Equity in Transportation Planning

    

Every day at many rail stations, multimodal facilities and park and ride lots around this country motorcoaches provide intercity, airport shuttle, rail connections and commuter service. Bus service provides an essential ground transportation link, while also alleviating congestion and pollution on our nation’s surface transportation network. Even though these services are provided with almost no federal subsidy, motorcoach transportation continues to be treated as a second class mode or nonexistent in federal, state and local transportation planning. We ask that Congress ensure that private-sector intercity bus transportation is fully integrated into the transportation planning and facility development process. Transportation authorizing legislation should include “intercity passenger bus transportation” to the same extent as intercity rail and public transit in the planning, consultation and structure of metropolitan planning organizations, state planning process and other relevant development sections.

Federal granting authority should ensure that buses are integrated as part of transportation planning and facility development. Furthermore, private-sector bus operators should not be subject to unreasonable fees and obstacles to providing passenger connections at federally supported transportation facilities. Free-market demand and choice should determine how a traveler chooses to move from origin to destination, not discriminatory access practices based on modal stovepipes. When federal dollars are used to create a transportation facility it should serve as an intermodal link and include all modes of transportation.

Additionally, many regions do not meet air quality attainment levels required under the Clean Air Act. By creating an interconnected multimodal network we can reduce pollution and fuel use while increasing productivity and passenger throughput. Private-sector buses can be a solution to congestion, energy savings and lower pollution, while simultaneously reducing costs to the traveling public and taxpayers.

Gregory M. Cohen
President and CEO
American Highway Users Alliance
(202) 857-1200
Shirley Ybarra
Sr. Transportation Policy Analyst
Reason Foundation
(310) 367-6109

Clyde Hart
Sr. Vice President for Government Affairs American Bus Association
(202) 218-7228

Deron Lovaas
Federal Transportation Policy Director
Natural Resources Defense Council
(202) 289-2384
Yvette Pena Lopes
Sr. Director for Government Affairs
Blue Green Alliance
(202) 706-6909