Summary: H.R.1268 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.1268. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (04/10/1997)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Surface Transportation

Title II: Highway Safety

Title III: Federal Mass Transportation Amendments of 1997

Title IV: Motor Carrier Safety

Title V: Infrastructure Credit Enhancement

Title VI: Research

Part A: Programs and Activities

Part B: Intelligent Transportation Systems Act of 1997

Title VII: Revenue

Title VIII: Rail Passenger Programs

National Economic Crossroads Transportation Efficiency Act of 1997 - Title I: Surface Transportation - Surface Transportation Act of 1997 - Authorizes appropriations from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) for: (1) the National Highway System (NHS); (2) the Interstate Maintenance Program (IM); (3) the Surface Transportation Program (STP); (4) the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ); (5) the Bridge Program; (6) the Federal Lands Highway Program (FLHP); (7) infrastructure safety; (8) the Integrated Safety Fund; (9) the Recreational Trails Program; and (10) university transportation centers.

(Sec. 1003) Includes among eligible NHS projects: (1) specified capital improvements to National Railroad Passenger Corporation or publicly owned intercity passenger rail lines; (2) natural habitat mitigation; and (3) infrastructure-based Intelligent Transportation Systems capital improvements.

(Sec. 1004) Revises: (1) the formulas for the NHS, CMAQ, and STP apportionments; (2) the CMAQ formulas to provide apportionment of additional funding to States with carbon monoxide or particulate matter pollution; and (3) the minimum allocation provision.

Authorizes: (1) funding for rehabilitation of the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge and for costs related to construction of a new bridge; and (2) the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) to reimburse the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Transportation (DOT) for conducting annual HTF audits.

Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 1005) Establishes levels for annual apportionments such that each State is guaranteed to receive at least a certain percentage of total apportionments for each year for specified purposes or programs.

(Sec. 1006) Amends provisions regarding Federal and State responsibilities for projects to: (1) repeal a 15 percent cost limitation on estimates for construction engineering; (2) combine the current two-step process for project approval and execution of a project agreement; (3) direct the Secretary to require a financial plan for any project with an estimated total cost of $1 billion or more; and (4) permit States to use phase construction to meet safety considerations.

Extends Davis-Bacon Act wage protections applicable to highway construction projects to the same workers employed on any project eligible for funding under title 23 of the U.S. Code, with exceptions.

(Sec. 1007) Amends provisions regarding: (1) real property acquisition and corridor preservation; (2) credit for donated lands; and (3) income from airspace rights-of-way.

(Sec. 1009) Repeals: (1) requirements for the Secretary to issue Interstate maintenance guidelines and for States to annually certify that they have a maintenance program in place that meets such guidelines; and (2) the separate Interstate System (IS) preventive maintenance eligibility standard.

Expands IM eligibility to include certain Interstate highway reconstruction and infrastructure-based capital improvements.

(Sec. 1011) Reauthorizes the current Interstate 4R discretionary program.

(Sec. 1012) Modifies provisions regarding emergency relief to: (1) reduce the Federal share payable on emergency relief projects; and (2) shorten the time period in which States receive a 100 percent Federal share.

(Sec. 1013) Removes prohibitions against Federal participation in the initial construction of a toll highway, bridge, or tunnel on the IS or in the reconstruction of a toll-free highway and its conversion to a toll facility. Eliminates a tolling pilot project.

(Sec. 1014) Expands STP eligibility. Eliminates the safety set-aside from the STP program. Replaces the current quarterly, project-by-project State certification and notification requirements with an annual, program-wide approval.

Extends the allocation of obligation authority to urbanized areas through the life of the reauthorization. Requires that each State and metropolitan planning organization (MPO) ensure the fair and equitable treatment of central cities of over 200,000 population.

(Sec. 1015) Amends metropolitan planning provisions to direct that: (1) MPO transportation plans and programs for urbanized areas provide for integrated management of transportation systems and facilities; and (2) in designating MPOs, local governments represent 51 percent of the affected population. Permits redesignation under procedures established by State law.

Directs that policy boards of MPOs include local officials, officials of certain public agencies, and appropriate State officials.

Amends provisions regarding: (1) metropolitan planning area boundaries; and (2) the metropolitan transportation improvement program (TIP).

Requires the creation of a congestion management system within transportation management areas (TMAs). Prohibits Federal funding for any highway project that will result in a significant increase in single-occupant vehicles (SOVs) for a TMA classified as nonattainment for ozone, carbon monoxide, or particulate matter, with exceptions.

(Sec. 1016) Amends statewide planning provisions. Requires the State to: (1) develop a transportation plan, with a minimum 20-year forecast period, that provides for the development and implementation of the State's intermodal transportation System, in cooperation or consultation with MPOs and local elected transportation officials; and (2) identify transportation strategies.

(Sec. 1017) Encourages States to: (1) reserve training slots on their Federal-aid contracts for welfare recipients; and (2) implement preferences for employment of welfare recipients and persons residing in Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities. Declares that the Virgin Islands should implement a preference for employment of local workers.

Authorizes the Secretary to develop, conduct, and administer technology training and to develop and fund Summer Transportation Institutes.

Directs the Secretary to establish an assistance program to increase participation by certain minority institutions of higher education in grants and cooperative agreements awarded for research and planning.

(Sec. 1018) Requires that: (1) at least ten percent of the funds authorized to be appropriated for specified programs under this Act be expended with small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals; (2) each State annually survey and compile a list of such concerns; and (3) the Secretary establish minimum uniform criteria for State government use in certifying whether a concern qualifies.

(Sec. 1019) Modifies the Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program. Expands eligibility to include scour countermeasures. Reauthorizes the bridge discretionary program.

(Sec. 1020) Expands CMAQ eligibility to include projects in nonattainment areas for particulate matter. Limits CMAQ eligibility to nonattainment and maintenance areas that were classified as such under the Clean Air Act. Excludes projects funded with CMAQ apportionments from the list of safety projects eligible for 100 percent Federal participation.

(Sec. 1021) Reauthorizes provisions regarding IS reimbursement. Makes permanent the State Infrastructure Bank Pilot Program authorized for FY 1996 and 1997 in the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995.

(Sec. 1023) Directs the Secretary to carry out a National Scenic Byways Program.

(Sec. 1024) Sets forth: (1) eligible railway-highway crossing uses of apportioned funds; and (2) a new apportionment formula for railway-highway crossing funds. Requires States to report to DOT on completed railway-highway crossing projects.

Expands the protective devices set-aside to include enforcement and education efforts.

(Sec. 1025) Repeals: (1) a restriction which applies the Federal-non-Federal matching rate to each payment that a State receives; (2) a provision concerning the use of motor vehicle taxes to fund highway construction projects; and (3) a law relating to bridge commissions and Federal approval of their membership.

Permits reimbursement of eligible indirect costs to State and local governments.

(Sec. 1026) Amends planning and agency coordination provisions to direct the Secretary, in cooperation with the Secretary of the appropriate Federal land managing agency, to develop transportation planning procedures which are consistent with the metropolitan and Statewide planning processes.

Establishes a national bridge program for replacing or rehabilitating deficient Indian reservation road bridges.

(Sec. 1027) Includes the construction of pedestrian walkways as an eligible use of States' NHS apportionments under the same criteria by which bicycle transportation facilities are eligible. Removes a restriction against safely accommodating bicycles on highway bridges located on fully access-controlled highways.

Amends planning provisions to require that: (1) consideration be given to bicyclists and pedestrians in the comprehensive statewide and metropolitan planning processes; and (2) the inclusion of bicycle transportation facilities and pedestrian walkways be considered in conjunction with all new construction and reconstruction of transportation facilities, with exceptions.

(Sec. 1028) Incorporates the Recreational Trails Program (enacted into law as the National Recreational Trails Fund Act, Title I of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA)), into the Federal-aid highway program, but repeals provisions regarding the National Recreational Trails Advisory Committee. Requires States to establish State trail advisory committees.

Requires that: (1) at least 50 percent of the funds received annually by a State be used to facilitate the use of trails for diverse recreational purposes; and (2) States give priority to project proposals that provide for the redesign, reconstruction, nonroutine maintenance, or relocation of existing trails to benefit, or mitigate the impact on, the environment.

Limits the Federal share payable for Recreational Trails Program projects to 50 percent, with exceptions.

(Sec. 1029) Amends provisions regarding the international highway transportation outreach program to authorize: (1) the Secretary to engage in activities to promote U.S. highway transportation goods and services internationally and to gather and disseminate information on foreign transportation markets and industries; and (2) the use of certain funds to reimburse the Federal Highway Administration for employee salaries and benefits.

(Sec. 1030) Directs the Secretary, subject to specified limitations, to: (1) make incentive grants to States and MPOs that share a common border with Canada or Mexico; and (2) make grants to States for the purpose of performing planning for the efficient movement of goods along and within international and interstate trade corridors.

Authorizes multistate agreements for trade corridor planning. Establishes a border gateway pilot program. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 1031) Amends the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965 to: (1) authorize appropriations and to limit eligibility for such funds to the development highway system authorized as of September 30, 1996; (2) provide for reallocation of funds not expended by a State within four years; (3) raise the Federal share payable regarding any pre-financed development highway project; and (4) authorize the deduction of up to 3.75 percent of funds authorized for Appalachian Regional Commission expenses in administering such funds.

(Sec. 1032) Amends ISTEA to: (1) increase the number of value (formerly, congestion) pricing pilot programs eligible for funding and the Federal share payable on any project funded under the program; (2) require the Secretary to fund pre-implementation costs; (3) make the three-year funding limitation inapplicable to the pre-implementation stage; (4) authorize the use of toll revenues generated by pilot projects for any surface transportation purpose; (5) remove the three-program cap on the number of value pricing programs on which the Secretary shall allow the use of tolls on the IS; (6) require any value pricing pilot program to fully consider the potential effects of such projects on drivers of all income levels and develop mitigation measures to deal with potential adverse effects on low income drivers; and (7) eliminate requirements for the Secretary to annually report to the Congress on motor fuel tax enforcement activities and the expenditure of funds regarding highway use tax evasion projects and on increased enforcement activities to be financed with funds allocated by the Secretary to the Internal Revenue Service.

Title II: Highway Safety - Highway Safety Act of 1997 - Amends highway safety program provisions to: (1) raise the minimum annual apportionment to the Secretary of the Interior; (2) allow program grants to be made to Indian tribes in Indian country; and (3) authorize the Secretary to periodically conduct a rulemaking process to identify highway safety programs that are highly effective and direct the States to consider such programs when developing their programs.

Modifies safety incentive grant provisions.

Establishes a drunk and impaired driving incentive program (which replaces a similar program when its terms expire at the end of FY 1997).

Sets forth provisions regarding basic and supplemental grants.

Establishes incentive programs to: (1) increase safety belt and child safety seat use; and (2) improve data systems and identify priorities for State and local highway and traffic safety programs and State drugged driving laws and related programs.

(Sec. 2003) Adds provisions to the National Driver Register (NDR) statute to: (1) authorize the Secretary to decide whether to enter into an agreement with an organization representing State interests to manage, administer, and operate NDR's computer timeshare and user assistance functions; (2) extend participation to specified other Federal departments or agencies, such as the State Department; and (3) allow Federal agencies authorized to receive NDR information to make their requests and receive the information directly from NDR.

(Sec. 2004) Authorizes appropriations out of the HTF for: (1) consolidated State highway safety programs; (2) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration operations and research; and (3) NDR.

Title III: Federal Mass Transportation Amendments of 1997 - Federal Mass Transportation Amendments of 1997 - Amends Federal mass transportation law to redefine the term "capital project" to include as eligible project costs for Federal mass transportation project grant assistance: (1) pre-revenue startup costs and environmental mitigation associated with the acquisition or construction of mass transportation facilities; (2) Intelligent Transportation Systems; (3) preventive maintenance; (4) leasing of equipment and facilities; (5) joint mass transportation development projects; (6) mass transportation projects that meet the special needs of the elderly and disabled individuals; (7) new and extended fixed guideway systems, as well as the development of corridors to support them; (8) vehicles and facilities that are used to provide intercity passenger service by bus or rail; (9) access for bicycles to mass transportation facilities; (10) the repayment of the principal and interest of bonds used for capital projects; (11) crime prevention and security; and (12) acquiring non-fixed route paratransit transportation service to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

(Sec. 3004) Requires metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to develop, in a fair and equitable manner, transportation plans and programs for State urbanized areas that provide for the development and integrated management and operation of transportation systems and facilities that will function as an intermodal transportation system for the metropolitan area, the State, and the United States.

Reduces the threshold for designating an MPO for an urbanized area with a population of over 50,000, by requiring that representatives of local governments with only 51 percent (currently, 75 percent) of the affected area must support such designation.

(Sec. 3006) Requires the transfer of certain highway and mass transportation funds to the Secretary of Transportation.

(Sec. 3007) Makes changes to certain State transportation planning requirements to conform to this Act. Excludes the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the Virgin Islands from such requirements.

(Sec. 3008) Authorizes the Secretary to make urbanized area formula grants (formerly block grants) for: (1) capital projects; (2) planning; (3) financing operating costs of equipment and facilities used in mass transportation in urbanized areas with a population of less than 200,000; (4) the transportation cooperative research program; (5) university transportation centers; (6) training; (7) research; and (8) technology transfer.

(Sec. 3009) Repeals the mass transit account block grant program.

(Sec. 3010) Authorizes the Secretary to make major capital investment grants (formerly discretionary grants and loans) to assist State and local governmental authorities in financing capital projects for new fixed guideway systems and extensions to existing systems. Terminates: (1) other discretionary capital transportation projects, including the bus program; and (2) the Secretary's authority to make loans for such projects.

(Sec. 3011) Converts the grant and loan program for the special needs of elderly individuals and disabled individuals into a program of formula grants for such purposes to a State's chief executive officer for allocation to private nonprofit entities and governmental authorities. Terminates the Secretary's current authority to make loans for such projects.

(Sec. 3012) Declares that four percent of rural formula program funds shall be available for the Rural Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) (thereby moving RTAP from the Transit Planning and Research Program to the formula program for other than urbanized areas). Authorizes States to use certain earmarked rural formula funds for the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) and for training.

Includes intercity rail as an eligible activity for rural formula program funds. Terminates the intercity bus services set-aside program.

(Sec. 3013) Terminates the Industry Technical Panel.

(Sec. 3014) Revises the composition of the governing board of the TCRP to include one member from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

(Sec. 3015) Authorizes the Secretary to enter into grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements with consortia (public or private organizations which provide mass transportation service to the public) to promote the early deployment of innovation in mass transportation technology, services, management, or operational practices.

Authorizes the Secretary to engage in activities to: (1) inform the U.S. mass transportation community about technological innovations available in the international marketplace; and (2) afford domestic businesses the opportunity to become globally competitive in the export of mass transportation products and services.

(Sec. 3016) Changes the name of the National Mass Transportation Institute to the National Transit Institute (an institute established by Rutgers University). Revises the course instruction provided by the Institute to Federal, State, and local transportation employees.

(Sec. 3021) Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to States, local governmental authorities, and private non-profit organizations to finance transportation services to transport economically disadvantaged persons to jobs and employment-related activities.

(Sec. 3024) Makes surplus U.S. real property available for a transit purpose or as a source of materials for the construction of transit facilities.

(Sec. 3025) Requires financial assistance under this Act to be obtained on a competitive basis.

(Sec. 3027) Increases the amount of capital project funds that can be used for project oversight activities.

(Sec. 3032) Authorizes the Secretary, among other things, to: (1) charge amounts to cover the costs of training or conferences sponsored by the FTA to promote mass transportation; and (2) perform by contract engineering or other services in connection with capital projects for States, local governmental authorities, recipients of Federal funding, or cooperating foreign countries.

(Sec. 3034) Apportions a specified amount of formula grant funds for the access to jobs and training program. Earmarks specified percentages of funds for: (1) urbanized area formula grants; (2) formula grants for special needs of elderly and disabled individuals; (3) the formula program for other than urbanized areas; and (4) fixed guideway systems modernization.

(Sec. 3036) Authorizes appropriations for: (1) the formula grant program; (2) major capital investments; (3) metropolitan planning; (4) Statewide planning; (5) national transit research; (6) university transportation centers; and (7) administrative expenses.

(Sec. 3037) Amends the National Capital Transportation Act of 1969, as added by the National Capital Transportation Amendments of 1990, to decrease the authorization of appropriations for grants to complete the Adopted Regional System. Authorizes appropriations from the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund for FY 1998 and 1999 for such project (effectively repealing the FY 1998 and 1999 general fund authorization of appropriations).

Title IV: Motor Carrier Safety - Amends Federal commercial motor vehicle safety law to revise the current program. Declares as the primary objective of this title is to help States improve commercial motor vehicle (including hazardous materials transportation safety) and driver safety through enforcement activities and the use of performance-based grants.

(Sec. 4001) Revises requirements for the Commercial Vehicle Information System. Authorizes the Secretary to establish a program which focuses on improving commercial motor vehicle safety. Authorizes appropriations.

Title V: Infrastructure Credit Enhancement - Transportation Infrastructure Credit Enhancement Act of 1997 - Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to one or more Project Sponsors to capitalize Revenue Stabilization Funds for nationally significant surface transportation facility projects which cannot obtain financing from other sources.

(Sec. 5007) Authorizes appropriations.

Title VI: Research - Part A: Programs and Activities - Authorizes the Secretary to establish: (1) a national strategic planning process which encompasses Federal, State, and local planning activities for intermodal, multimodal, and modal transportation research and technology; and (2) the Intermodal Transportation Research and Development Program.

(Sec. 6001) Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to nonprofit institutions of higher learning to establish one university transportation center (thereby combining the existing university research institute and transportation centers programs) in each of the ten U.S. Government regions that compose the Standard Federal Regional Boundary System to conduct transportation research and education and training to qualified graduate and undergraduate students, with special attention to women and minorities.

(Sec. 6002) Revises the duties of the Director of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics with respect to long term data collection program to require, among other things, that it be coordinated with efforts to measure outputs and outcomes of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the nation's transportation systems under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA).

Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to, or enter into cooperative contracts with, public and nonprofit entities to conduct research and development in support of the Bureau's activities, including the Transportation Statistics Annual Report, data collection, the National Transportation Library, and the National Transportation Atlas Data Base.

Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 6003) Revises Federal highway law to direct the Secretary to develop programs to facilitate application of the products of research and technical innovations that will improve the safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of the highway system.

(Sec. 6004) Directs the Secretary to develop a National Technology Deployment Initiatives program, and access domestic and international technology to achieve certain deployment goals which will expand the adoption of innovative technologies by the surface transportation community.

Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 6005) Directs the Secretary to carry out a transportation assistance program that will provide access to modern highway technology to: (1) highway and transportation agencies and tribal governments in urbanized as well as rural areas; and (2) contractors doing work for such agencies.

Authorizes appropriations.

Increases the set-aside of Federal highway funds for the surface transportation program for the State transportation agencies' payment of the cost of their employees' education and training expenses.

Requires that the education and training of Federal, State, and local transportation employees be provided: (1) by the Secretary at no cost if it is in the best interests of the United States (currently, for those subject areas which are a Federal program responsibility); or (2) in any case in which it is to be paid by the State through grants and contracts with public and private agencies, institutions, individuals, and the National Highway Institute, except that international or foreign entities shall pay full cost of such education and training unless a lower cost is determined to be in the best interest of the United States.

Authorizes appropriations.

Authorizes appropriations for: (1) the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program; and (2) the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP).

(Sec. 6006) Requires the Secretary to continue to completion the Long Term Pavement Performance Program (LTPP) initiated under the SHRP and advanced by ISTEA through the mid-point of its 20-year schedule. Authorizes appropriations.

Directs the Secretary to establish, through grants and contracts, an advanced research program that addresses longer-term, higher-risk research that shows benefits for improving the durability, efficiency, environmental impact, and safety of highway and intermodal transportation systems. Authorizes appropriations.

Part B: Intelligent Transportation Systems Act of 1997 - Intelligent Transportation Systems Act of 1997 (ITS Act) - Directs the Secretary to conduct an ongoing program to research, develop, and operationally test intelligent transportation systems and advance the deployment of such systems as a component of the Nation's surface transportation systems (in effect, extending the expiring ITS Act of 1991).

(Sec. 6053) Defines "intelligent transportation systems" as the application of electronics, communications, or information processing to improve the efficiency and safety of surface transportation systems.

(Sec. 6055) Directs the Secretary to update the National ITS Program Plan as necessary.

(Sec. 6056) Authorizes the Secretary to provide: (1) planning and technical assistance, training, and information to State and local governments seeking to implement ITS technologies and services; and (2) funding to Federal agencies and make grants to non-Federal entities (including State and local governments, universities, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and other persons) for ITS research.

(Sec. 6057) Directs the Secretary to conduct an intelligent transportation infrastructure deployment incentives program (ITI) to promote deployment of integrated, multimodal transportation systems throughout the Nation (thereby replacing the IVHS Corridors Program).

(Sec. 6058) Authorizes appropriations.

Title VII: Revenue - Surface Transportation Revenue Act of 1997 - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to extend HTF fuel taxes at current rates, as well as existing refunds and exemptions.

Terminates the National Recreational Trails Trust Fund.

Extends and makes permanent the authority for the transfer of HTF motorboat fuel taxes to the Boat Safety Account to carry out the State Recreational Boating Safety grant program.

(Sec. 7003) Revises eligibility requirements for the exclusion of qualified transportation fringe benefits (employer payment of employee parking and commercial vanpool services) from an employee's gross income.

(Sec. 7004) Extends the Mass Transit Account.

(Sec. 7005) Authorizes expenditures from the HTF for certain motor vehicle safety and cost savings programs.

(Sec. 7006) Directs the Secretary to transfer amounts from the HTF to the general fund of the Treasury for specified transportation-related programs.

Title VIII: Rail Passenger Programs - Amends Federal transportation law to authorize appropriations from the HTF to make grants to AMTRAK for: (1) operating expenses; (2) capital programs; and (3) certain supplemental capital investments.