Mass Transit

DEC 2014 -JAN 2015

Mass Transit magazine features agency profiles, industry trends, management tips and new product information.

Issue link: https://masstransit.epubxp.com/i/435779

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 17 of 59

FEDERAL FUNDING 18 | Mass Transit | MassTransitmag.com | DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 Reliability. Safety. Effciency. Providing stored energy solutions for the rail industry for over a century. For more than 125 years, EnerSys ® has proudly served railway operators with the industry's most trusted and innovative stored energy solutions. Our extensive line of batteries ensure dependable power for rail signal, generator and locomotive starting, switchgear, telecommunications and utility applications worldwide. Learn more at www.enersys.com. ©2014 EnerSys. All rights reserved. Trademarks and logos are the property of EnerSys and its affliates, except National Railway Supply (NRS), which is not the property of EnerSys. Subject to revisions without prior notice. E.&O.E. Distributed exclusively by National Railway Supply Visit us online at www.nrsga.com or call 1-800-357-3572 NATIONAL RAIL AY SUPPLY For more information, visit www.MassTransitmag.com/10065043 bill prior to the expiration of the MAP-21 extension in May. However, with the Re- publicans now controlling both chambers of Congress, there is an increased likeli- hood that a major tax reform package may become reality over the next year or two. Will the Republicans really be willing to work with a lame duck Democratic presi- dent to pass major tax reform, or will they wait to see if they can get a better deal by taking the chance that a Republican will be elected to the White House in 2016? Even if tax reform does become a reality, will signifcant resources be generated and will the Republican Congress be willing to dedicate those funds to transportation infrastructure — or will they be more likely to focus on debt reduction or per- sonal income or corporate tax savings? Time will tell. It must be noted, as most transit advocates will point out, even if tax reform does generate some revenue for in- frastructure, this really only brings about a longer temporary solution to the future of infrastructure fnance. Funds generated through tax reform may provide an infux of resources for one additional authoriza- tion cycle, but afer that, a more permanent fnancing solution will still be necessary. What impact will changes in committee leadership have on the federal transit program? A new Congress means new committee leadership, including new faces leading committees overseeing the federal transit program. Committee leadership positions will not be formally announced until the new Congress reorganizes in January, but we do know a few things. In the House of Representatives, Bill Shuster (R-Penn.) will remain chairman of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. Tis is good news for the federal transit program, as Chairman Shuster has a long record of supporting public transportation and brings stability into the surface trans- portation authorization debate. On the Democratic side, the defeat of Nick Ra- hall (D-W.V.) means the new top rank- ing Democrat will likely be Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.). DeFazio is a stalwart transit supporter and during the last Congress, made headlines by proposing legislation to replace the federal gas tax with a "per-bar- rel" tax on oil companies. Congressman DeFazio is being challenged for the top Democratic slot by Congressman John Garamendi (D-Calif.), who lacks senior- ity, but alleges a strong working relation- ship with Chairman Shuster. Te Senate Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over the federal transit pro- gram, will have a new Republican chairman. Multiple sources indicate that Rep. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) is expected to take the gavel, which he previously held from 2003 to 2007. Senator Shelby has not shown a strong inter- est in public transportation in the past, but brings a wealth of experience and has not been an opponent of transit interests. Te former chairman of the Banking Commit-

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Mass Transit - DEC 2014 -JAN 2015