Campaign Promises

Cabinet/Departments -> Transportation


ItemTransportation
Air ServiceGrade
TR-1
The Promise: "Will support the continuation of the Small Community Air Service Development Program that helps small and mid-sized communities attract new air service."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure" dated 10/09/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/factsheettransportation.pdf
Status:President Obama's FY10 Budget proposal of 02/26/09 did not specifically include money for the Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP), but did increase Essential Air Service funding for air service in small communities, a start in the promised direction of supporting these communities.

Compared to previous years, funding for the SCASDP generally remained level in the first two years of the Obama Administration ($6.4M in FY2009; $6.0M (enacted) in FY2010, with a $1M plus-up from other DOT organizations). The $6M+ for FY2010 was obligated on 10/25/10 in the form of 19 grant awards (Docket DOT-OST-2010-0124).

For FY2011, Senate Report 111-230 indicated that Committee recommendations are for $6.0M for the SCASDP, "equal to the fiscal year 2010 enacted level."

Obama Administration support for SCASDP started to increase in FY2012 with 33 communities in the United States plus Puerto Rico receiving $13.9M from the Department of Transportation's SCASDP grant program, this based on a 08/15/12 announcement by DOT Secretary Ray LaHood.

This promise to "support the continuation of the Small Community Air Service Development Program that helps small and mid-sized communities attract new air service" has been fulfilled.
1.00
InfrastructureGrade
TR-2
The Promise: "...will enter into a new partnership with state and local civic, political, and business leaders to enact a truly national infrastructure policy that recognizes that we must upgrade our infrastructure to meet the demands of a growing population, a changing economy, and our short and long-term energy challenges."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure" dated 10/09/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/factsheettransportation.pdf
Status:The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided over $34B to improve the nation's highways and high speed rail capabilities. The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants added another $1.5B for transportation infrastructure improvements.

On 07/06/12, President Obama signed into law the "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act" (H.R. 4348), also referred to as "MAP-21." While this bill addresses public-private partnerships, it does not address "a new partnership with state and local civic, political, and business leaders to enact a truly national infrastructure policy" as stipulated in this promise.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
TR-3
The Promise: "...will ensure that more Metropolitan Planning Organizations create policies to incentivize greater bicycle and pedestrian usage of roads and sidewalks."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure" dated 10/09/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/factsheettransportation.pdf
Status:On 03/11/10, the Department of Transportation (DOT) issued its "Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation Regulations and Recommendations." The main thrust of this policy statement is to "incorporate safe and convenient walking and bicycling facilities into transportation projects."

Further, the policy statement directs transportation agencies to "plan, fund, and implement improvements to their walking and bicycling networks, including linkages to transit."

This promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
TR-4
The Promise: "...will re-evaluate the transportation funding process to ensure that smart growth considerations are taken into account."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure" dated 10/09/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/factsheettransportation.pdf
Status:The Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have formed a partnership to provide American communities more transportation options and lower transportation costs.

This partnership is embodied in the "Partnership for Sustainable Communities" announced by President Obama on 10/21/10, and includes the integration of "smart growth" initiatives into the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program that was created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of CY2009.

This promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
Mass TransportationGrade
TR-5
The Promise: "Will re-commit federal resources to public mass transportation projects across the country."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure" dated 10/09/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/factsheettransportation.pdf
Status:The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed into law 02/17/09, provides $8.4 billion for improvements to the nation's public transportation systems, to include "buses, subways, light rail, commuter rail, streetcars, monorail, passenger ferry boats, inclined railways (and) people movers."

In addition, Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants valued at about $500M annually are being made available to economically depressed communities striving to develop multi-mode transportation projects.

This promise is being fulfilled.
1.00
Public/Commuter TransportationGrade
TR-6
The Promise: "...will reform the tax code to make benefits for driving and public transit or ridesharing equal."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure" dated 10/09/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/factsheettransportation.pdf
Status:Section 1151 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 is entitled "Increased exclusion amount for commuter transit benefits and transit passes." There is no specific amount included in the bill. However, Under IRS Section 132 and TEA-21, qualified transportation expenses generally include payments for the use of mass transportation (for example, train, subway, bus fares), and for parking.

For CY2009 the maximum monthly pre-tax contribution for mass transit was $120.00, and $230.00 for parking. However the $120.00 Commuter Expense was increased to $230.00 by the Treasury Department under the ARRA, signed into law by President Obama on 02/17/09. This brought parity between those who drove their own vehicles to a public parking lot and then commuted to work, and those who relied totally on public transit assets. However this incentive was temporary and expired at the end of CY2011.

Starting in CY2012, employers were authorized to provide employees up to $125 per month in tax-free transit and vanpool benefits and qualified parking benefits went up to $240 per month.

As of early-CY2013, the disparity between driving to one's work site or to a facility from which an employee commutes to work and for transit/vanpool expenses remains.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
TR-7
The Promise: "...will double the federal Jobs Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program to ensure that additional federal public transportation dollars flow to the highest-need communities..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure" dated 10/09/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/factsheettransportation.pdf
Status:The FY2009 apportionment for the JARC program by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) was $183.1M. The FTA's apportionment in FY2010 for the JARC program was $68M. The promised doubling of funds for this grant program has not occured.

President Obama's FY2011 budget proposal included $166.6M for the JARC program, still a long way from doubling the baseline FY2009 apportionment of $183.1M. Of this requested amount, Congress apportioned only $69.7M for JARC in FY2011.

For FY2012, the JARC program was apportioned $95M of the Federal Transit Administration's budget.

This promise is not being fulfilled.
0.00
TR-8
The Promise: "...will help the New Orleans area develop regional transit partnerships so that public transit can be integrated across parish lines, providing seamless transportation options, including a possible light rail line to connect New Orleans and Baton Rouge through the petrochemical corridor in between."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Rebuilding the Gulf Coast and Preventing Future Catastrophes", dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/obama_factsheet_katrina.pdf
Status:Louisiana House Bill 1410, passed by the House on 05/18/10 and the Senate on 06/17/10 allows two or more Louisiana cities or parishes to establish rail compacts as a way to help launch intrastate railway or rapid transit systems. This bill was signed into law by Governor Bobby Jindal on 06/30/10 with no known assistance from the Obama Administration.

Previously, Governor Jindal declined to apply for $300M in stimulus money to start a New Orleans-Baton Rouge light rail project, because annual operating costs of $18M could not ne supported by the state. On 05/21/12, planning groups earmarked $300K to study the feasibility of such a light rail connector system.

No specific/formal transit partnership between the Government of the State of Louisiana and the federal government is known to have been formed other than grants provided under the "Partnership for Sustainable Communities" and similar programs.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
Rail ServiceGrade
TR-9
The Promise: "Will "support development of high-speed rail networks across the country"."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure" dated 10/09/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/factsheettransportation.pdf
Status:The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) defines "high speed" as the ability for a train to travel 90 mph or faster.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed into law 02/17/09, provides an initial $8 billion, to be spent over two years, and an addition $1 billion per year over the next five years toward the accomplishment of this campaign promise.

The FY2010 transporation budget appropriation passed on 07/17/09 saw a surprising increase for high-speed rail from the planned $1B to $4B, despite Senate attempts to peel back $3B and transfer that amount to the Highway Trust Fund.

For FY2011, the FRA requested $1B for President Obama's high speed rail initiative. As of 02/11, that request has not been approved by Congress. For FY2012, President Obama's budget proposal includes $53B over six years for "high-speed rail and other passenger rail programs as part of an integrated national strategy."

President Obama showcased this promise fulfillment in Tampa on 01/28/10, launching the building of a high-speed rail link between Tampa and Orlando. However, the Governor of Florida (as well as those from Ohio and Wisconsin) has adopted the position that Florida will not accept federal funding for any high-speed rail projects.

The California high speed rail project between Anaheim and San Francisco via Los Angeles and San Jose appears to be on track to start construction in early-CY2013 with a $4.7B investment by the state, supplemented by $3.3B from the U.S. taxpayer.

The promise to "support development of high-speed rail networks across the country" has been fulfilled.
1.00
TR-10
The Promise: "...will continue to fight for Amtrak funding and reform so that individuals, families and businesses throughout the country have safe and reliable transportation options."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure" dated 10/09/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/factsheettransportation.pdf
Status:The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) of 2008 authorized Amtrak through FY2013. This Act authorized the appropriation of about $3B in operating funds and $5.3B in capital funding not including debt service.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 provided an additional $1.3B to supplement Amtrak's capital program through 02/11 as part of a $9.5B investment in passenger trains.

Under the PRIIA funding plan, Amtrak's total funding was to go up incrementally from $1.8B in FY2010 to $1.9B in FY2011, $2.1B in FY2012 and $2.2B in FY2013. In reality, FY2010 funding for Amtrak was $1.565M. For FY2011, Amtrak received $1.484B against a $2.649B requirement. And in FY2012, Amtrak received $1.418B against a requirement of $2.212B.

The PRIIA also requires Amtrak to address "reform iniatives" in each of its five-year plans, to be submitted by the first day of the fiscal year or 60 days after the enactment of an appropriations Act, whichever is later.

Clearly, Amtrak funding under the Obama Administration has not kept pace with requirements and was considerably less than the funding levels authorized under the PRIIA.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
Transportation GPA0.5