From the Hill...
On this point, let me be specific: We must find ways to encourage Americans to park their automobiles and take advantage of public transportation, where possible and when feasible. That’s why the PROGRESS Act adds a special, one-time $2 billion stimulus grant for the expansion of public transit services through the existing urban grant program.
In addition, the bill includes an incentive for commuters to choose transit by boosting the current transit benefit to match the federal parking benefit exclusion, which is currently $205. Furthermore, it supports the growth of commuter rail by including a process for resolving rail use agreements when access to rail lines becomes an impediment to establishing local commuter rail systems or routes.
And finally, on the issue of public transportation, the PROGRESS Act promotes the development of new and expanded intercity rail passenger service through the use of guaranteed loans and rail bonds to help state and local governments that want to expand rail service as an alternative to vehicle travel.
Public transit must play a central role if America is going to declare its energy independence. Increasingly, we are seeing more Americans relying on the public transportation options that help them to work, play and participate fully in the American experience.