Text: H.R.6247 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (09/29/2010)

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[Congressional Bills 111th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 6247 Introduced in House (IH)]

  2d Session
                                H. R. 6247

To optimize transportation through efficient operations and maintenance 



                           September 29, 2010

 Mr. Carnahan (for himself and Mr. Rogers of Michigan) introduced the 
 following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation 
                           and Infrastructure


                                 A BILL

To optimize transportation through efficient operations and maintenance 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    The Act may be cited as the ``Smart Technologies for Communities 


    The Congress finds the following:
            (1) Congestion on our roadways is hampering American's 
        daily lives, slowing down commerce, polluting the environment 
        we live in, and wasting fuel. It is estimated that in our 
        metropolitan communities, more than 4,200,000,000 hours are 
        wasted sitting in traffic, resulting in 2,800,000,000 gallons 
        of wasted fuel and costing more than $87,000,000,000 annually. 
        With our growing population and demand for freight 
        transportation expected to double by 2035, failure to address 
        traffic congestion adds to the cost of goods movement and 
        threatens the Nation's economic competitiveness and quality of 
            (2) Even with a record decline in traffic fatalities in 
        2009, nearly 34,000 people were killed on United States roads, 
        the equivalent of more than 200 fully loaded 737 airliners. The 
        economic cost alone of traffic fatalities and injuries has been 
        estimated at $230,000,000,000 each year.
            (3) The transportation sector contributes nearly one third 
        of the Nation's carbon dioxide emissions, while wasted fuel 
        from idling vehicles and stop-and-go traffic puts family 
        budgets in the red, drives up the cost of goods and services, 
        and increases our Nation's dependence on foreign oil.
            (4) The United States cannot continue to simply build our 
        way into a safer, cleaner, and more efficient transportation 
        system. We must make better use of the tools that are 
        available, including intelligent transportation systems (ITS), 
        to actively manage our transportation network to improve 
        safety, efficiency, and multimodal connectivity.
            (5) Technology solutions are available today to help cities 
        and States reduce congestion and emissions, make our roads and 
        transit systems safer, and provide the public with improved 
        access to transportation options and real-time information to 
        make efficient travel decisions.
            (6) ITS technologies are cost effective and quick to 
        deploy, with solutions like synchronized and adaptive traffic 
        signals yielding a $40 return in time and fuel savings for 
        every $1 invested while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions 
        up to 22 percent and travel delays by 25 percent. The 
        Government Accountability Office found the benefit-cost ratio 
        of a nationwide real-time traffic information system to be 25 
        to 1, with a $1,200,000,000 investment returning more than 
        $30,000,000,000 in safety, mobility and environmental benefits. 
        The overall benefit-cost ratio of ITS-enabled operational 
        improvements is estimated at 9 to 1, a significant return on 
        investment when compared to the addition of new highway 
        capacity which has an estimated benefit-to-cost ratio of 2.7 to 
            (7) An estimated 31 percent of traffic crashes could be 
        prevented or have their impact reduced through the deployment 
        of collision avoidance technologies, according to the Insurance 
        Institute for Highway Safety. Moreover, the Department of 
        Transportation estimates that a comprehensive vehicle-to-
        vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications network 
        could prevent or reduce the impact of up to 82 percent of non-
        alcohol related traffic fatalities.
            (8) Transitioning to a more efficient, performance based 
        transportation network requires ITS technologies to provide 
        accurate, real-time traffic and multimodal transportation 
        system information necessary for measuring performance, as well 
        as for actively managing the transportation network to optimize 
        capacity and meet or exceed system performance goals.
            (9) Effective transportation financing mechanisms of today 
        and tomorrow depend on ITS to be viable, including electronic 
        toll collection, dynamic pricing, integrated payment systems 
        for transit, tolls, parking and other services, and potential 
        future alternatives such as mileage-based user fees.
            (10) Investing in ITS creates good jobs, with an average of 
        50 percent of ITS project spending going directly to wages and 
        salaries as compared to 20 percent for new highway 
        construction. Researchers from the London School of Economics 
        and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation 
        (referred to in this section as ``ITIF'') have found that 
        investing in ITS creates a network effect throughout the 
        economy and stimulates job creation across multiple sectors, 
        including green jobs, high-tech, automotive, information 
        technology, consumer electronics, and related industries. In 
        addition, investing in ITS provides a foundation for long-term 
        benefits including government cost savings, economy-wide 
        productivity, and an improved quality of life.
            (11) The lack of Federal investment in ITS has caused the 
        Nation to fall behind other world innovation leaders. A 2010 
        ITIF report found that the United States is lagging behind 
        Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and other leading Asian and 
        European nations in the deployment of ITS technologies. These 
        countries have generated significant benefits for their 
        citizens, economy, and environment by investing heavily in ITS 
        solutions. In order to strengthen the Nation's economic 
        competitiveness and quality of life, it is in the interest of 
        the United States to encourage the accelerated development and 
        deployment of intelligent transportation systems.


    In this Act, the following definitions apply:
            (1) Eligible entity.--The term ``eligible entity'' means 
        State and local governments, including territories of the 
        United States, tribal governments, transit agencies, port 
        authorities, metropolitan planning organizations, other 
        political subdivisions of a State or local government, and 
        multi-State or multi-jurisdictional groups applying through a 
        single lead applicant.
            (2) ITS.--The term ``ITS'' means intelligent transportation 
            (3) Multi-jurisdictional group.--The term ``multi-
        jurisdictional group'' means a combination of State 
        governments, locals governments, metropolitan planning 
        agencies, transit agencies, or other political subdivisions of 
        a State, that have signed a written agreement to implement the 
        SMART Communities program across jurisdictional boundaries. 
        Each member of the group, including the lead applicant, must be 
        an eligible entity to receive a grant under this Act.
            (4) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of Transportation.


    (a) Establishment of Program.--Not later than 6 months after the 
date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall establish the Smart 
Communities Technology Initiative which provides grants to eligible 
entities to develop pilot programs to serve as model deployment sites 
for large scale installation and operation of ITS to improve safety, 
mobility, and the environment. The Secretary shall develop criteria for 
selection of an eligible entity to receive a grant, including how the 
deployment of technology impacts the following:
            (1) Ability to deliver environmental benefits and reduce 
        energy consumption by alleviating congestion and streamlining 
        traffic flow.
            (2) Ability to measure and improve the operational 
        performance of its transportation network.
            (3) Ability to reduce the number and severity of traffic 
        collisions and increase driver, passenger, and pedestrian 
            (4) Availability of user-friendly traffic, transit, 
        parking, and other transportation-related information to 
        improve mobility, reduce congestion, and provide for more 
        efficient and accessible transportation alternatives.
            (5) Ability to provide lower-cost solutions for managing 
        multimodal transportation systems and optimizing existing 
            (6) Deliver economic benefits by reducing delays, improving 
        system performance, and providing for the efficient movement of 
        goods and services.
    (b) Request for Applications.--Not later than 6 months after the 
date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall request applications 
in accordance with section 5 for participation in the Smart Communities 
Technology Initiative.


    (a) Grant Application.--To be considered for a grant under this 
Act, an eligible entity shall submit an application to the Secretary 
that includes the following:
            (1) Deployment plan.--A plan to deploy and provide for the 
        long-term operation and maintenance of intelligent 
        transportation systems to improve safety, mobility, and the 
        environment, such as--
                    (A) real-time integrated traffic, transit, parking, 
                and multimodal transportation information;
                    (B) advanced traffic, freight, and incident 
                management systems;
                    (C) collision avoidance systems;
                    (D) advanced technologies to improve transit and 
                commercial operations;
                    (E) operational improvements, such as synchronized, 
                adaptive and/or transit preferential traffic signals; 
                    (F) other technologies, including ITS applications 
                necessary for multimodal systems integration and for 
                achieving performance goals.
            (2) Objectives.--Quantifiable system performance 
        improvements, including reducing traffic-related crashes, 
        congestion, and emissions, optimizing multimodal system 
        efficiency, and improving access to transportation choices.
            (3) Results.--Quantifiable safety, mobility, and 
        environmental benefit projections including data driven 
        estimates of how the project will improve the region's 
        transportation system efficiency and reduce traffic congestion.
            (4) Partnerships.--A plan for partnering with the private 
        sector, public agencies including multimodal and 
        multijurisdictional entities, research institutions, 
        stakeholder organizations representing the ITS industry, and 
        other transportation stakeholders.
            (5) Leveraging.--A plan to leverage and optimize existing 
        local and regional ITS investments.
            (6) Interoperability.--A plan to ensure interoperability of 
        deployed technologies with other tolling, traffic management, 
        and intelligent transportation systems.
    (b) Grant Selection.--
            (1) Grant awards.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall award a grant to no 
        more than 6 eligible entities with funds available for up to 5 
        fiscal years.
            (2) Geographic diversity.--In awarding a grant under this 
        section, the Secretary shall ensure, to the extent practicable, 
        that grant recipients represent diverse geographic areas of the 
        United States, including urban, suburban, and rural areas.


    A grant recipient may use funds authorized in this Act to deploy, 
operate, and maintain ITS and ITS-enabled operational strategies, 
            (1) advanced traveler information systems;
            (2) advanced transportation management systems;
            (3) advanced infrastructure maintenance and construction 
            (4) advanced public transportation systems;
            (5) transportation system performance data collection and 
        analysis systems;
            (6) advanced safety systems, including vehicle-to-vehicle 
        and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications and other 
        collision avoidance technologies;
            (7) electronic pricing and tolling systems; and
            (8) advanced mobility and access technologies, such as 
        dynamic ridesharing.


    (a) Report to Secretary.--Not later than 1 year after an eligible 
entity receives a grant award under this Act and each year thereafter, 
each grant recipient shall submit a report to the Secretary that 
            (1) deployment and operational cost compared to the 
        benefits and savings from the pilot program and compared to 
        other alternative approaches; and
            (2) how the project has met the original expectation as 
        projected in the deployment plan submitted with the 
        application, including--
                    (A) data on how the program has helped reduce 
                traffic crashes, congestion, emissions, and other 
                benefits of the deployed systems;
                    (B) data on the effect of optimizing multimodal 
                system performance and improving access to 
                transportation alternatives;
                    (C) the effectiveness of providing real-time 
                integrated traffic, transit, parking, and multimodal 
                transportation information to the public to make 
                informed travel decisions; and
                    (D) lessons learned and recommendations for future 
                deployments strategies to optimize transportation 
                efficiency and multimodal system performance.
    (b) Report to Congress.--Not later than 2 years after grants have 
been allocated and each year thereafter, the Secretary shall submit a 
report to Congress that describes the effectiveness of grant recipients 
in meeting their projected deployment plan, including data on how the 
program has--
            (1) reduced traffic-related fatalities and injuries;
            (2) reduced traffic congestion and improved travel time 
            (3) reduced transportation-related emissions;
            (4) optimized multimodal system performance;
            (5) improved access to transportation alternatives;
            (6) provided the public with access to real-time integrated 
        traffic, transit, parking, and multimodal transportation 
        information to make informed travel decisions;
            (7) provided cost savings related to operational 
        efficiencies; and
            (8) provided other benefits to transportation users and the 
        general public.
    (c) Additional Grants.--If the Secretary determines from a grant 
recipient's reports that the recipient is not carrying out the 
requirements of the grant, the Secretary may cease to provide any 
additional grant funds to the recipient. The Secretary shall have the 
authority to redistribute remaining funds to select additional eligible 
entities for pilot programs under this Act.


    (a) Funding.--
            (1) In general.--There are authorized to be appropriated 
        out of the Highway Trust Fund to carry out this Act--
                    (A) $350,000,000 for fiscal year 2012;
                    (B) $225,000,000 for fiscal year 2013;
                    (C) $200,000,000 for fiscal year 2014;
                    (D) $125,000,000 for fiscal year 2015; and
                    (E) $125,000,000 for fiscal year 2016.
            (2) Contract authority.--Funds authorized under this 
        subsection shall be available for obligation in the same manner 
        as if the funds were apportioned under chapter 1 of title 23, 
        United States Code, except that such funds shall not be 
        transferable, the obligation limitations shall not apply to 
        such funds, and shall remain available until expended.
    (b) Grant Limitation.--The Secretary may not award more than 25 
percent of the amount appropriated under this Act to a single grant 
    (c) Expenses for Grant Recipients.--A grant recipient under this 
Act may use not more than 5 percent of the grant award each fiscal year 
to carry out planning and reporting requirements.
    (d) Expenses for Secretary.--Before awarding grant funds under this 
Act, the Secretary may set aside $1,000,000 each fiscal year for 
program reporting and administrative costs.