In August, a bipartisan group of 69 senators passed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA), which includes $550 billion in new infrastructure spending. This legislation would make a significant federal investment in roads and highways, public transit, passenger rail, clean energy and electric vehicle infrastructure. This includes $39.2 billion for public transit, $6.42 billion for a carbon reduction program, and $15 billion for electric and alternative vehicles.
The legislation includes a five-year reauthorization of surface transportation programs that includes some legislative concepts from the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter Defazio’s INVEST in America acts. While the definitions for TDM and TDM Strategies were not included in the Senate bill, the IIJA includes significant funding and programming ideas that will further TDM.
Looking through the programs, we want to highlight several that may be of interest to ACT members. These include:
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (P. 125, Sec. 11115)
- This section adds eligibility for shared micromobility, including bike share and shared scooter systems. This section also permits for the Secretary, at the request of an MPO, to assist that MPO with tracking progress made in minority or low-income populations as part of a performance plan.
Congestion Relief Program (P. 334, Sec. 11404)
A competitive discretionary grant program funded at $250 million over 5-years ($50 million annually). The program provides competitive grants to States, local governments, and MPOs, for projects in large, urbanized areas to advance innovative, integrated, and multimodal solutions to congestion relief in the most congested metropolitan areas of the United States. The goals of the program are to reduce highway congestion, economic and environmental costs related to congestion, and to optimize existing highway capacity and usage of transit systems that provide alternatives to highways -- “(B) reducing or shifting highway users to off-peak travel times or to nonhighway travel modes during peak travel times;”.
Increasing Safe and Accessible Transportation Options (P. 242, Sec. 11206)
Requires each State and MPO to spend a minimum amount of funding for either the adoption of complete streets standards and policies, development of a complete streets prioritization plan, active and mass transportation planning, regional and megaregional planning to address travel demand through alternatives to highway travel, or transit-oriented development planning.
Carbon Reduction Program (Pg. 323, Sec. 11403)
This new program would provide $6.42 billion over 5-years. Eligible projects include a project to establish or operate a traffic monitoring, management, and control facility or program, including the construction, planning, and design of on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists, a project for advanced transportation and congestion management technologies, and the development of a carbon reduction strategy.
The IIJA represents a significant increase in investment in our transportation systems. As the bill moves through Congress ACT will continue to advocate for the support and inclusion of TDM programs and policies that support connectivity, multimodality, and reduce carbon emissions.