The U.S. Department of Transportation today unveiled the framework of its proposed fiscal year 2010 budget. Additional budget details will be available in April of this year.
President Obama has laid out a fiscally responsible blueprint for 2010 and the Administration will work closely with the Congress over the next few months to determine the details for funding surface transportation.
"This Administration inherited a difficult problem – a system that can no longer pay for itself," says Secretary LaHood. "We are looking at every option to solve it, but we are not going to be ready overnight."
The budget proposal does provide a broad framework that commits funds for sustainable solutions for surface transportation, explores options to make the nation's communities more livable through increased funding for public transit, supports development of a high speed rail network across the country and supports the Next Generation Air Transportation System to modernize the air traffic control system.
"This budget is a start toward setting the nation's transportation system on a sustainable path," says LaHood.
To provide Americans a 21st Century transportation system, the Administration has proposed a five-year $5 billion high-speed rail state grant program. This funding will build on the $8 billion down payment in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and marks President Obama's commitment to provide Americans a practical and environmentally sustainable alternative to flying or driving.
The budget provides approximately $800 million for the Next Generation Air Transportation System, a long-term effort to improve the efficiency, safety, and capacity of the air traffic control system. The 2010 budget supports moving from a ground-based radar surveillance system to a more accurate satellite-based surveillance system, development of more efficient routes through the airspace, and improvements in aviation weather information.
The Administration is committed to maintaining small communities' access to the National Airspace System. The budget provides a $55 million increase over the Department's 2009 level to fulfill current program requirements as demand for subsidized commercial air service increases.
To more transparently display program resources, the Administration proposes changing the budgetary treatment of transportation programs to show both budget authority and outlays as discretionary. The change will convey to the taxpayer the real costs of supporting the transportation infrastructure our nation needs.