Publication Date: June 2003
Publisher: Joyce Foundation
Research Area: Transportation
Keywords: Transportation Policy
The study examines Midwest spending on transit, rail projects, road repair and other improvements since the 1991 passage of ISTEA, the federal transportation bill, which is currently up for reauthorization in Congress. The study reports that over $42 billion in federal transportation dollars went to the Midwest, funding major projects in Chicago, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and other Midwest cities to improve bus service, create bike paths and repair roads. But the region has lagged behind in vital areas, such as increasing transit ridership and improving air quality. Meanwhile, traffic congestion costs the Midwest more than $10 billion annually; freight-rail tieups in Chicago (the world's third-largest intermodal port) slow down shipments nationally; and promising light-rail and high-speed rail projects remain stalled for lack of funds.
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