A congressional conference committee yesterday completed work on a five-year surface transportation bill that would strengthen tank-car safety standards, increase funding for transit and create a rail title that authorizes funding for Amtrak and intercity passenger-rail grants.

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (H.R. 22) would fully fund a five-year $281 billion authorization for public transportation and highway programs.

Read more from Progressive Railroading.

coneg-largeGovernors from several states are pressing Congress to pass a long-term surface transportation bill before the current legislation expires Oct. 29.

Last week, the Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG) sent a letter to leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure and Ways and Means committees imploring them to pass legislation “expeditiously” that would ensure the continuity and stability of federal funding for highway, rail, transit and safety programs.

Read more from Progressive Railroading

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) held its first hearing of the 114th Congress yesterday, as it prepared to draft a new surface transportation bill to replace the existing MAP-21 extension that expires May 31.

In his testimony to the committee, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx warned that the United States is falling behind in innovation and economic competitiveness because of the condition of its aging transportation infrastructure.

Read the complete story at Progressive Railroading.