Clerk session vote number: 147
Description: A bill to authorize funds for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs, and for other purposes.
Bill summary: TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Title I: Federal-Aid Highways
Subtitle A: Authorizations and Programs
Subtitle B: General Provisions
Subtitle C: Program Streamlining and Flexibility
Subtitle D: Safety
Subtitle E: Finance
Subtitle F: High Priority Projects
Title II: Highway Safety
Title III: Federal Transit Administration Programs
Title IV: Motor Carrier Safety
Title V: Transportation Research
Subtitle A: Funding
Subtitle B: Research and Technology
Subtitle C: Intelligent Transportation
Title VI: Ozone and Particulate Matter Standards
Title VII: Miscellaneous
Subtitle A: Automobile Safety and Information
Subtitle B: Railroads
Subtitle C: Comprehensive One-Call Notification
Subtitle D: Sportfishing and Boating Safety
Title VIII: Transportation Discretionary Spending Guarantee
and Budget Offsets
Subtitle A: Transportation Discretionary Spending
Subtitle B: Veterans' Benefits
Subtitle C: Temporary Student Loan Provision
Subtitle D: Block Grants for Social Services
Title IX: Amendments of Internal Revenue Code of 1986
Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century -
Title I: Federal-Aid Highways - Subtitle A: Authorizations and Programs
- Authorizes appropriations from the Highway Trust Fund, other than the Mass Transit Account (HTF), for the following: (1) the Interstate Maintenance Program (IM); (2) the National Highway System (NHS); (3) the Bridge Program; (4) the Surface Transportation Program (STP); (5) the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ); (6) the Appalachian Development Highway System Program; (7) the Recreational Trails Program; (8) the Federal Lands Highways Program (FLHP); (9) National Corridor Planning and Development and Coordinated Border Infrastructure Programs; (10) Construction of Ferry Boats and Ferry Terminal Facilities; (11) the National Scenic Byways Program; (12) the Value Pricing Pilot Program; (13) the High Priority Projects Program; (14) Highway Use Tax Evasion Projects; and (15) the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Highway Program.
Directs that not less than ten percent of the amounts made available under titles I (Federal-Aid Highways), III (Federal Transit Administration Programs), and V (Transportation Research) of this Act be expended with small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Requires: (1) States to annually survey and compile a list of disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) and to make certain written notifications to the Secretary of Transportation (the Secretary); and (2) the Secretary to establish minimum uniform criteria for State governments to use in certifying whether a concern qualifies. Sets forth provisions regarding compliance with court orders and review of the impact throughout the United States of administering DBE requirements.
(Sec. 1102) Sets forth specified obligation ceilings, and formulas for distribution of obligation authority and redistribution of unused obligation authority for Federal-aid highway programs. Limits obligations for administrative expenses.
(Sec. 1103) Rewrites provisions regarding: (1) administrative expenses to require the Secretary to deduct an amount not to exceed one and a half percent of apportionments under specified programs to administer legal provisions to be financed from appropriations for the Federal-aid highway program and for other highways, and to make transfers of appropriate sums to the Appalachian Regional Commission for administrative activities associated with the Appalachian Development Highway System; (2) the apportionment formulas under Federal highway provisions for the Interstate System (IS) and NHS, CMAQ, STP, and IM; (3) Operation Lifesaver and railway-highway crossing hazard elimination in high speed rail corridors to direct the Secretary to increase funds, before making STP apportionments, for such purposes and to include among eligible high speed rail corridors a Gulf Coast high speed railway corridor, a Keystone high speed railway corridor from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and an Empire State railway corridor from New York City to Albany to Buffalo, New York; (4) the metropolitan planning set aside to delete references to outdated programs and provide that the set aside not be deducted from funds for the Recreational Trails Program; and (5) National Recreational Trails funding to direct the Secretary to deduct one and a half percent of sums authorized to carry out the recreational trails program for administration of, and research and technical assistance under, that program and for administration of the National Recreational Trails Advisory Committee, distributing the remainder with half apportioned equally among eligible States and half apportioned among such States in amounts proportionate to the degree of non-highway recreational fuel use in each of those States during the preceding year.
Authorizes the Secretary to reimburse the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Transportation (DOT) for the conduct of annual audits of financial statements pertaining to HTF.
Sets forth provisions regarding certain transfers of highway and transit funds, the effect of delay in deposits into HTF, and adjustments for the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 1997.
(Sec. 1104) Directs the Secretary: (1) for each of FY 1998 through 2003, to allocate sums to the States according to a list of State percentages of total apportionments for the IM, NHS, Bridge Program, CMAQ, STP, Metropolitan Planning, Minimum Guarantee, High Priority Projects, Appalachian Development Highway System, and Recreational Trails Programs; (2) to adjust such percentages, before making any apportionment, to reflect the estimated percentage of estimated tax payments attributable to highway users in each State paid into HTF in the latest fiscal year for which data is available, to ensure that no State's return is less than 90.5 percent; (3) on October 15 of FY 1999 and each fiscal year thereafter, to allocate an amount of funds determined under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 for distribution according to a specified formula (and authorizes appropriations from HTF).
(Sec. 1106) Directs the Secretary to administer the NHS and IM as a combined program to allow States maximum flexibility.
Rewrites provisions regarding Federal-aid systems. Declares that NHS consists of highway routes and connections to transportation facilities depicted on the map submitted by the Secretary to the Congress with a specified report dated May 24, 1996.
Sets forth provisions regarding NHS components, maximum mileage of the NHS, modifications to the NHS, congressional high priority corridors, eligible NHS projects, and the IS.
Provides for an intermodal freight connectors study.
(Sec. 1107) Revises IM provisions to authorize the Secretary to approve: (1) projects for resurfacing, restoring, rehabilitating, and reconstructing certain designated IS routes, including in Alaska and Puerto Rico; and (2) a project on a toll road only if such road is subject to a secretarial agreement provided for or continued in effect by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and not voided by the Secretary under the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987.
Directs the Secretary to: (1) set aside specified sums for interstate discretionary projects; (2) give priority in selecting projects to fund to any project the cost of which exceeds $10 million on any high volume route in an urban area or a high truck-volume route in a rural area; and (3) conduct and report to the Congress on a study, in cooperation with States and affected metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), to determine the expected condition over the next ten years and the needs of States and MPOs to reconstruct and improve the IS, the resources necessary to maintain and improve the IS, and the means to ensure that the Nation's STP can address such needs and allow for States to address any extraordinary needs.
(Sec. 1108) Revises STP provisions to include among eligible projects: (1) the application of sodium acetate-formate or other environmentally acceptable, minimally corrosive anti-icing and de-icing compositions to bridges under the STP; (2) modification of public sidewalks to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; (3) infrastructure-based intelligent transportation systems capital improvements; and (4) environmental restoration and pollution abatement projects to address water pollution or environmental degradation caused or contributed to by transportation facilities, subject to specified restrictions.
Requires: (1) States, with respect to STP fund obligations in urban areas, to comply with obligation rates over two equal three-year periods, as opposed to the existing requirement of complying over a single six-year period; and (2) the Secretary to encourage the States to enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with qualified youth conservation or service corps to perform appropriate transportation enhancement activities.
(Sec. 1109) Amends provisions regarding the highway bridge program to provide that if a State transfers funds apportioned to it in a fiscal year beginning after September 30, 1997, to any other apportionment of funds to such State, the total cost of deficient bridges in such State and in all States to be determined for the succeeding fiscal year shall be reduced by the amount of such transferred funds.
Grants the Secretary discretion regarding a portion of sums authorized for FY 1998 through 2003 for bridges under this Act.
(Sec. 1110) Includes among eligible CMAQ projects certain projects that improve traffic flow.
Authorizes an MPO, State transportation department, or other project sponsor to enter into an agreement with any public, private, or nonprofit entity to cooperatively implement CMAQ projects.
Directs the Secretary and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to: (1) enter into arrangements with the National Academy of Sciences to complete a study of CMAQ, including evaluations of the air quality impacts of motor vehicle emissions and the negative effects of traffic congestion, assessments of project effectiveness, and recommendations on improvements and expanding the scope of the program to address traffic-related pollutants not currently addressed; and (2) report to the Congress.
(Sec. 1111) Authorizes a State to: (1) determine a lower Federal share than that specified for IS and other projects; and (2) use as a credit toward the non-Federal share requirement toll revenues that are generated and used by public, quasi-public, and private agencies to build, improve, or maintain highways, bridges, or tunnels that serve the public purpose of interstate commerce, provided such agencies have built, improved, or maintained such facilities without Federal funds.
Makes an increased Federal share payable for certain safety projects applicable to transit vehicles.
(Sec. 1112) Directs the Secretary to carry out a program to provide and maintain recreational trails. Sets forth provisions regarding State responsibilities, use of apportioned funds, State consideration of proposals that benefit or mitigate the impact to the natural environment, the Federal cost share (80 percent), uses not permitted, project administration, contract authority, and termination of the advisory committee.
Permits a State to use appropriated funds for construction of new trails only if the construction is permissible under some other law or is otherwise required by a statewide comprehensive outdoor recreational plan in effect that is required by the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act. Places a cap on the amount that a State can expend on educational programs to promote safety and environmental protection at five percent of annual apportionments.
Modifies existing law to exclude all small States with a total land area of less than 3.5 million acres from the requirement to expend annual apportionments for trails and trails-related projects in a ratio of 40 percent diverse use, 30 percent motorized use, and 30 percent nonmotorized use. Allows a State trail advisory committee to waive the trails diversity requirement if the State notifies the Secretary that it does not have sufficient projects to meet the diversity requirements.
Authorizes States to make grants to private organizations, municipal, county, State, and Federal governmental entities after considering guidance from the recreational advisory committee for uses consistent with this section.
(Sec. 1113) Amends emergency relief provisions to authorize an emergency fund for expenditure by the Secretary, subject to specified restrictions, for the repair or reconstruction of highways, roads, and trails, in any part of the United States, including Indian reservations, that the Secretary finds to have suffered serious damage as a result of natural disaster over a wide area or catastrophic failure from any external cause. Prohibits the use of funds for the repair or reconstruction of bridges that have been permanently closed to all vehicular traffic by the State or responsible local official because of imminent danger of collapse due to a structural deficiency or physical deterioration. Authorizes appropriations from HTF to establish the fund and replenish it annually. Makes a specified project to repair or reconstruct a Federal-aid primary route in San Mateo County, California, eligible for assistance.
(Sec. 1114) Repeals provisions regarding economic growth center development highways. Revises provisions of ISTEA regarding highway use tax evasion projects to set the Federal share of such projects at 100 percent and to make available specified funds to the Secretary from HTF for FY 1998 through 2003. Authorizes a State to expend up to .25 percent of its annual Federal-aid apportionments on initiatives to halt the evasion of payment of motor fuel taxes.
Directs the Secretary to: (1) enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the development and maintenance by the IRS of an excise fuel reporting system; and (2) make available sufficient funds to the IRS to establish and operate an automated fuel reporting system.
(Sec. 1115) Authorizes the use of: (1) Federal land management agency funds to pay the non-Federal cost share of funded Federal-aid highway projects; and (2) FLHP funds to pay the non-Federal cost share of specified projects that provide access to or within Federal or Indian lands.
Modifies FLHP provisions to: (1) provide for the allocation of funds for Indian reservation roads for FY 2000 and thereafter, based on a funding formula that reflects the relative needs of the Indian tribes for transportation assistance and the relative administrative capacities of, and challenges faced by, various Indian tribes; (2) require the Secretary to establish a nationwide priority program for improving deficient Indian reservation road bridges; and (3) establish a coordinated FLHP.
Requires: (1) the Secretary to develop transportation planning procedures that are consistent with required metropolitan and statewide planning processes; (2) the Secretary's approval of the transportation improvement program (TIP); (3) that all regionally significant FLHP projects be developed in cooperation with States and MPOs and be included in appropriate FLHP, State, and metropolitan plans and TIPs; (4) the inclusion of the approved FLHP TIP in appropriate State and MPO plans and programs without further action on the TIP; and (5) the Secretary and the Secretary of each appropriate Federal land management agency to develop safety, bridge, pavement, and congestion management systems for roads funded under the FLHP. Allows funds available for public lands highways, park roads and parkways, and Indian reservation roads to be used by the Secretary and the appropriate Federal land management agency to pay for the cost of transportation planning, research, engineering, and construction of the highways, roads, and parkways, or of transit facilities within public lands, national parks, and Indian reservations.
Includes among eligible projects a project to build a replacement of the federally owned bridge over Hoover Dam in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area between Nevada and Arizona.
Directs: (1) the Secretary to transfer to the appropriate Federal land management agency from amounts made available for public lands highways such amounts as necessary to pay the cost to the agency to conduct necessary transportation planning for Federal lands if funding for the planning is not otherwise provided, and to allocate sums each October 1 for refuge roads according to the relative needs of the various refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System, taking into consideration the comprehensive conservation plan, the need for access, and the impact of land use planning on existing transportation facilities; and (2) the Indian tribal government, in cooperation with the Secretary of the Interior and, as appropriate, with a State, local government, or MPO, to carry out a transportation planning process in accordance with this Act.
(Sec. 1116) Amends the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge Authority Act of 1995 to direct the Secretary to convey to the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge Authority (as under current law), or any Capital Region jurisdiction, all rights to the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge.
Modifies ownership provisions of the Act to require the Secretary to submit to the Congress a proposed agreement which shall: (1) identify whether the Authority or a Capital Region jurisdiction will accept ownership of the new Bridge; (2) contain a financial plan satisfactory to the Secretary which shall be prepared before the execution of the agreement and which shall specify the total cost of the project, a schedule for project implementation, and specified funding sources; and (3) require that the project include not more than 12 traffic lanes, including eight general purpose lanes, two merging-diverging lanes, and two high occupancy vehicle, express bus, or rail transit lanes; that all provisions described in the environmental impact statement for the project or the record of decision for the project for mitigation and other impacts of the project be implemented; and that the Authority and the Capital Region jurisdictions develop an ongoing process to fully integrate affected local governments in carrying out the engineering, design, and construction phases of the project.
Authorizes appropriation of $900 million through FY 2003 from HTF for the project. Limits the availability of apportioned funds for construction, but permits the Secretary to fund Bridge maintenance and rehabilitation, the design of the project, and right-of-way acquisition, including early acquisition of construction staging areas.
(Sec. 1117) Directs the Secretary to apportion specified funds for FY 1998 through 2003 among the States based on the latest available cost-to-complete estimate for the Appalachian development highway system prepared by the Appalachian Regional Commission. Increases the Federal share for pre-financed projects. Designates an addition to Corridor O in Pennsylvania.
(Sec. 1118) Requires the Secretary to establish and implement a program to make allocations to States and MPOs for coordinated planning, design, and construction of corridors of national significance, economic growth, and international or interregional trade. Authorizes a State or MPO to apply to the Secretary for such allocations. Requires recipients of such allocations to develop, and submit to the Secretary for review, a corridor development and management plan.
(Sec. 1119) Directs the Secretary to establish and implement a coordinated border infrastructure program under which the Secretary may make allocations to border States and MPOs for areas within the boundaries of one or more border States for projects to improve the safe movement of people and goods at or across the borders between the United States and Canada, and the United States and Mexico. Authorizes the Secretary, at the request of the Administrator of General Services, to transfer specified funds to the Administrator for the construction of transportation infrastructure necessary for law enforcement in the border States.
Subtitle B: General Provisions
- Rewrites provisions regarding definitions, including the addition of definitions for "refuge road" and "safety improvement project."
(Sec. 1202) Revises provisions regarding bicycle transportation and pedestrian walkways to authorize the use of NHS funds for pedestrian walkways. Directs that bicyclists and pedestrians be given due consideration in the comprehensive transportation plans developed by each MPO and State, and that transportation plans and projects provide due consideration for safety and contiguous routes for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Requires: (1) the Secretary to develop guidance on the various approaches to accommodating bicycles and pedestrian travel. Prohibits the Secretary from approving any project or taking any regulatory action that will result in the severance of an existing major route or have significant adverse impact on the safety for non-motorized transportation traffic and light motorcycles, unless such project or action provides for a reasonable alternate route or such a route exists; and (2) a State, in carrying out railway-highway crossing projects, to take into account bicycle safety.
Authorizes the Secretary to develop a national bicycle safety education curriculum that may include courses relating to on-road training. Makes specified funds available for FY 1999.
(Sec. 1203) Revises metropolitan planning provisions to include economic growth and development as a general requirement in metropolitan planning.
Provides that, in the case of an urbanized area designated after this Act's enactment as a nonattainment area for ozone or carbon monoxide, the boundaries of existing or new MPO boundaries will be retained, but may be adjusted by agreement of the governor and the affected MPOs.
Replaces 16 factors to be considered in the planning process with seven general factors consisting of projects and strategies that will: (1) support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area, especially by enabling global competitiveness, productivity, and efficiency; (2) increase the safety and security of the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users; (3) increase the accessibility and mobility options available to people and for freight; (4) protect and enhance the environment, promote energy conservation, and improve quality of life; (5) enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes, for people and freight; (6) promote efficient system management and operation; and (7) emphasize the preservation of the existing transportation system.
Adds freight shippers and providers of freight transportation services, and representatives of users of public transit, to the list of persons to be given an opportunity to comment on metropolitan long-range plans and programs.
Allows an MPO to include an illustrative list of projects that would be included on the TIP if additional resources were available.
(Sec. 1204) Consolidates 20 factors in statewide planning into the seven general factors. Specifies that failure to consider any specified factor in formulating plans, projects, or strategies or in the certification of planning processes is not reviewable in court.
Adds freight shippers and providers of freight transportation services and representatives of users of public transit to the list of persons to be given an opportunity to comment on statewide long-range plans and programs.
Allows a State to include an illustrative list of projects that would be included on the TIP if additional resources were available.
Gives States flexibility to move projects within a three-year TIP without the Secretary's approval or action if the governor and MPO agree. Requires States to consult with local officials with responsibility for transportation when formulating plans and programs.
(Sec. 1205) Authorizes a State to procure, under a single contract, the services of a consultant to prepare any environmental impact assessments or analyses required for a project, as well as subsequent engineering and design work, if the State conducts a review that assesses the objectivity of the assessment or analysis prior to its submission to the Secretary.
(Sec. 1206) Prohibits a State or political subdivision thereof from enacting or enforcing a law that applies only to motorcycles, the principal purpose of which is to restrict motorcycle access to any highway or portion of a highway for which Federal-aid highway funds have been utilized for planning, design, construction, or maintenance.
(Sec. 1207) Modifies provisions regarding ferries to authorize the Secretary to permit Federal participation in the construction of a ferry boat and terminal facility that is publicly operated or majority publicly owned if such boat or facility provides substantial public benefits.
Provides for the obligation of specified sums for the construction or refurbishment of ferry boats and terminal facilities and approaches within marine highway systems that are part of the NHS, including set-asides for the States of Alaska, New Jersey, and Washington.
Directs the Secretary to conduct a study of ferry transportation in the United States and report to specified congressional committees.
(Sec. 1208) Allows a State to reserve training positions for welfare recipients. Authorizes the Secretary to develop, conduct, and administer highway technology training, and to develop and fund summer transportation institutes.
(Sec. 1209) Authorizes a State to permit a vehicle with fewer than two occupants to operate in high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes if the vehicle is certified as an Inherently Low-Emission Vehicle.
(Sec. 1210) Directs the Secretary to establish an advanced travel forecasting procedures program. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1998 through 2003.
(Sec. 1211) Amends: (1) ISTEA to authorize the Secretary, the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, or their designees to serve as ex officio members of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Station Redevelopment Corporation; and (2) the National Visitor Center Facilities Act of 1968 to authorize such persons to serve as ex officio members of the Board of Directors of the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation.
Amends the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 to: (1) remove Maine from the list of States (currently, Maine and New Hampshire) to which specified safety belt use law requirements apply (and extends such requirements with respect to New Hampshire by requiring a belt use rate of at least 50 percent through FY 2000); (2) prohibit the Secretary from requiring States to use or plan the use of the metric system (currently, the Secretary may not require such action before September 30, 2000); and (3) reauthorize and extend the winter home heating oil delivery program.
Terminates the right-of-way revolving fund (provides for a 20-year close-out period), a pilot toll collection program, and a congressional bridge commission.
Amends: (1) ISTEA to include specified high priority corridors on the NHS in various States and to direct the Secretary to approve one or more substitute projects in lieu of a specified project in Wisconsin at the request of the Governor of Wisconsin if submitted by October 1, 2000; (2) the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 to reduce the scope of a project in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and (3) the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 to repeal certain lane restrictions in unincorporated areas of Alameda County, California.
(Sec. 1212) Replaces references to State highway departments with references to State transportation departments.
Authorizes the Secretary to fund the production of a documentary that demonstrates how public works and infrastructure projects stimulate job growth and the economy and contribute to the general welfare of the Nation.
Amends ISTEA to extend through October 1, 2003, a temporary exemption for public transit vehicles from specified axle weight limitations on the IS.
Sets forth provisions regarding vehicle weight limitations in Colorado, Louisiana, Maine, and New Hampshire. Directs such States to conduct specified studies with respect to such limitations.
Directs the Secretary to: (1) make grants to establish a driver training and safety center at Connellsville, Pennsylvania, and a welcome center in Point Pleasant, West Virginia; (2) make grants to a national, not-for-profit organization engaged in promoting bicycle and pedestrian safety; (3) establish a heavy equipment operator training facility in Hibbing, Minnesota; (4) make grants to the State of Pennsylvania to establish and operate an advanced tractor trailer safety and operator training facility in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; and (5) provide specified funds for the High Priority Las Vegas Intermodal Center.
(Sec. 1213) Directs the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct: (1) an evaluation of the methodology used by DOT to determine highway needs using the highway economic requirement system (the model); (2) a study on the extent to which the model can be used to provide States with useful information for developing State transportation investment plans and State infrastructure investment projections; (3) a study on the international roughness index that is used as an indicator of pavement quality on the Federal-aid highway system; (4) a study on the extent and effectiveness of State use of uniformed police officers on Federal-aid highway construction projects; and (5) a study to assess the impact that a utility company's failure to relocate its facilities in a timely manner has on the delivery and cost of Federal-aid highway and bridge projects. Sets forth reporting requirements.
Directs the Secretary to conduct: (1) a comprehensive assessment of the state of the transportation infrastructure on the southwest U.S.-Mexican border; (2) a study to examine the impact of truck weight standards on specialized hauling vehicles; (3) a study to determine practices in States for specific service food signs; (4) a study of State laws relating to penalties for violation of State commercial motor vehicle weight laws; and (5) a study to assess the feasibility of providing high speed rail passenger service from Atlanta, Georgia, to Charleston, South Carolina. Sets forth reporting requirements.
Requires the Secretary to: (1) request the National Academy of Sciences' Transportation Research Board to conduct a study regarding the regulation of weights, lengths, and widths of commercial motor vehicles operating on Federal-aid highways to which Federal regulations apply on the date of this Act's enactment; and (2) enter into an agreement with the State of Oklahoma to carry out a traffic analysis to determine the feasibility of a trade processing center in McClain County, Oklahoma.
(Sec. 1214) Directs the Secretary to: (1) conduct a study of methods to improve pedestrian and vehicular access to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and to report to the Congress; (2) allocate specified sums for certain transportation-related exhibits at the Smithsonian Institution; (3) allocate to the Secretary of the Interior certain sums for the planning, design, and construction of a visitor center and related facilities at the New River Gorge National River, West Virginia; and (4) make certain funds available to States encompassing an Indian reservation having a land area of at least 10 million acres. Authorizes appropriations.
Authorizes the Secretary to carry out reconstruction projects of highways located outside the United States that are important to the national defense. Makes funds available for obligation.
Directs the Secretary to make funds available for various projects, such as the removal of asphalt runways at Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge and revitalization of the Tredegar Iron Works to serve as a visitor center for Richmond National Battlefield Park.
(Sec. 1215) Directs the Secretary to allocate funds for various projects, such as the restoration of the Gettysburg, Pennsylvania train station, and to establish a center for national scenic byways in Duluth, Minnesota. Authorizes appropriations.
(Sec. 1216) Amends ISTEA to: (1) increase from five to 15 the number of value (formerly, congestion) pricing pilot programs eligible for funding; (2) require the Secretary to fund all pre-implementation costs, but prohibits Federal funding of such costs after three years; (3) remove the three-program cap on the number of such programs on which the Secretary shall allow the use of tolls on the IS; (4) provide an exemption from HOV restrictions to permit single occupancy vehicles to operate in HOV lanes if the vehicles are part of a value pricing program; and (5) require any value pricing pilot program to include, if appropriate, an analysis of the impact of the program on low income drivers. Makes sums available from HTF for FY 1998 through 2003.
Directs the Secretary to establish and implement an IS reconstruction and rehabilitation pilot program.
(Sec. 1217) Makes a specified project to repair or reconstruct a Federal-aid primary route in San Mateo County, California, eligible for assistance. Lists several other projects in various States that are eligible for assistance.
(Sec. 1218) Requires the Secretary to solicit applications from States, or authorities designated by one or more States, for financial assistance authorized for planning, design, and construction of eligible MAGLEV (i.e., transportation systems employing magnetic levitation that would be capable of safe use by the public at a speed in excess of 240 miles per hour) projects.
Sets forth provisions regarding project eligibility; the Federal cost share; project selection criteria; preconstruction planning and final design, engineering, and construction activities; and joint ventures. Authorizes appropriations. Permits the use by a State of certain STP and CMAQ funds to pay a portion of project costs.
(Sec. 1219) Directs the Secretary to: (1) carry out a national scenic byways program that recognizes roads having outstanding scenic, historic, cultural, natural, recreational, and archeological qualities; (2) eliminate any programmatic decisionmaking responsibility of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for the Federal-aid highway program as part of FHWA's efforts to restructure its field organization; and (3) establish a comprehensive initiative to investigate and address the relationships between transportation and community and system preservation and identify private sector-based initiatives.
(Sec. 1222) Amends the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965 to expand the counties that comprise the Appalachian Region.
(Sec. 1223) Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) give priority to funding for a transportation project relating to an international quadrennial Olympic or Paralympic event, or a Special Olympics International event, if the project meets the extraordinary needs associated with such an event and the project is otherwise eligible for assistance; (2) participate in planning activities of States and MPOs and transportation projects relating to such an event and in developing intermodal transportation plans necessary for the projects in coordination with State and local transportation agencies; and (3) provide assistance to States and local governments in carrying out transportation projects relating to such an event.
Sets an 80 percent Federal cost share for such a project. Authorizes appropriations from HTF for FY 1998 through 2003.
Subtitle C: Program Streamlining and Flexibility
- Amends Federal highway provisions to: (1) authorize advance acquisition of real property for transportation improvements (currently, limited to highway projects); and (2) provide a credit for acquired lands based on the value of publicly owned lands incorporated within a federally funded project if such land is lawfully obtained by the State or local government, is not park land, and the Secretary determines it will not influence the environmental assessment of the project.
Directs that a contribution by a local governmental unit of real property, funds, or material in connection with a project eligible for assistance be credited against the State share of the project at fair market value.
(Sec. 1302) Repeals a restriction that applies the Federal-non-Federal matching share requirement to each payment a State receives for construction. Makes the requirement applicable to total project costs rather than to individual voucher payments.
(Sec. 1303) Replaces provisions regarding income from airspace rights-of-way with provisions regarding proceeds from the sale or lease of real property acquired with assistance from HTF.
(Sec. 1304) Directs the State to pay an amount equal to the amount of Federal funds made available for preliminary engineering of a highway project if on-site construction of, or acquisition of the right-of-way for, such project is not commenced within ten years after the date on which Federal funds are first made available out of HTF (current law), or such longer period as the State requests and the Secretary determines to be reasonable.
(Sec. 1305) Rewrites provisions regarding State plans, specifications, and estimates for projects (plans) to direct that: (1) the Secretary act upon plans submitted by the State transportation department as soon as practicable after the date of their submission and enter into an agreement formalizing the conditions of project approval; and (2) the project agreement make provision for State funds required to pay the State's non-Federal share of project construction cost and maintenance after completion of construction.
Authorizes the State to assume the Secretary's responsibilities for design, plans, specifications, estimates, contract awards, and project inspections under specified circumstances.
Requires that a recipient of Federal financial assistance for a project with an estimated total cost of $1 billion or more submit to the Secretary an annual financial plan for the project, based on detailed annual estimates of the cost to complete the remaining project elements and on reasonable assumptions of future cost increases to complete the project.
Directs the Secretary to develop recommendations for the States to conduct life-cycle cost analyses.
(Sec. 1306) Repeals a requirement that the Secretary issue guidelines describing the criteria applicable to the IS. Specifies that safety considerations for a project may be met by phase construction consistent with the operative safety management system or in accordance with a statewide transportation improvement program approved by the Secretary.
(Sec. 1307) Authorizes a State transportation department or local transit agency to award a "design-build contract" (defined as an agreement that provides for design and construction of a project by a contractor, whether in the form of a design-build contract, a franchise agreement, or any other form of contract approved by the Secretary) for a qualified project using any procurement process permitted by applicable State and local law. Prohibits final design under such a contract from commencing before compliance with requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.
Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) the inapplicability of a standardized contract clause concerning site conditions, certain suspensions of work ordered by the State, and material changes in the scope of work specified in the contract; (2) regulations to be issued by the Secretary; (3) the approval of design-build contracts during the transition period before such regulations take effect three years after this Act's enactment date; and (4) a reporting requirement to the Congress on the effectiveness of design-build contracting procedures.
(Sec. 1308) Directs the Secretary to: (1) eliminate the major investment study as a separate requirement and to integrate such requirement, as appropriate, as part of analyses required pursuant to specified planning provisions for Federal-aid highway and transit projects; and (2) develop and implement a coordinated environmental review process for highway construction projects.
(Sec. 1310) Sets forth provisions regarding the transfer of Federal-aid highway funds to other apportionments.
Subtitle D: Safety
- Expands the list of projects eligible for hazard elimination program funds to include projects that would remove road hazards to any public surface transportation facility or any publicly owned bicycle or pedestrian pathway or trail.
(Sec. 1402) Directs the Secretary to: (1) issue guidance regarding the benefits and safety performance of redirective and nonredirective crash cushions in different road applications; and (2) conduct a study on the technologies and methods to enhance safety, streamline construction, and improve capacity by providing positive separation at all times between traffic, equipment, and workers on highway construction projects. Sets forth reporting requirements.
(Sec. 1403) Provides incentive grants to States that either obtain a State seat belt use rate above the national average or increase the State seat belt usage. Directs the Secretary to use sums made available to make allocations to States to carry out innovative projects to promote increased seat belt use rates. Makes funding available from HTF for FY 1999 through 2003.
(Sec. 1404) Directs the Secretary to make a grant to any State that has enacted and is enforcing a law that provides that any person with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or greater while operating a motor vehicle in the State shall be deemed to have committed a per se offense (or an equivalent per se offense) of driving while intoxicated. Authorizes appropriations from HTF for FY 1998 through 2003.
Subtitle E: Finance - Chapter 1 - Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation
- Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 1998 - Establishes a transportation Federal credit assistance pilot program to provide alternative financing for eligible surface transportation projects and projects for an international bridge or tunnel for which an international entity authorized under Federal or State law is responsible, for intercity passenger bus or rail facilities and vehicles, and for certain publicly owned intermodal surface freight transfer facilities.
Sets forth eligibility and project selection criteria, including: (1) the extent to which the project is nationally or regionally significant; (2) the creditworthiness of the project; (3) the extent to which assistance would foster innovative public-private partnerships and attract private debt or equity investment; (4) the likelihood that assistance would enable the project to proceed at an earlier date than it would otherwise; (5) the extent to which the project uses new technologies that enhance project efficiency; (6) the amount of budget authority required to fund the Federal credit instrument made available herein; (7) the extent to which the project helps maintain or protect the environment; and (8) the extent to which assistance would reduce the contribution of Federal grant assistance to the project.
Requires the Secretary to require each applicant to provide a preliminary rating opinion letter from at least one rating agency indicating that the project's senior obligations have the potential to achieve an investment-grade rating.
Authorizes the Secretary to enter into agreements with one or more obligers to make secured loans, the proceeds of which shall be used to finance eligible project costs, or to refinance interim construction financing of eligible project costs (subject to a limitation), of any projected selected. Directs the Secretary, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and each rating agency providing a preliminary rating opinion letter, to determine an appropriate capital reserve subsidy amount for each secured loan, taking such letter into account.
Makes the funding of a secured loan contingent on the project's senior obligations receiving an investment-grade rating, with exceptions.
Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) secured loan terms and limitations, repayment schedules, sales of secured loans, and loan guarantees; (2) lines of credit; (3) project servicing; and (4) State and local permits. Authorizes appropriations from HTF for FY 1999 through 2003. Sets forth credit limits and reporting requirements.
Directs the Secretary to develop and coordinate Federal policy on financing transportation infrastructure, including the provision of direct Federal credit assistance and other techniques used to leverage Federal transportation funds.
Chapter 2: State Infrastructure Bank Pilot Program
- Authorizes the Secretary to enter into cooperative agreements with the States of California, Florida, Missouri, and Rhode Island for the establishment of State and multistate infrastructure banks for making loans and providing other specified assistance to public and private entities to carry out eligible projects. Grants congressional consent to States entering into an interstate compact establishing such a bank.
Sets forth provisions regarding funding, capitalization grants, a special rule for urbanized areas of over 200,000, forms of assistance, qualifying projects, infrastructure bank requirements, a limit on repayments, secretarial requirements, applicability of Federal law, non-obligation of the United States to any third party, management of Federal funds, and program administration.
Subtitle F: High Priority Projects
- Authorizes the Secretary to carry out a high priority projects program under which specified funds shall be made available for various projects in different States for FY 1998 through 2003. Sets forth provisions regarding allocation percentages, the Federal share, delegation of responsibility to States, advance construction, period of funds availability, availability of obligation limitation, and treatment of funds for programmatic purposes.
Title II: Highway Safety
- Amends Federal highway law to: (1) require State uniform guidelines for highway safety programs to include accident prevention programs and provisions for enforcement of light transmission standards of glazing for passenger motor vehicles and light trucks as necessary to improve highway safety; (2) increase the minimum apportionment to the Secretary of the Interior for Indian tribes for highway safety programs from one-half to three-fourths of one percent of the total apportionment; (3) apply to Indian tribes, with exceptions, certain requirements for access for physically handicapped across curbs at pedestrian crosswalks; (4) extend to tribes in Indian Country the authorization of highway safety program grants for Indian tribes; and (5) replace a mandatory rulemaking process with one authorizing the Secretary of Transportation (the Secretary, unless otherwise indicated) to periodically identify highway safety programs that are highly effective in reducing motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and deaths.
(Sec. 2001) Directs the Secretary to: (1) allow States to use highway safety program funds to purchase television and radio time for highway safety public service messages; and (2) study and report to the Congress on the effectiveness of purchasing such time for highway safety public service messages.
(Sec. 2002) Authorizes the use of safety research funds for training in work zone safety management.
Authorizes the Secretary to carry out safety research with respect to: (1) measures that may deter drugged driving; and (2) programs to train law enforcement officers on motor vehicle pursuits.
(Sec. 2003) Directs the Secretary to make occupant protection incentive grants to States that adopt and implement effective programs to reduce highway deaths and injuries resulting from individuals riding unrestrained or improperly restrained in motor vehicles.
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to States to carry out child passenger protection programs. Authorizes appropriations.
(Sec. 2004) Revises requirements for the alcohol-impaired driving countermeasures program (which provides for grants to States that adopt and implement effective programs to reduce traffic safety problems resulting from individuals driving while under the influence of alcohol). Eliminates drugged driving prevention from the program. Divides basic grants into: (1) basic grant A for meeting certain existing requirements, plus new requirements for a three-stage graduated licensing system for young drivers and programs targeting drivers with high blood alcohol concentrations (BAC); and (2) basic grant B for certain reductions in a State's percentage of fatal impaired drivers with a BAC of 0.10 or greater.
Provides for supplemental grants if a State: (1) acquires video equipment for detection of drunk drivers, and passive alcohol sensors, among other things; and (2) demonstrates an effective driving while intoxicated (DWI) tracking system.
(Sec. 2005) Directs the Secretary to make grants to States that take specified actions to advance highway safety with respect to State highway safety data improvements.
(Sec. 2006) Authorizes the Secretary to enter into an agreement with an organization that represents the interests of the States to manage, administer, and operate the National Driver Register's (NDR) computer timeshare and user assistance functions. Declares that any transfer of such functions to an organization that represents the interests of the States shall begin only after the Secretary determines that all States are participating in NDR's "Problem Driver Pointer System" and that the system is functioning properly.
Directs the Secretary to: (1) evaluate the implementation of the NDR and motor carrier and commercial driver license information systems and identify alternatives to improve the ability of States to exchange information about unsafe drivers and to identify drivers with multiple licenses; and (2) make an assessment of available electronic technologies to improve access to and exchange of motor vehicle driving records (including consideration of alternative unique motor vehicle driver identifiers that would facilitate accurate matching of drivers and their records). Authorizes appropriations.
(Sec. 2007) Directs the Secretary to study and report to the Congress on: (1) the benefit to public safety of the use of blowout resistant tires on commercial motor vehicles and the potential to decrease the incidence of accidents and fatalities from accidents occurring as a result of blown out tires; and (2) occupant safety in school buses.
(Sec. 2008) Directs the Comptroller General to study and report to specified congressional committees on the effectiveness in reducing the number and severity of alcohol-involved crashes of State laws that deem any individual with a BAC of .08 percent or greater (.02 percent or greater for persons under age 21) to be DWI.
(Sec. 2009) Authorizes appropriations out of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) for: (1) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) highway safety programs, and highway safety research and development (R&D) (earmarking amounts for research related to the effects of drugs and driver behavior on highway safety, training of law enforcement officers on motor vehicle pursuits, and educating the motoring public on how to share the road safely with commercial motor vehicles); (2) occupant protection incentive grants; (3) the alcohol-impaired driving countermeasures incentive grant program; (4) State highway safety data grants; and (5) the NDR.
Title III: Federal Transit Administration Programs
- Federal Transit Act of 1998 - Amends Federal mass transportation law to include among capital projects any transit-related intelligent transportation systems, preventive maintenance, leasing of equipment and facilities, mass transportation improvement that enhances economic development or incorporates private investment, as well as the introduction of new technology and provision of nonfixed route paratransit transportation services.
(Sec. 3004) Revises metropolitan planning requirements, including those related to development, process and scope, designation of metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), including metropolitan planning areas, MPO duties, metropolitan transportation improvement program, information publication, and transportation management areas.
Requires MPOs to include representatives of public transit users.
(Sec. 3007) Changes the capital project block grant program into an urbanized area formula grant program. Repeals authority to finance operating costs generally under the program. Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to finance the operating cost of equipment and facilities for use in mass transportation only in an urbanized area with a population of less than 200,000.
Changes the interest allowance under the covered cost of advance construction projects from a specified formula to the most favorable financing terms reasonably available, given the applicant's reasonable diligence in seeking them.
Declares that one percent of the block grant funds apportioned to urbanized areas of at least 200,000 population shall only be available for transit enhancement activities.
(Sec. 3008) Establishes a clean fuels formula grant program for vehicles powered by compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, biodiesel fuels, batteries, alcohol-based fuels, or hybrid electric, fuel cell, clean diesel, or other low or zero emissions technology. Provides for assistance to eligible mass transit entities for projects to: (1) purchase or lease clean fuel buses; (2) construct or lease clean fuel buses or electrical recharging facilities and equipment; (3) improve existing mass transportation facilities to accommodate clean fuel buses; (4) repower pre-1993 engines with clean fuel technology that meets current urban bus emission standards; or (5) retrofit or rebuild pre-1993 engines if before half life to rebuild.
Provides for apportionment of funds to eligible entities in specified types of areas with certain conditions.
Limits grant amounts for eligible projects in an area with a population of less than one million to $15 million (one million or more to $25 million), or 80 percent of the total cost of such projects.
Requires the use of a specified portion of funds for: (1) purchase or construction of hybrid electric or battery-powered buses; (2) facilities specifically designed to service those buses; (3) clean diesel buses; and (4) retrofitting or replacement of bus engines that do not meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) clean air standards.
(Sec. 3009) Renames specified discretionary grants and loans as capital investment grants and loans.
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants and loans to assist State and local authorities in financing: (1) capital projects to modernize existing fixed guideway systems; and (2) capital projects to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct bus-related facilities. Repeals authority to make such grants and loans for transportation projects that enhance urban economic development or incorporate private investment.
Repeals the requirement that the Secretary consider the adverse effect of decreased commuter rail transportation when deciding whether to approve a grant or loan to acquire a rail line and all related facilities: (1) owned by a rail carrier subject to reorganization under the bankruptcy code; and (2) used to provide commuter rail transportation.
Revises the criteria for grants and loans for fixed guideway systems. Revises requirements for: (1) letters of intent and full funding agreements; and (2) grant and loan allocations, including bus and bus facility grants. Earmarks out of such allocations amounts for the clean fuels formula grant program and certain capital projects for ferry boat systems in Alaska and Hawaii.
Limits to not more than eight percent in each fiscal year the amount of funding under the New Starts program that may be used for fixed guideway system activities other than final design and construction.
(Sec. 3010) Prohibits the Secretary of Transportation, in developing regulations or in carrying out any other duty, from considering the dollar value of mobility improvements in evaluating capital projects for new fixed guideway systems and extensions to existing fixed guideway systems. Directs the Comptroller General to study, and the Secretary to report to specified congressional committees on, the dollar value of mobility improvements and the relationship of mobility improvements to the overall transportation justification of such systems.
(Sec. 3011) Authorizes recipients of mass transportation block grants and capital investment grants and loans, if certain State and local government financial support is given, to use proceeds from the issuance of revenue bonds in meeting the required local share of funding for capital projects.
(Sec. 3012) Directs the Secretary to make grants for the study, design, and demonstration of fixed guideway technology and bus technology. Earmarks amounts for such projects in Florida, Texas, Nevada, Massachusetts, California, and for a new Advanced Propulsion Control System in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Sec. 3013) Converts certain existing grant and financial assistance programs to: (1) formula grants and loans for the special needs of elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities; and (2) formula grants for other than urbanized areas.
(Sec. 3015) Authorizes the Secretary to make grants and enter into 50 percent cost-sharing contracts, and cooperative and other agreements, with selected consortia to promote the early deployment of innovation in mass transportation services, management, operational practices, or technology that has broad applicability.
Authorizes the Secretary to establish an international mass transportation program that: (1) informs the U.S. domestic mass transportation community about technological innovations available in the international marketplace; and (2) affords domestic businesses the opportunity to become globally competitive in the export of mass transportation products and services.
Earmarks certain amounts for: (1) the fuel cell powered transit bus program and the intermodal transportation fuel cell bus maintenance facility; and (2) grants for 80 percent of the costs of developing low speed magnetic levitation technology for public transportation in urban areas to demonstrate energy efficiency, congestion mitigation, and safety.
(Sec. 3016) Increases mass transportation funding to help mass transit providers comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
(Sec. 3017) Authorizes National Transit Institute programs to include courses in: (1) architectural design; (2) construction management, insurance, and risk management; (3) innovative finance; and (4) workplace safety.
(Sec. 3019) Increases from 90 percent to 95 percent the Federal share of a project providing bicycle access to mass transportation.
(Sec. 3020) Authorizes the Secretary to allow manufacturers or suppliers of steel, iron, or manufactured goods to correct after bid opening any certification of noncompliance or failure to properly complete a certification (except failure to sign the certification) with respect to Buy American requirements if such manufacturer or supplier attests under penalty of perjury that they submitted an incorrect certification as a result of an inadvertent or clerical error.
Declares that the Federal share of costs shall be 90 percent with respect to the acquisition of clean fuel or alternative fuel vehicle- related equipment for purposes of complying with the Clean Air Act.
Requires that governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations that receive assistance from Government sources (other than the Department of Transportation (DOT)) for nonemergency transportation services: (1) participate and coordinate with recipients of assistance under Federal mass transit law in the design and delivery of transportation services; and (2) be included in the planning for those services.
Authorizes the consolidation into a single document of certain certifications to be submitted to the Secretary.
(Sec. 3021) Directs the Secretary to establish, and report to specified congressional committees on, a pilot program to determine the benefits of using funds from the HTF Mass Transit Account for intercity passenger rail. Authorizes Oklahoma to use such funds for capital improvements to, and operating assistance for, intercity passenger rail service.
(Sec. 3022) Authorizes a mass transportation grant recipient to award a procurement contract to other than the lowest bidder when the award furthers an objective consistent with grant purposes, including improved long-term operating efficiency and lower long-term costs.
(Sec. 3023) Includes among turnkey system projects any project under which a grant recipient enters into a contract with a seller, firm, or consortium of firms to design (as well as, currently, to build) a mass transportation system (or an operable segment) that advances new technologies and lowers capital project costs.
Authorizes an urbanized area formula grant recipient procuring an associated capital maintenance item to contract directly with the original manufacturer or supplier of the item to be replaced, without the Secretary of Transportation's prior approval, if the recipient first certifies to the Secretary in writing that: (1) the manufacturer or supplier is the only source for the item; and (2) the item's price is no more than what similar customers pay for it.
(Sec. 3024) Authorizes the Secretary to provide technical assistance to correct deficiencies identified in compliance reviews and audits of major capital projects with respect to mass transportation. Requires recipients of mass transportation assistance with estimated project total costs of $1 billion or more to submit an annual financial plan to the Secretary.
(Sec. 3025) Authorizes the Secretary to collect fees to cover the costs of training or conferences, including costs of promotional materials, sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration to promote mass transportation and credit amounts collected to the appropriation concerned.
Authorizes the Secretary to allow recipients of mass transportation assistance to sell, transfer, or lease real property, equipment, or supplies acquired with such assistance if: (1) it is no longer needed for mass transportation purposes; and (2) the net income from asset sales, uses, or leases (including lease renewals) is used by the recipient to reduce the gross project cost of other mass transportation capital projects.
(Sec. 3027) Repeals provisions regarding the apportionment of formula grants (formerly, block grants) for operating assistance for mass transportation projects in urbanized areas (effectively eliminating operating assistance for areas over 200,000). Authorizes the Secretary to continue the provision of formula grants to finance the operating costs of equipment and facilities for use in mass transportation in urbanized areas with a population of at least 200,000, if the Secretary determines that: (1) the number of the total bus revenue vehicle-miles operated in or directly serving the area is less than 600,000; and (2) the number of buses operated in or directly serving the area does not exceed 15.
(Sec. 3028) Revises distribution formulas for apportionment of appropriations under the fixed guideway modernization program. Requires inclusion of route segments in specified apportionment formulas.
(Sec. 3029) Authorizes appropriations for FY 1998 through 2003 for various mass transit programs.
(Sec. 3030) Authorizes for final design and construction and alternatives analysis and preliminary engineering specified new fixed guideway systems and extensions to existing guideway systems projects (including the New Orleans-Canal Streetcar, the Dulles Corridor Extension, and the Westlake-Commuter Rail Link) under the New Starts program. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1998 through 2003 for specified mass transit projects.
Authorizes appropriations on a priority basis for certain transit projects for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games. Requires that the Long Island Rail Road East Side Access project be given priority consideration for funding.
Makes eligible for capital investment grants and loans the Huntington, West Virginia Intermodal Facility project and the Huntsville Intermodal Center project.
Amends the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 to direct the Secretary, with respect to the New Jersey Urban Core project, to set aside certain funds for FY 1998 through 2003 for preliminary engineering, design, and construction of: (1) the rail connection between Penn Station, Newark and Broad Street Station, Newark; (2) the Newark-Newark International Airport-Elizabeth Transit Link, including construction of the auxiliary New Jersey Transit station; and (3) the light rail connection and alignment within and serving Elizabeth.
Authorizes the Los Angeles MOS-3 Project to include any fixed guideway project selected by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority for development in the transportation corridors to be served by the three extensions of MOS-3 of the Los Angeles County Metro Rail project. Prescribes criteria for selecting fixed guideway alternatives.
Directs the Secretary, as part of the Baltimore-Washington Transportation Improvements Program, to: (1) carry out 80 percent federally-funded alternatives for double tracking and related improvement projects with respect to the construction of locally preferred alternatives for the Hunt Valley, Baltimore-Washington International Airport, and Penn Station extensions to the light rail line in Baltimore, Maryland; and (2) provide for capacity and efficiency improvements through construction of a Penn-Camden Connection, MARC maintenance and storage facilities, and other capacity related improvements, and the Silver Spring Intermodal Center.
(Sec. 3031) Earmarks capital investment grant and loan amounts for FY 1999 and 2000 for specified bus and bus-related facilities.
(Sec. 3032) Directs the Secretary to enter into an agreement with the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences to study (for a report to specified congressional committees on) the effect of contracting out mass transportation operation and administrative functions on cost, availability and level of service, efficiency, safety, quality of services provided to transit-dependent populations, and employer-employee relations. Authorizes appropriations.
(Sec. 3033) Directs the Secretary to study, and report to specified congressional committees, on: (1) whether the formula for apportioning specified funds to urbanized areas accurately reflects their transit needs; and, if not, (2) whether any changes should be made either to the formula or through some other mechanism to reflect the fact that some urbanized areas with a population between 50,000 and 200,000 have transit systems that carry more passengers per mile or hour than the average of those transit systems in urbanized areas with a population over 200,000.
(Sec. 3034) Directs the Comptroller General to study and report to specified congressional committees on Federal agencies (other than DOT) that receive Federal financial assistance for non-emergency transportation services.
(Sec. 3035) Requires all buses manufactured on or after September 1, 1999, that are purchased with Federal Trade Administration (FTA) assistance to conform with FTA Guidance on Buy America Requirements, dated March 18, 1997.
(Sec. 3036) Directs the Comptroller General to study and report to specified congressional committees on the various low and zero emission fuel technologies for transit vehicles.
(Sec. 3037) Establishes a job access and reverse commute grants program. Authorizes the Secretary to make grants, on a competitive basis, to qualified entities for up to 50 percent of the costs of projects to develop transportation services to transport welfare recipients and eligible low-income individuals, and residents of urban areas, urbanized areas, and areas other than urbanized areas, to and from jobs and employment-related activities (including suburban employment opportunities). Authorizes appropriations, with specified allocations for different areas.
(Sec. 3038) Directs the Secretary to make grants, on a competitive basis, to operators of over-the-road buses for up to 50 percent of the costs of projects to finance the incremental capital and training costs of complying with DOT's final rule regarding accessibility of over-the-road buses required under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Authorizes appropriations for the rural transportation accessibility incentive program for FY 1999 through 2003 for operators of intercity, fixed-route over-the-road bus service (including operators of other over-the-road bus service) to finance the incremental capital and training costs of DOT's final rules regarding accessibility of over-the-road buses.
(Sec. 3039) Directs the Secretary to study and report to specified congressional committees on alternative transportation needs in national parks and related public lands managed by Federal land management agencies in order to conserve natural, historical, and cultural resources and prevent adverse impact, relieve congestion, reduce pollution, and enhance visitor mobility and accessibility and the visitor experience.
(Sec. 3040) Sets obligation ceilings for FY 1999 through 2003.
(Sec. 3041) Provides for the adjustment of amounts apportioned to each urbanized area for fixed guideway modernization for FY 1998.
Title IV: Motor Carrier Safety
- Amends Federal transportation law to provide for performance-based grants to States for: (1) improving motor carrier safety; and (2) enforcing regulations for hazardous materials transportation safety. Requires State plans under such grants to: (1) implement performance-based activities by FY 2000; and (2) ensure, among other things, that roadside inspections will be conducted at a location adequate to protect the safety of drivers and enforcement personnel.
(Sec. 4003) Makes 100 percent the Federal share of public education activities with respect to commercial motor vehicle safety programs and enforcement.
Authorizes appropriations for commercial motor vehicle safety programs for FY 1998 through 2003. Revises allocation criteria to authorize the Secretary to designate up to certain percentages of such amounts for States, local governments, and other persons for carrying out: (1) discretionary high priority activities that improve commercial motor vehicle safety and compliance with commercial motor vehicle safety regulations; and (2) discretionary border commercial motor vehicle safety programs and enforcement activities.
(Sec. 4004) Changes from discretionary to mandatory the Secretary's authority to establish motor carrier, commercial motor vehicle, and driver information systems and data analysis programs to support safety regulatory and enforcement activities. Requires such information systems, in cooperation with the States, to be coordinated into a network providing accurate identification of motor carriers and drivers, commercial motor vehicle registration and license tracking, and motor carrier, commercial motor vehicle, and driver safety performance data.
Specifies the objectives of data analysis capacity and programs the Secretary shall develop.
Directs the Secretary to include, as part of the motor carrier information system, a performance and registration information program that acts as a clearinghouse of information related to State registration and licensing of commercial motor vehicles, the registrants of such vehicles, and the motor carriers operating such vehicles.
Authorizes the Secretary to establish a program to improve commercial motor vehicle driver safety.
Provides FY 1998 through 2003 contract authority funding for the information systems and data analysis program. Repeals the existing truck and bus accident grant program.
(Sec. 4007) Revises specified waiver authority to authorize the Secretary to grant a waiver of, or exemption from, Federal commercial motor vehicle and motor carrier safety regulations, as well as related pilot programs, if it is in the public interest and is likely to achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained in its absence. Limits waivers, in scope and circumstances, to: (1) a period of three months; (2) nonemergency and unique events; and (3) any conditions the Secretary may impose.
Authorizes the Secretary to carry out pilot programs to evaluate alternatives to regulations relating to, or innovative approaches to, motor carrier, commercial motor vehicle, and driver safety.
(Sec. 4008) Redefines "commercial motor vehicle" to mean, among other things, a vehicle that: (1) has a gross vehicle weight of at least 10,001 pounds; and (2) is designed or used to transport more than eight passengers (including the driver) for compensation.
Revises the requirement for State submission of commercial motor vehicle safety laws and regulations to the Secretary for review. Repeals the mandate for the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Regulatory Review Panel.
(Sec. 4009) Revises provisions relating to safety fitness determinations of owners and operators of commercial motor vehicles to direct the Secretary to: (1) determine the fitness of an owner or operator to operate commercial motor vehicles safely; (2) periodically update and make available to the public such safety fitness determinations; and (3) prescribe by regulation penalties for violations.
Prohibits motor carriers, including passenger and hazardous material carriers, which fail to meet safety fitness requirements from operating in interstate commerce. Prohibits Federal agencies from using for transportation service any owner or operator determined unfit, until the Secretary determines such owner or operator is fit.
(Sec. 4010) Repeals certain requirements for: (1) procedures to ensure timely correction of safety violations; and (2) compliance review priority.
(Sec. 4011) Declares that an individual may: (1) operate a commercial motor vehicle only with a valid commercial driver's license (CDL); and (2) have only one driver's license at any time.
Requires each CDL issued after January 1, 2001, to include unique identifiers to minimize fraud and duplication.
Repeals the Secretary's discretionary authority to contract out for the operation of a CDL information system. Requires the Secretary to maintain the system directly.
Repeals current authority for grants to States for: (1) testing and ensuring the fitness of operators of commercial motor vehicles; and (2) issuing CDLs and complying with State participation requirements.
(Sec. 4012) Exempts drivers of utility service vehicles during emergency periods from certain maximum driving and on-duty times and recordkeeping regulations, together with installation of related equipment. Declares that certain Federal commercial motor vehicle safety, maintenance, and driver license renewal requirements shall continue to apply.
(Sec. 4013) Repeals the mandate for a working group of State and local government officials with respect to the International Registration Plan and International Fuel Tax Agreement. Repeals the authority for grants to States and appropriate persons to facilitate participation in such Plan and Agreement, as well as the authorization of appropriations for the program.
(Sec. 4014) Declares that no action or proceeding for defamation, invasion of privacy, or interference with a contract that is based on the furnishing or use of safety performance records in accordance with DOT regulations may be brought against: (1) a motor carrier requesting the safety performance records of an individual under consideration for employment as a commercial motor vehicle driver as required by and in accordance with regulations issued by the Secretary; (2) a person who has complied with such a request; or (3) the agents or insurers of such persons.
Directs the Secretary, as part of a certain rulemaking, to amend specified regulations regarding information on the safety performance history of new drivers, to: (1) provide protection for driver privacy; and (2) establish procedures for review, correction, and rebuttal of the safety performance records of a commercial motor vehicle driver.
(Sec. 4015) Revises civil penalties for violations of Federal law with respect to commercial motor vehicle safety.
(Sec. 4016) Declares that Federal preemption of interstate and intrastate transportation regulation shall not restrict the safety regulatory authority of a State with respect to motor vehicles, imposition of highway route controls or limitations based on the size or weight of the motor vehicle, or regulation of carriers with regard to minimum amounts of financial responsibility relating to insurance requirements and self-insurance authorization.
(Sec. 4017) Directs the Secretary to establish a nationwide toll-free telephone system for drivers of commercial motor vehicles and others to report potential violations of Federal motor carrier safety regulations.
(Sec. 4018) Directs the Secretary to determine whether a practicable and cost-effective screening, operating, and monitoring protocol could likely be developed for insulin-treated diabetes mellitus individuals who want to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce that would ensure a level of safety equal to or greater than that achieved with the current prohibition against operation of such vehicles by such individuals.
Requires the Secretary to compile, evaluate, and report to Congress on research and other information on the effects of insulin treated diabetes mellitus on driving performance.
(Sec. 4019) Requires the Secretary to: (1) review State procedures to determine if the current system for testing is an accurate measure and reflection of an individual's knowledge and skills as an operator of a commercial motor vehicle; and (2) identify methods to improve testing and licensing standards, including identifying the benefits and costs of a graduated licensing system. Requires issuance of regulations reflecting the results of such review.
(Sec. 4020) Requires the Secretary to study and report to Congress on: (1) the feasibility of using law enforcement officers to conduct post-accident alcohol testing of commercial motor vehicle operators as a method of obtaining more timely information; and (2) the impact of the current post-accident alcohol testing requirements on motor carrier employers, including any burden that employers may encounter in meeting the testing requirements.
(Sec. 4021) Requires the Secretary to: (1) encourage the research, development, and demonstration of technologies that may aid in reducing the fatigue of commercial motor vehicle operators; and (2) review available information on the effects of medications (including antihistamines) on driver fatigue and performance, and consider encouraging, if appropriate, the use of nonsedating medications (including nonsedating antihistamines) as a means of reducing the adverse effects of the use of other medications by drivers.
(Sec. 4022) Directs the Secretary to carry out a pilot program in cooperation with one or more States to: (1) improve upon the timely exchange of pertinent driver performance and safety records data to motor carriers; and (2) determine to what extent such data, including relevant fines, penalties, and failures to appear for a hearing or trial, should be included as part of any information systems under DOT oversight.
(Sec. 4023) Directs the Secretary to report to specified congressional committees on the effectiveness of certain existing statutory commercial motor carrier employee protections, including recommendations to address any changes necessary to strengthen their enforcement.
(Sec. 4024) Directs the Secretary to initiate a rulemaking to determine whether or not current commercial motor carrier safety regulations should apply to all interstate school transportation operations by local educational agencies.
(Sec. 4025) Directs the Secretary to issue a final rule regarding the conspicuity of trailers manufactured before December 1, 1993. Requires the Secretary of Transportation, in conducting such rulemaking, to consider: (1) the cost-effectiveness of any requirement to retrofit such trailers; (2) the extent to which motor carriers have voluntarily taken steps to increase equipment visibility; and (3) regulatory flexibility to accommodate differing trailer designs and configurations, such as tank trucks.
(Sec. 4026) Directs the Secretary to assess the scope of the problem of shippers, freight forwarders, brokers, consignees, or other persons (other than rail carriers, motor carriers, motor carriers of migrant workers, or motor private carriers) encouraging violations of Federal motor carrier laws. Authorizes the Secretary, after completing the assessment, to submit to the Congress a DOT plan for implementing authority to investigate and bring civil actions to enforce such laws.
(Sec. 4027) Directs the Secretary to study the location and quantity of parking facilities at commercial truck stops, travel plazas, and public rest areas that could be used by motor carriers to comply with Federal hours-of-service rules. Provides funding for such study.
(Sec. 4028) Directs the Secretary to review: (1) the qualifications of any foreign motor carrier that applied to operate in the United States, but whose application has not been processed due to the moratorium on granting authority to operate here; and (2) the carrier's ability to comply with applicable U.S. laws and regulations. Requires a related report to specified congressional committees.
(Sec. 4029) Requires DOT to maintain at least the number of Federal motor carrier safety inspectors for international border commercial vehicle inspections as on September 30, 1997, or provide for alternative resources and mechanisms to ensure at least an equivalent level of commercial motor vehicle safety inspections.
(Sec. 4030) Directs the Secretary to enter into an agreement with the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences to study and report to specified congressional committees on the safety issues attendant to the transportation of school children to and from school and school-related activities by various transportation modes. Authorizes appropriations for FY 2000 and 2001.
(Sec. 4031) Designates a New Mexico Commercial Zone, consisting of Dona Ana and Luna Counties, which shall be exempt from the jurisdiction of the Secretary and the Surface Transportation Board with respect to motor carrier transportation. Requires New Mexico to submit to the Secretary a plan describing how it will monitor commercial motor vehicle traffic and enforce safety regulations.
(Sec. 4032) Directs the Secretary to study, and report to the Congress on, the effects of reductions of Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) grants due to nonconformity of State intrastate motor carrier, commercial motor vehicle, and driver requirements with Federal interstate requirements. Authorizes the Secretary to adjust State MCSAP allocations to reflect the results of the study.
Title V: Transportation Research - Subtitle A: Funding
- Authorizes appropriations from HTF for FY 1998 through 2003 for: (1) surface transportation research; (2) a technology deployment program; (3) training and education; (4) the Bureau of Transportation Statistics; (5) Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) standards, research, operational tests, and development; (6) ITS deployment; and (7) university transportation research. Allocates funds within those categories.
(Sec. 5002) Sets obligation ceilings.
(Sec. 5003) Requires notice to specified congressional committees of any reprogramming of funds or program reorganization.
Subtitle B: Research and Technology
- Defines: (1) "Federal laboratory" to include a Government-owned, Government-operated, and a Government-owned, contractor-operated, laboratory; and (2) "safety" to include highway and traffic safety systems, research, and development relating to vehicle, highway, driver, passenger, bicyclist, and pedestrian characteristics, accident investigations, communications, emergency medical care, and transportation of the injured.
(Sec. 5102) Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) carry out research, development, and technology transfer activities with respect to motor carrier transportation, all phases of transportation planning and development, and the effect of State laws on such activities; and (2) test, develop, or assist in testing and developing any material, invention, patented article, or process.
Authorizes the Secretary to carry out, on a cost-shared basis, collaborative research and development (R&D) with non-Federal entities and with Federal laboratories. Limits the Federal cost share of activities carried out under a cooperative R&D agreement to 50 percent, except if there is a substantial public interest or benefit.
Requires the Secretary to include in surface transportation research, technology development, and technology transfer programs coordinated activities in areas including: (1) development, use, and dissemination of indicators to measure the performance of surface transportation systems of the United States; (2) methods, materials, and testing to improve the durability of surface transportation infrastructure facilities and extend the life of bridge structures; (3) technologies that practices that reduce costs and minimize disruptions associated with the construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance of surface transportation systems, including responses to natural disasters; (4) development of nondestructive evaluation equipment for use with existing infrastructure facilities and with next-generation infrastructure facilities that use advanced materials; and (5) telecommuting and the linkages between transportation, information technology, and community development and the impact of technological change and economic restructuring on travel demand.
Directs the Secretary to: (1) establish an advanced research program that addresses longer-term, higher-risk research that shows potential benefits for improving the durability, efficiency, environmental impact, productivity, and safety of highway and intermodal transportation systems; (2) complete the long-term pavement performance program tests initiated under the strategic highway research program and continued by ISTEA through the midpoint of a planned 20-year life of the long-term pavement performance program; (3) establish a program to study the vulnerability of the Federal-aid highway system and other surface transportation systems to seismic activity and to develop and implement cost-effective methods to reduce such vulnerability; and (4) report to specified congressional committees on estimates of future U.S. highway and bridge needs and the backlog of current needs.
(Sec. 5103) Requires the Secretary to: (1) develop and administer a national technology deployment initiatives and partnerships program to accelerate the adoption of innovative technologies; (2) establish and carry out a program to demonstrate the application of innovative material technology in the construction of bridges and other structures; (3) operate in the Federal Highway Administration a National Highway Institute to administer authority vested in the Secretary and to conduct highway education and training programs; (4) carry out a local technical assistance program that will provide access to surface transportation technology to highway and transportation agencies in urbanized areas with populations of between 50,000 and one million individuals, to highway and transportation agencies in rural areas, and to contractors that do work for the agencies; and (5) establish and implement a Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program.
(Sec. 5105) Makes two percent of sums apportioned to a State for FY 1998 and thereafter available for expenditure for: (1) engineering and economic surveys and investigations; (2) planning of future highway programs, local public transportation systems, and their financing; (3) development and implementation of management systems; (4) studies of the economy, safety, and convenience of surface transportation systems and the desirable regulation and equitable taxation of such systems; (5) research, development, and technology transfer activities necessary in connection with the planning, design, construction, management, and maintenance of highway, public transportation, and intermodal transportation systems; and (6) study, research, and training on engineering standards and construction materials for transportation systems.
Directs that not less than 25 percent of funds subject to such provision that are apportioned to a State for a fiscal year be expended by the State for research, development, and technology transfer activities relating to highway, public transportation, and intermodal transportation systems, subject to a waiver. Sets forth Federal cost share provisions.
(Sec. 5106) Authorizes the Secretary to establish an international highway transportation outreach program to: (1) inform the U.S. highway community of technological innovations in foreign countries that could significantly improve highway transportation in the United States; (2) promote U.S. highway transportation expertise, goods, and services in foreign countries; and (3) increase transfers of U.S. highway transportation technology to foreign countries.
Directs the Secretary to: (1) establish and carry out a surface transportation-environment cooperative research program; and (2) establish an advisory board to recommend environmental and energy conservation research, technology, and technology transfer activities related to surface transportation.
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to, and enter into cooperative agreements with, the National Academy of Sciences to carry out appropriate activities relating to research, technology, and technology transfer activities.
(Sec. 5108) Directs the Secretary to: (1) establish a strategic planning process for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to determine national transportation research and technology development priorities related to surface transportation; (2) coordinate Federal surface transportation research and technology development activities; (3) measure the results of those activities and how they impact the performance of U.S. surface transportation systems; (4) ensure that planning and reporting activities herein are coordinated with all other surface transportation planning and reporting requirements; (5) develop an integrated surface transportation research and technology development strategic plan; (6) report to the Congress on competitive merit review procedures for use in selecting grantees and contractors in the programs covered by such plan; and (7) develop model procurement procedures that encourage the use of advanced technologies, and model transactions for carrying out and coordinating Federal and State surface transportation research and technology development activities.
(Sec. 5109) Expands the list of topics to be covered by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), including transportation-related variables influencing global competitiveness.
Requires the Director of BTS to: (1) establish and maintain a transportation data base for all modes of transportation and a National Transportation Library; and (2) develop and maintain geospatial data bases that depict transportation networks, flows of people, goods, vehicles, and craft over the networks and social, economic, and environmental conditions that affect or are affected by the networks.
Authorizes the Secretary to make specified research and development grants, including for development of electronic clearinghouses of transportation data and related information, as part of the National Transportation Library.
Sets forth provisions regarding prohibited disclosures and disposition of proceeds of data product sales.
(Sec. 5110) Directs the Secretary to make grants to nonprofit institutions of higher learning to establish and operate: (1) one university transportation center in each of the ten United States Government regions that comprise the Standard Federal Regional Boundary System; and (2) additional university centers to address transportation management and R&D matters, with special attention to increasing the number of highly skilled individuals entering the transportation field.
Requires the Secretary to coordinate the research, education, training, and technology transfer activities that grant recipients carry out, disseminate the results of the research, and establish and operate a clearinghouse. Requires at least annual program review and evaluation.
Sets forth provisions regarding selection criteria, the Federal share, the number and amount of grants according to identified groups of universities or centers.
(Sec. 5111) Directs the Secretary to: (1) encourage and promote the research, development, and deployment of transportation technologies that will use technological advances in multimodal vehicles, vehicle components, environmental technologies, and related infrastructure to remove impediments to an efficient, safe, and cost- effective national transportation system; (2) make a grant to, or enter into a cooperative agreement or contract with, the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study to determine the goals, purposes research agenda and projects, administrative structure, and fiscal needs for a new strategic highway research program; and (3) establish and carry out a program to validate commercial remote sensing products and spatial information technologies for application to national transportation infrastructure development and construction.
(Sec. 5114) Urges the Secretary to: (1) give high priority to correcting all two-digit date-related problems in DOT computer systems to ensure that the systems continue to operate effectively in the year 2000 and thereafter; (2) immediately assess the extent of the risk to DOT operations and plan and budget for achieving year 2000 compliance for all DOT mission-critical systems; and (3) develop contingency plans for those systems that the Secretary is unable to correct in time.
(Sec. 5115) Requires the Director to carry out a study to: (1) measure the ton-miles and value-miles of international trade traffic carried by highway for each State; (2) evaluate the accuracy and reliability of such measures for use in the formula for highway apportionments and of the use of diesel fuel data as a measure of international trade traffic by State; and (3) identify needed improvements in long-term data collection programs to provide accurate and reliable measures of international traffic for use in the formula for highway apportionments. Sets forth reporting requirements.
(Sec. 5116) Directs the Secretary to make grants to: (1) the University of California at San Diego to upgrade earthquake simulation facilities at the University; (2) the University of Alabama at Huntsville for global climate research; (3) Auburn University for asphalt research; (4) the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa for advanced vehicle research, including the study of fuel cell and electric vehicle technology; (5) Oklahoma State University for research, development, and field testing of the Geothermal Heat Pump Smart Bridge Program; (6) the University of Oklahoma for research, development, and field testing of the Intelligent Stiffener for Bridge Stress Reduction; (7) the University of Alabama at Birmingham for the study of advanced trauma care; (8) Calspan University of Buffalo Research Center to establish and maintain a center for transportation injury research; and (9) the Neuroscience Center for Excellence at Louisiana State University and the Virginia Transportation Research Institute at George Washington University for research and technology development for preventing and minimizing head and spinal cord injuries relating to automobile accidents.
(Sec. 5117) Directs the Secretary to: (1) expand and continue a study relating to the development of a motor vehicle safety warning system and test such system; (2) conduct research on deployment of a system of advanced sensors and signal processors in trucks and tractor trailers; (3) carry out a program to advance the deployment of an operational intelligent transportation infrastructure system for measuring various transportation system activities to aid in transportation planning and analysis while making a significant contribution to the ITS program; (4) make a grant to conduct a study on the costs and benefits of corrosion control and prevention; (5) continue to carry out or expand ISTEA provisions regarding fundamental properties of asphalts and modified asphalts; (6) make grants to the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute to establish an advanced traffic monitoring and emergency response center at Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; (7) continue development and deployment through the New Jersey Institute of Technology to MPOs of the Transportation Economic and Land Use System; (8) establish at the University of New Hampshire a research program to be known as the Recycled Materials Resource Center; and (9) establish the Intelligent Infrastructure Institute at Drexel University, Pennsylvania, to conduct activities to advance infrastructure research.
Subtitle C: Intelligent Transportation Systems
- Intelligent Transportation Systems Act of 1998 - Sets forth findings, goals, and purposes regarding ITS.
Directs the Secretary to: (1) conduct an ongoing ITS program to research, develop, and operationally test ITS and advance nationwide deployment of such systems as a component of U.S. surface transportation systems; (2) maintain a repository for technical and safety data collected as a result of federally sponsored projects carried out under this subtitle and make that information readily available upon request (except for proprietary information and date) to users at an appropriate costs; (3) develop and appropriate technical assistance and guidance to assist State and local agencies in evaluating and selecting appropriate methods of procurement for ITS projects carried out using funds made available from HTF; and (4) issue guidelines and requirements for the evaluation of operational tests and deployment projects carried out under this subtitle.
(Sec. 5205) Requires the Secretary to: (1) maintain and update, as necessary, the National ITS Program Plan developed by DOT and the Intelligent Transportation Society of America; and (2) develop, implement, and maintain a national architecture and supporting standards and protocols to promote the widespread use and evaluation of ITS technology as a component of U.S. surface transportation systems. Sets forth provisions regarding reporting requirements, provisional standards and waivers, and conformance with national architecture.
Directs the Federal Communications Commission to consider spectrum needs for the operation of ITS and to complete a rulemaking considering the allocation of spectrum for ITS by January 1, 2000.
(Sec. 5207) Requires the Secretary to carry out a comprehensive program of ITS research, development, and operational tests of intelligent vehicles and intelligent infrastructure systems and similar activities necessary to carry out this subtitle. Lists funding priorities and the Federal cost share.
(Sec. 5208) Directs the Secretary to conduct a comprehensive program to accelerate the integration and interoperability of ITS in metropolitan and rural areas. Sets forth provisions regarding project selection, fiscal year and funding limitations, funding for rural areas, and the Federal share.
Requires the Secretary to: (1) encourage multistate cooperative agreements, coalitions, or other arrangements intended to promote regional cooperation, planning, and shared project implementation for ITS projects; and (2) make grants to the State of Wisconsin to continue ITS activities in the corridor serving the Greater Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Chicago, Illinois, and Gary, Indiana areas and other areas of the State; and (3) make grants to certain States to continue ITS activities in the northeast.
(Sec. 5209) Directs the Secretary to carry out a comprehensive program to deploy ITS that improve the safety and productivity of commercial vehicles and drivers and reduce costs associated with commercial vehicle operations and Federal and State commercial vehicle regulatory requirements. Sets forth provisions regarding priority areas, leveraging of Federal funds, and the Federal share.
(Sec. 5210) Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) limits on the use of ITS funds for outreach, public relations, displays, scholarships, tours, and brochures; (2) infrastructure development; and (3) life cycle cost analysis, and a multiyear financing and operations plan.
(Sec. 5212) Directs the Secretary to: (1) conduct research on improved methods of deploying and integrating existing ITS projects to include hazardous materials monitoring systems across various modes of transportation; (2) continue to support the Urban Consortium's ITS outreach and technology transfer activities; and (3) make grants to the Texas Transportation Institute to continue the Translink Research Program.
(Sec. 5213) Repeals the Intermodal Transportation Systems Act of 1991.
Title VI: Ozone and Particulate Matter Standards
- Directs the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to fund through grants to States under the Clean Air Act 100 percent of the cost of the establishment, by December 31, 1999, of a particulate matter monitoring network to implement the PM2.5 ozone national ambient air quality standards established in July, 1997. Requires State Governors to designate areas of attainment or nonattainment with respect to such air standards within one year after receipt of three years of air quality monitoring data.
Title VII: Miscellaneous - Subtitle A: Automobile Safety and Information
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Reauthorization Act of 1998 - Amends Federal motor vehicle safety law to reauthorize appropriations for motor vehicle safety and information activities of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for FY 1999 through 2001.
(Sec. 7103) Directs the Secretary of Transportation to issue a final rule by September 1, 1999 (unless it is determined that it cannot be completed by that date, in which case no later than March 1, 2000), to improve occupant protection for occupants of different sizes, belted and unbelted, under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208, while minimizing the risks to infants, children, and other occupants from injuries and deaths caused by air bags, by means that include advanced air bags.
(Sec. 7104) Prohibits the use of such funds for any (lobbying) activity specifically designated to urge a State or local legislator to favor or oppose the adoption of any specific legislative proposal pending before a State or local legislature. States that this prohibition does not prohibit U.S. officers or employees from testifying before such legislatures in response to the invitation of member of the legislature or State executive office.
(Sec. 7105) Applies specified mileage disclosure requirements to all transfers of motor vehicles (not exempted by the Secretary), except in the case of transfers of new motor vehicles from a vehicle manufacturer jointly to a dealer and a person engaged in the business of renting or leasing vehicles for a period of 30 days or less. Authorizes the Secretary to exempt from such mileage disclosure requirements any classes or categories of vehicles the Secretary deems appropriate.
(Sec. 7106) Considers retailers of motor vehicle equipment to be dealers in order to subject them to the prohibition against the sale of defective equipment.
Repeals specified tire labeling requirements.
Changes from biannual to annual the Secretary's mandatory report on the effectiveness of occupant restraint systems.
Amends the American Automobile Labeling Act to: (1) include the assembly and labor costs incurred for the final assembly of engines and transmissions within the engine and transmission "country of origin" determination; and (2) exclude from the definition of "final assembly place" facilities for engine and transmission fabrication and assembly and for fabrication of motor vehicle equipment component parts which are produced at the same final assembly place using forming processes such as stamping, machining, or molding processes.
Requires suppliers to report domestic content (U.S.-Canadian origin) of parts manufactured by outside suppliers to the nearest five percent, subject to specified requirements.
Authorizes a manufacturer to: (1) add to the required label a line stating the country in which vehicle assembly was completed; (2) display separately on the required label, after the required matter, the domestic content of a vehicle based on the country in which the assembly plant is located; and (3) make its own good faith value added determinations (subject to certain limitations), including determinations regarding the content of up to ten percent of the vehicle's parts.
Considers the country of origin of specified small parts installed in a vehicle to be the country in which such parts were included in the vehicle's final assembly.
Directs NHTSA to study and report to specified congressional committees on the benefits to motor vehicle drivers of a regulation to require the installation of an interior device to release the trunk lid.
(Sec. 7107) Reinstates NHTSA's authority to exempt certain motor vehicles imported for the purpose of show or display from certain applicable motor vehicle safety standards.
Subtitle B: Railroads
- Amends Federal railroad law to authorize appropriations for FY 1998 through 2001 for high-speed rail technology activities (including corridor planning).
(Sec. 7202) Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to States that have State rail plans to fund light density rail line pilot projects. Directs the Secretary to study and report to the Congress on the pilot projects to determine the public interest benefits associated with the light density railroad networks in the States and their contribution to a multimodal transportation system.
Authorizes appropriations for FY 1998 through 2003.
(Sec. 7203) Amends the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 to authorize the Secretary to provide direct loans and loan guarantees to State and local governments, government- sponsored authorities and corporations, railroads, and joint ventures that include at least one railroad. Authorizes the use of such loans and loan guarantees (except for railroad operating expenses) to: (1) acquire, improve, or rehabilitate intermodal or rail equipment or facilities, including track, components of track, bridges, yards, buildings, and shops; (2) refinance outstanding debt incurred with respect to such activities; and (3) develop or establish new intermodal or railroad facilities. Sets forth direct loan and loan guarantee requirements.
(Sec. 7204) Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to the Alaska Railroad for capital rehabilitation of and improvements to its passenger services.
Authorizes appropriations for FY 1998 through 2003.
Subtitle C: Comprehensive One-Call Notification
- Amends Federal transportation law to provide for the establishment of a State one-call notification program to protect underground facilities from excavation damage. Outlines required elements of the program, including minimum standards. Authorizes a State to maintain an alternative one-call notification program if it provides protection for public safety, excavators, and the environment that is equivalent to, or greater than, protection under a program that meets the minimum standards of this Act.
(Sec. 7302) Directs the Secretary to study damage prevention practices associated with existing one-call notification systems in order to determine which systems practices appear to be the most effective in protecting the public, excavators, and the environment and in preventing disruptions to public services and damage to underground facilities.
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to assist qualifying States in improving their one-call notification programs.
Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 through 2001.
Subtitle D: Sportfishing and Boating Safety
- Sportfishing and Boating Safety Act of 1998 - Amends the Act popularly known as the Federal Aid in Fish Restoration Act to earmark for FY 1999 through 2003 specified amounts of fish restoration and management project funds for the National Outreach and Communications Program. Increases: (1) the regional average that States must allocate from project funds for certain recreational boating purposes; and (2) the State allocation for aquatic resource education, outreach, and communications (currently, for aquatic resource education and outreach) programs.
(Sec. 7402) Directs the Secretary of the Interior to develop and implement a national plan for outreach and communications. Requires States to develop State plans.
(Sec. 7403) Requires that specified funds remaining after the initial annual distribution of fish restoration and management project funds for FY 1999 through 2003 be used for: (1) grants to coastal States for pumpout stations and waste reception facilities under the Clean Vessel Act of 1992; (2) State recreational boating safety programs; and (3) matching grants to States for the cost of constructing, renovating, or maintaining facilities for transient nontrailerable recreational vessels.
(Sec. 7404) Directs the Secretary of the Interior to adopt a national framework for a public boat access needs assessment. Requires each participating State to conduct the assessment unless the Secretary of the Interior certifies that it is implementing a plan that ensures adequate access. Allows States to fund the assessments from amounts dedicated to access to recreational waters under existing provisions.
Authorizes a State, after submitting a survey to the Secretary of the Interior, to develop and submit a plan for construction, renovation, and maintenance of public facilities for transient nontrailerable recreational vessels.
Mandates matching grants to States for up to 75 percent of the cost of such facilities.
(Sec. 7405) Amends Federal boating safety law to revise requirements for Federal funding of State recreational boating safety programs. Earmarks funds for the payment of expenses of the Coast Guard for personnel and activities directly related to carrying out the national recreational boating safety program, including a specified sum only to ensure compliance with Federal safety standards for recreational vessels and related equipment. Reduces the period of availability of State allocations of recreational boating safety funds from three years to two years after the date of allocation.
Title VIII: Transportation Discretionary Spending Guarantee and Budget Offsets - Subtitle A: Transportation Discretionary Spending Guarantee
- Amends the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act) to establish maximum discretionary spending outlays for FY 1999 through 2003 for highways and mass transit.
(Sec. 1801) Reduces discretionary spending limits in new budget authority and outlays for FY 1999 through 2003 for nondefense and discretionary spending categories.
Directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to make specified adjustments to the receipts and outlays of the highway and mass transit categories of the President's budget (including outyear) for FY 1998 through 2003.
(Sec. 8102) Prohibits the Director of OMB from making any estimates of changes in direct spending outlays and receipts for any fiscal year resulting from this title.
(Sec. 8103) Sets forth the sum of budget authority and obligation limits for FY 1999 through 2003 for the highway and mass transit categories (as provided in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century).
Subtitle B: Veterans' Benefits
- Veterans Benefits Act of 1998 - Amends Federal veterans law to prohibit payment of compensation for a service-connected disability if the disability results from the use of tobacco products.
(Sec. 8203) Increases (by 20 percent) the rates of veterans' basic educational assistance.
(Sec. 8204) Increases by specified amounts: (1) assistance for specially adapted housing; (2) assistance for automobile and adaptive equipment for certain disabled veterans; and (3) aid and attendance rates for veterans eligible for a pension.
(Sec. 8207) Declares that the remarriage of the surviving spouse of a veteran shall not bar the furnishing of dependency and indemnity compensation to such person as the veteran's surviving spouse if the remarriage is terminated by death, divorce, or annulment, unless the Secretary determines that the divorce or annulment was secured through fraud or collusion.
(Sec. 8208) Extends to any payment of disability compensation between December 5, 1991, and September 30, 1996, the exclusion of withheld Federal tax from the amount deducted from such disability compensation for any separation pay under the special separation benefits program that was made during such period.
(Sec. 8209) Declares that it is the sense of the Congress: (1) that the Attorney General or the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, as appropriate, should take all steps necessary to recover from tobacco companies amounts corresponding to the costs which would be incurred by the Department of Veterans Affairs for treatment of tobacco-related illnesses of veterans, if such treatment were authorized by law; and (2) that the Congress should authorize by law the treatment of tobacco-related illnesses of veterans upon the recovery of such amounts.
Subtitle C: Temporary Student Loan Provision
- Amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 to prescribe temporary interest rates for new Federal Family Education (FFEL) Loans disbursed between July 1 and October 1, 1998. Caps the interest rate for student loans during such period at 8.25 and for PLUS loans at 9 percent.
(Sec. 8301) Prescribes formulae for temporary special allowances paid on loans disbursed between July 1 and October 1, 1998.
Subtitle D: Block Grants for Social Services
- Amends title XX (Block Grants to States for Social Services) of the Social Security Act (SSA) to reduce: (1) from $2.38 billion to $1.7 billion the appropriations authorized for such grants for FY 2001 and 2002; and (2) from $2.8 billion to $1.7 billion the appropriations authorized for such grants for FY 2003 and each succeeding fiscal year.
(Sec. 8401) Amends SSA title IV part A (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) (TANF) to reduce from ten percent to 4.25 percent for FY 2001 and each succeeding fiscal year the amount of any State family assistance grant which a State may transfer to title XX programs.
Title IX: Amendments of Internal Revenue Code of 1986
- Surface Transportation Revenue Act of 1998 - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to extend Highway Trust Fund excise taxes and certain motor fuels exemptions for six years.
(Sec. 903) Extends alcohol fuel tax benefit related provisions for seven years. Reduces the credit for ethanol blenders.
(Sec. 904) Provides for the determination of Highway Trust Fund and Mass Transit Fund balances after September 30, 1998. Places a specified limitation on Highway Trust Fund transfers, with an exception for obligations entered into prior to October 1, 2003.
(Sec. 905) Revises provisions concerning the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, including extending through September 30, 2003: (1) transfers of certain motorboat fuel tax revenues to the Boat Safety Account and Wetlands sub-Account; and (2) expenditure authority for the Boat Safety Account.
(Sec. 906) Repeals the 1.25 cents-per-gallon tax rate on fuel for trains.
(Sec. 907) Amends the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 to expand the definition of qualified expenses for which non-Amtrak States may use funds received due Amtrak's use of certain net operating losses.
(Sec. 908) Delays the effective date of certain provisions concerning diesel or kerosene terminals.
(Sec. 909) Sets forth provisions concerning fuel tax refund procedures.
(Sec. 910) Allows an employee to choose to receive taxable cash compensation in lieu of nontaxable qualified transportation fringe benefits. Increases and indexes the exclusion for transit passes and vanpooling.
(Sec. 911) Eliminates the National Recreational Trails Trust Fund.
(Sec. 912) States that for purposes of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 concerning the line item veto the Joint Committee on Taxation has determined that this title does not contain any limited tax benefit.
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Bill titles: To authorize funds for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs, and for other purposes.; Federal Transit Act of 1998; Intelligent Transportation Systems Act of 1998; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Reauthorization Act of 1998; Sportfishing and Boating Safety Act of 1998; Surface Transportation Revenue Act of 1998; Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 1998; Veterans Benefits Act of 1998
Links for more info on the vote: congress.gov