Looking ahead: Clearly, the impending budget battles in Congress will be eclipsed by consideration of a vote on whether we take action in Syria. However, the unfinished business for our national leaders remains to be addressed in the nine short days they will be in session prior to the Sept. 30 expiration of our federal budgets. We should be hearing about solutions to shore up the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development budget and the soon insolvent Highway Trust Fund. Instead, we will likely cheer on another continuing resolution to keep the doors of government open.
Looking ahead: We should be hearing more about funding for public transportation at the national level. Representatives from both sides of the aisle are taking note that the gridlock in Congress is hurting our local economies. This week the Federal Transit Administration released final guidance for evaluating and rating new transit projects. National competition is fierce and the bulk of the annual $2 billion appropriations are already spoken for. Sequestration is also straining our local budgets as federal allocations continue to get a haircut. Solutions to the gridlock in Washington are needed to beat gridlock in Broward.
Last week: We agree with Albert Sosa, bus rapid transit (BRT) is a good solution to congestion. (7/31/13 op-ed) The MPO and our partners are already exploring BRT as an economical way to provide commuters a reason to leave their cars behind in exchange for a fast, safe, comfortable, Wi-Fi ready alternative. Let someone else drive while you do something else. Growing ranks of 95 Express commuters demonstrate demand for premium bus service. We encourage more people to join the Broward MPO’s new initiative Speak Up Broward to help define and support Commitment 2040, Broward’s long-range transportation solution in the making.