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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND RE
LATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 1986
THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 1985
Washington, DC. The subcommittee met at 10:09 a.m., in room SD-138, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Mark Andrews (chairman) presiding.
Present: Senators Andrews, Abdnor, Kasten, D'Amato, Chiles, and Lautenberg.
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
URBAN MASS TRANSPORTATION ADMINISTRATION
STATEMENT OF HON. RALPH L. STANLEY, ADMINISTRATOR, URBAN MASS
TRANSPORTATION ADMINISTRATION ACCOMPANIED BY: ALFRED A. DELLIBOVI, DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR, URBAN MASS
TRANSPORTATION ADMINISTRATION JOSEPH A. LA SALA, CHIEF COUNSEL, URBAN MASS TRANSPORTATION
ADMINISTRATION KENNETH W. BUTLER, ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR BUDGET AND
POLICY, URBAN MASS TRANSPORTATION ADMINISTRATION RAYMOND J. SANDER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR URBAN MASS
TRANSPORTATION ADMINISTRATION ROBERT H. MCMANUS, ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR GRANTS
MANAGEMENT, URBAN MASS TRANSPORTATION ADMINISTRATION PETER BENJAMIN, ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR TECHNICAL
ASSISTANCE, URBAN MASS TRANSPORTATION ADMINISTRATION
Senator D'Amato. The Subcommittee on Transportation will convene.
Senator Andrews is on his way, and so in the interest of giving those who have been here today an opportunity we will begin. Mr. Stanley, we are delighted to see you and your staff and the UMTA people. Although we may disagree with respect to certain aspects of the budget as it affects Amtrak, let me suggest to you that rather than making the cuts as severe as those that have been proposed, and also by the Budget Committee, and the proposed compromise, which will be about a 25
percent cut-and I am going to put my statement in the record as if read in its entirety-it would seem to me that a hold-the-line approach, or cuts that would be less drastic, would be in order, since there is a deficit problem. We recognize that we have to do our part in reducing the budget deficit.
It also seems to me that simply to say that Amtrak should be closed in total, just shut it down, is an oversimplification. This Nation cannot afford not to have a national transportation system or rail transportation system. At the same time, we in the Congress have got to recognize that where there are lines that have no justification other than political muscle, porkbarrel philosophy that has kept certain operations open that should not be open. We have a duty also then to be able to give up the so-called sacred cows, those areas that exist as a result of politics, and not as a result of true, identifiable need. So I make that statement in the overall. I understand that Amtrak does not come under your jurisdiction, but the Nation's transportation in general is something that we have got to be concerned about. I would think that those are the kinds of compromises that we have got to try to make.
I am going to submit my statement for the record as if read in its entirety, and Mr. Stanley, in the interests of time, while we are waiting on Chairman Andrews' appearance, why do you not start to make your presentation.
[The statement follows:)
STATEMENT OF SENATOR D'AMATO
Mr. Chairman, I appreciate this opportunity to offer my
remarks concerning the proposed
scal Year 1986 budget for
Without a doubt, I have serious concerns regarding
this proposal and look forward to discussing them with the
As you know, under the Administration's proposed FY 86 budget of $24.7 billion the Department of Transportation would experience an overall cut of about 13% ($3.8 billion)
from last year.
Such a cut is, per se, not unreasonable.
Bowever, nearly 70% ($2.75 billion) of those cuts would be
derived from devastating and thoughtlessly conceived reductions in Federal aid to public transit. The New York
City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (NYC MTA) would lose $108 million in operating assistance and $285 million in
vital capital aid.
Operating assistance, which is the lifeblood of the
nation's smallest transit systems, would be abruptly terminated without any transition period to enable states and
localities to plan for the future.
Punding available for
transit capital needs would be distributed strictly on a formula basis. Its source of funds would be limited to the $1.1 billion per year which OMB conservatively estimates to be generated by the one penny of gasoline tax set aside for mass transit. CBO says that more than $1.6 billion is
available from this fund.
No general tax revenues would be
used for transit.
When Secretary Dole testified before this subcommittee
on February 21, 1985, I told her that I would fight these
unreasonable and crippling cuts.
Transit must not be made
the scapegoat for other programs that have failed to hold the
line in fighting the deficit.
Indeed, if other federally
aided programs had taken the 20%-10%-5%- type of cuts that
trans it operating assistance took in the Surface
Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) of 1982, we wouldn't
have such a severe deficit problem.
The NYC MTA would lose $108 million in operating
The NYC Transit Authority normally receives $80
million of that sum, and without it will need to raise fares
at least a nickle.
The commuter rail operations which
receive about $24.4 million will need to raise fares by 5% to
Pederal aid now accounts for only about 3
of the NYC
MTA's operating budget, while in small urban and rural areas
that percentage can go much higher.
Since 1980, the use of Federal aid for transit
operating assistance in New York State has been reduced by
Meanwhile statewide operating expenditures have grown
faster than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) despite relatively
constant service levels. For example, costs for the MTA have
grown about 50% between 1980 and 1984, with the upstate
transit authorities averaging 40% for the same period. The CPI increased 30% for the comparable period. The point is
that New York has been paying its fair share while the amount
of available Federal operating assistance has been frozen.
The proposed sweeping changes in the transit program
will affect the ability of virtually all the nation's public
transit systems to offer adequate service.
Public Transit Association (APTA) has surveyed 152 transit
systems which carry 75% of the nation's transit riders, as
well as 63 transit-related businesses which employ over
40,000 workers, in order to determine the impact of the
budget cuts. APTA found that 30 systems might be forced out of business, 88% will have to cut service dramatically, and
more than eight in ten will be forced to raise fares so high
as to discourage ridership. In addition, the budget cuts would wipe out an estimated 203,000 jobs and $8 billion in
private business revenues.
In addition to proposing no new discretionary funding for fixed guideway projects, I understand that the proposed
budget would use the available funding from 1984 and 1985 to
complete those fixed guideway projects "... which are now under construction or which can be fully financed within
these available funds."
When Secretary Dole testified before
this Subcommittee on February 21, she stated that any plan to reprogram earmarked funds would be submitted to us prior to
Administrator Stanley's appearance today.
Thus far, I have
not seen any such reprogramming plan and I am curious as to which earmarkings UMTA is planning to honor and which ones are being reprogrammed to other projects.
I understand that UMTA intends to eliminate funds
earmarked for Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, St. Louis, San Diego, Buffalo and Jacksonville. PY 85 new starts funding.is to be used to complete existing new start commitments (i.e., Portland and Santa Clara), and rail modernization or highly
rated, one-time new starts.
A bus tunnel in Seattle would be