News bits: Transportation secretary visits Garland, DART bus maker on week-long tour

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx last week completed an eight-state tour calling for a replacement of the soon-to-expire MAP-21 transportation bill.

One of Foxx’s stops was the NABI Bus manufacturing facility in Anniston, Al. NABI is the manufacturer of DART’s newest generation of buses that were introduced last year.

Foxx wrapped up the bus tour with a news conference in Garland and spoke to the Dallas Regional Chamber.

After Foxx spoke to the Dallas chamber, DART president and CEO Gary Thomas said his agency is already studying how a federal shortfall could affect its bus and light-rail service. About $70 million of DART’s annual $460 million operating budget comes from federal funds.

The agency could use some cash reserves for a limited time. But a permanent loss in the federal revenue stream could force the agency to cut about 20 percent of its service. It could take a year to implement those changes.

During a speech in Birmingham, Al (video above), Foxx called on individuals from both sides of the aisle to contact congressman and senators to pass a long-term transportation solution and avoid short-term fixes.

Federal highway funding headed for cliff, U.S. transportation secretary warns []
Foxx Focuses on Urgent Need for Infrastructure Investment [Passenger Transport]
DOT Chief Foxx reiterates urgency to fix Highway Trust Fund during Alabama visit [Better Roads]

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