduce emissions.
    • The Secretary, in consultation with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will periodically issue a report detailing which types of projects eligible under this section prove most effective in reducing carbon pollution.

Sec. 1304. Community climate innovation grants. [new 23 USC 172] – Page 320

  • Establishes a new $250 million per year competitive grant program to support local investments in innovative strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    • Provides broad flexibility to grantees to fund projects eligible under title 23 or chapter 53 of title 49, provided the project reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Includes eligibility for intercity bus vehicles and facilities and intercity passenger rail projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve mobility on public roads.
    • Prioritizes projects that show the most promise in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and provides further consideration for a project’s cost-effectiveness, provision of diverse transportation choices, accessibility, equity and environmental justice impacts, benefits to low-income communities, and use of innovative materials.





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