DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas was one of three transit officials invited to testify before the US Senate Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development about the need for federal funds to support transit system maintenance and expansion. Representatives from the Boston and Philadelphia transit agencies also testified.
DART has used federal funds to support the building of its 85-mile light rail system and the purchase of new buses, among other things. This hearing focused on the role of the federal government in contributing funds to help maintain transit infrastructure. DART, unlike many transit agencies, has a comprehensive financing and maintenance “state of good repair” program that helps us plan how to protect what we build before we begin construction. Federal funds help support our efforts and give us the flexibility to possibly add service.
The Obama Administration has proposed a four-year, $300 billion program called Grow America. Congress is also working on multi-year transportation funding bills. More information on federal transit funding can be found on the website of the American Public Transportation Association, PublicTransportation.org.
Thomas’ testimony begins at approximately the 52 minute mark.