Campaign Promises

Cabinet/Departments -> Transportation -> Public/Commuter Transportation


ItemTransportation
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.
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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.
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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.
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