Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate amended (01/07/2000)

Surface Transportation Act of 1999 - Amends Federal transportation provisions to repeal a provision requiring that funds allocated to a State in accordance with High Priority Projects Program requirements of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) be treated as amounts in addition to sums that a State is apportioned for programmatic purposes.

Authorizes a State to use for a project under the High Priority Projects Program any funds apportioned under such provisions for which the project is eligible. Allows a State, if a project is not eligible for such funds, to use for the project certain funds apportioned to the State under the Surface Transportation Program (STP). Directs that such apportioned funds be reimbursed from amounts allocated for the project in an amount equal to that used under this section, but not to exceed the total of the amounts allocated for the project.

(Sec. 3) Authorizes the obligation of National Highway System funds for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of, and preventative maintenance for, intercity rail passenger facilities and rolling stock, including passenger facilities and rolling stock for transportation systems using magnetic levitation.

Authorizes the use of STP funds for capital costs for vehicles and facilities, whether publicly or privately owned, that are used to provide intercity passenger service by rail (including vehicles and facilities that are used to provide transportation systems using magnetic levitation).Makes eligible under the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program certain projects or programs that will have air quality benefits through acquisition, construction, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of, and preventative maintenance for, intercity rail passenger facilities and rolling stock, including passenger facilities and rolling stock for transportation systems using magnetic levitation.

Transfers to Amtrak and publicly-owned intercity passenger rail lines specified highway funds.

(Sec. 4) Revises provisions regarding the Historic Bridges Program to replace a restriction that caps the amount of Federal-aid highway funds that can be spent on a historic bridge to a sum equal to the cost of demolition with one that equals 200 percent of such cost. Provides that if a State determines that the relocation of a historic bridge is a reasonable alternative, the eligible reimbursement project costs shall be equal to the greater of the Federal share that would be available for the construction of a new bicycle or pedestrian bridge or 200 percent of the cost of demolition of the historic bridge.

(Sec. 5) Amends TEA-21 to make all obligation authority for the minimum guarantee program available as multi-year funding.

(Sec. 6) Amends TEA-21 to direct the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) to establish a system consisting of: (1) a commercial motor vehicle registration information clearinghouse to facilitate the electronic exchange and reconciliation of interstate commercial motor vehicle registration information; and (2) an electronic remittance netting function with electronic funds transfer capability through a central U.S. bank to facilitate payment of commercial motor vehicle registration fees. Requires that such system include intrastate commercial motor vehicle registration information to the extent that each State elects to submit such information to the Secretary for purposes of the system.

Authorizes the Secretary to delegate, by means of a contract, the duties of the Secretary for purposes of this section to an entity outside the Department of Transportation if the Secretary provides continuing oversight. Directs the Secretary to work with representatives of the Governments of Canada and Mexico and other appropriate officials to encourage their participation in the clearinghouse established under this section.

Makes specified funding available for FY 2000-2002. Prohibits the Secretary and an entity to which a delegation is made from making any expenditure of such funds to facilitate the participation by a State in the system until the State enters into an agreement with the Secretary and the Secretary of the Treasury to submit interstate and intrastate commercial motor vehicle registration information to the Secretary of the Treasury.

(Sec. 7) Authorizes the Secretary, at the request of a State, to transfer apportioned funds and obligation authority from funds made available to the State to another State or to the Federal Highway Administration for the purpose of funding one or more specific projects. Directs that the transferred funds be used for the same purpose and in the same manner as that for which they were authorized. Specifies that such transfer shall have no effect on any apportionment formula used to distribute funds to the States. Requires the concurrence of the appropriate metropolitan planning organization with respect to specified funds transferred.

(Sec. 8) Repeals a restriction on a State's ability to voluntarily use its funds for noise barriers along highway facilities.

(Sec. 9) Amends TEA-21 to authorize the Secretary, for each of FY 2000-2003, to use specified funds for research on and development of: (1) automatic crash notification systems that, in the event of a motor vehicle crash, will automatically use a wireless telephone or other communications system in the vehicle to transmit information about the crash to the appropriate emergency personnel; and (2) a common interface system in motor vehicles that permits all models of wireless telephones to transmit crash data and to be voice-activated, allowing hands-free use.

Directs that the funding include sums for research and development conducted by trauma centers in coordination with other emergency medical service providers for the purpose of: (1) establishing decision protocols for the use of data obtained from such systems; (2) training emergency personnel in the use of the data; (3) establishing standardized methods for assessing the added value of automatic crash notification systems and identifying the factors causing changes in the injury patterns of motor vehicle crashes; (4) determining the injury prediction value of various types of data that can be obtained from automobiles; and (5) developing information distribution and training models for incorporating the use of the data into emergency systems throughout the United States. Requires that trauma centers receiving funding be representative of the geographic diversity, population characteristics, and climatic features of the United States.

Amends TEA-21 to direct the Secretary to encourage and support efforts by States to deploy integrated emergency communications infrastructure and programs, based on coordinated statewide deployment plans, including: (1) enhanced wireless 911 service; and (2) coordination and integration of emergency communications with traffic control and management systems.

Directs the Secretary to consult and cooperate with specified entities, including State and local officials, emergency medical service and emergency dispatch providers, hospital emergency and trauma care personnel, consumer groups, and the intelligent transportation systems industry.

Requires each State, as a condition of receipt of funding, to agree to: (1) develop and implement a coordinated statewide deployment plan, through an entity designated by the Governor; and (2) include representatives of specified individuals and entities in development and implementation of the coordinated statewide deployment plan.

Directs the Secretary, for each of FY 2001-2003, to use not less than $5 million of specified funds to make grants to States for purposes of this section. Requires a State seeking to obtain a grant to submit to the Secretary an application containing a State plan for the use of the grant funds for the deployment and functioning of an integrated emergency communications and transportation information system, including enhanced wireless 911 service, that meets specified requirements.

Authorizes the use of grant funds to pay the costs associated with: (1) creating and convening, for the purpose of developing and implementing a coordinated statewide deployment plan, a Governor's Task Force with specified representatives; and (2) the acquisition, upgrade, or modification of intelligent transportation systems software or equipment to be used in the coordinated statewide deployment plan.

(Sec. 10) Directs the Secretary to initiate rulemaking procedures to revise the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways to require that any sign for a railroad highway grade crossing without a gate and automatic protection device: (1) indicate that the driver of a motor vehicle must check the railroad tracks for oncoming trains before crossing at the grade crossing; and (2) be distinguishable from a sign for a railroad highway grade crossing with a gate and automatic protection device. Requires that regulations promulgated by the Secretary be consistent with those under the Railroad Highway Grade Crossing Program.

(Sec. 11) Amends TEA-21 to modify the Transportation and Community and System Preservation Pilot Program to require that not less than 50 percent of the funds made available for this program be reserved for planning purposes. Specifies that all projects funded by this program must have applied for the program by the deadline specified by the Secretary and must meet the criteria for funding under this section.

(Sec. 12) Authorizes the Secretary to use not more than $2 million for each of FY 2000 through 2003 for the administration of specified programs, including the direct loan financing program. Specifies that if the amount specified under Federal transportation funding provisions for a fiscal year exceeds the principal amount of Federal credit instruments made available for the fiscal year, the excess shall be added to the amount specified for the following fiscal year.

Directs the Secretary to pay the program administrative costs of eligible projects under the magnetic levitation transportation technology deployment program.

Amends TEA- 21 to authorize appropriations through FY 2003 for two separate programs: an intelligent transportation system integration program and a commercial vehicle intelligent transportation system infrastructure deployment.

Amends the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 to make funds available from the Highway Trust Fund to: (1) make allocations to States for payment of the Federal share of value pricing pilot programs; (2) pay administrative expenses incurred by the Secretary in providing technical assistance to States in connection with value pricing pilot programs; and (3) support public outreach, implementation, and evaluation of the policy of providing commuters the choice of transportation fringe benefits or taxable cash compensation under the amendments to the Internal Revenue Code made by TEA- 21.

Replaces the term "apportion" with "allocate" in a formula for determining grants to States for safety incentives to prevent operation of motor vehicles by intoxicated persons.