Update on State and Federal Transportation Funding

File Attachments: House Fiscal Agency Road Funding Summary


Attached you will find the House Fiscal Agency Analysis of the Senate-passed package that is now before the Governor for his signature. The Governor has said he will sign the bills into law, unless any problems arise during the legal review process of the legislation. The plan, after 2017, will provide an additional $62 million into the CTF which, as you know, distributes the majority of its funding to bus operations and bus capital. Once law, MPTA will be focusing our lobby efforts on MDOT to make sure the money is distributed to greatest advantage of our public transit agencies each year during the Appropriations cycle, just as we do now with existing funding. Although the plan isn’t perfect and certainly doesn’t provide new funding as quickly as we might wish, it is important to acknowledge that public transportation was kept in the plan for our fair share of new funding through the full formula, as we requested. This represents a major victory with many House and Senate Republicans who, previously, were willing to overlook us, and it was only accomplished through YOUR great lobbying efforts with your own legislators and through the work of our lobbyist Dusty Fancher. A note of thanks from you to your legislators is always in order.

I am also including in this email below an update from Scott Bogren at CTAA on the status of federal transportation funding and note that Scott’s message includes a call-to-action for phone calls to your Washington, DC representatives.

We will be continuing to monitor both funding issues and provide you with further pertinent details as necessary.

I wish to personally thank each and every one of you who made phone calls, sent emails and talked in person with your legislators and I wish to thank and recognize Dusty for her persistent, relentless, positive action on our behalf over the past several years.

Now…onward to the next challenges that await,


ALERT: Dedicated Bus Capital Amendment Set for Vote on House Floor Today
Dear CTAA Members & Transit Advocates,

Thanks to your work and the support of key leaders in the House of Representatives, the Herrera-Beutler/Schrader amendment to the STRR Act to dedicate bus capital funding to the Section 5339 program has passed the Rules Committee and is headed for a vote of the full House of Representatives today.

We urge you to contact your House Member's D.C. office today and encourage them to support the Herrera-Beutler/Schrader amendment. Every member of the House will have the opportunity to vote on this measure crucial to the long-term stability of community and public transportation across the nation.

If you have any questions on the amendment, bus capital investment or contacting your House member, please do not hesitate to contact CTAA's Communications team of Scott Bogren (, 202.247.1921) or Rich Sampson (, 202.415.9666). Full details on all federal legislation, regulations and policy can be found at our Fed Central page.
Scott Bogren, Director of Communications

Upcoming RTAP Training

For more than 30 years, the Center for Transportation Education and Development (CTED) has served the public transit community as a leader in providing quality professional development workshops and research for public transit practitioners.

CTED is now offering the newly developed ADA Requirements and Details for Small Bus Inspection workshop as highly recognized by the FTA. This course is instructed by Halsey King, a well renowned speaker and writer on maintenance and technology issues, that includes repair, inspection and management of vehicle fleets.

Description of this workshop includes:

  • Optimize your small business inspection and service program of preventive maintenance.
  • Raise awareness of FTA and other federal guidelines concerning small transit vehicles and the ADA equipment and service requirements.
  • Obtain a greater understanding of the inspection process, functions, cost, and regulations.
  • Receive a greater awareness of “good quality” inspections on long-term maintenance cost, safety thresholds, and vehicle reliability.
  • Learn how to lessen emergency repair and road calls as anticipated through focused inspections.
  • Enhance your ability to pass FTA’s inspection and service reviews.

The date and location of this workshop:

Monday-Tuesday, November 16-17, 2015, 8am-4:30pm

UWM School of Continuing Education
161 W. Wisconsin Ave, Ste. 7000
Milwaukee, WI 53203

For more information, or to register, please visit:

MTA Director Nominated for White House Award

This article was originally posted on - read the full article

Genesee County's Mass Transportation Authority General Manager/CEO has been nominated for a White House award.

Ed Benning has been nominated for this year's White House Transportation Champions of Change Award in the category of "Beyond Traffic: Innovators in Transportation," according to a news release from the MTA.

Benning said being nominated for the award is a great honor.

"It's an honor just to be nominated," Benning said. "It's not necessarily just about me. I have the opportunity daily to work with a great team. They're so focused on really making this a great community and we're doing everything we can to make sure that people have a great transportation system. It's really kind of special being nominated and it's an honor to think that people recognize what we're doing in this kind of way."

The White House Champions of Change Program highlights the stories and examples of citizens across the nation who are leading projects and initiatives that move their communities forward, according to the release. The innovators are chosen for demonstrating leadership and developing strategies, and also for pioneering mobility management, developing safety programs for communities for minority, older adults, limited English proficiency or other at-risk communities and strategizing to limit greenhouse-gas emissions and facilitating change that positively impacts sustainability.

Benning said the MTA has been the leading effort at the local, state, and federal levels on the emerging need for non-emergency medical transportation. The Your Ride Plus program is done in conjunction with Your Ride and providing service with the new PACE program.

"That's one program where we're providing non-emergency medical transportation and that program will scale up to 225 seniors that are being transported daily just to go to that program," Benning said. "In the community we are partnering with the hospitals, like the Valley Area Agency on Aging. We are providing transportation for the most frail seniors to go to medical appointments.

"What's happening around the country is that people are just having a difficult time figuring out how to do this. We are, what I think, in the midst of one of the greatest growths in medical-related transportation needs that we've never had anything of this magnitude. Under the Affordable Health Care Act, there are thousands of people that now will be able to go to medical appointments and they need transportation. We're stepping up to that and doing those services. We'll even be doing much more of that as we move along."

The number of vehicles used in the Your Ride Plus program will be increased, Benning said, because the need is so strong.

Benning has also worked to develop the strongest, most diverse alternative fuel program in the Midwest, according to the release. His innovation of "theme buses" has also been noted nationally. He came up with a Pink Bus to recognize the growing number of people affected by cancer, as well as a theme bus to honor veterans.

More recently, Benning established Rides to Groceries to help those in the community have access to food after a number of grocery stores closed in the Flint area. Benning said with this initiative, the MTA plans to go a step further and begin picking people up from their homes if they can't make it to bus stops.

"It's important to us to provide these special services that are now emerging in our community," Benning said.

The innovators chosen will attend an invitational event at the White House on Oct. 13. Benning said he will find out in late September if he will be making the trip.

MTA Unveils Next Generation of Alternative Fuel Vehicles

(Flint, MI –August 10, 2015) The Mass Transportation Authority unveiled some of its new next generation of alternative fuel vehicles today/on August 10. The organization continues to add these environmentally friendly vehicles to the fleet with the addition of compressed natural gas (CNG) commuter coaches, propane mini-buses, propane powered service trucks and a new 8th generation hydrogen fuel cell bus made entirely in America. All of these vehicles will be on the road within the next few weeks and will tremendously improve efforts to become a 100% alternative fueled fleet.

“The Mass Transportation Authority is excited to be able to introduce these additional alternative fuel vehicles,” Ed Benning, General Manager/CEO stated. “These environmentally responsible alternative fuel vehicles will allow the organization to move closer to a 100% alternative fuel platform. The all-American built 8th generation hydrogen fuel cell bus was a result of a consortium between El Dorado National, Ballard Fuel Cell and BAE Systems. The bus, which is built on a stainless steel body with a total weight of approximately 34,000 pounds, will allow the Mass Transportation Authority to gain further experience on the use of hydrogen technology,” Benning said. “This is about the future and what role hydrogen will play in our community today and looking forward. The addition of these new vehicles into the fleet will provide for a green operating environment, less dependency on diesel fuels, and more stability in the days ahead. We have a long way to go and by introducing these vehicles, it moves us a step closer to the next phase in our effort to reduce our dependency on fossil fuel. Today the MTA still operates a large amount of diesel-powered vehicles that must be replaced; some of those vehicles are over 30 years in age.”

In preparation of the of the new compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles the MTA is in the process of building a new CNG bus storage facility (which will house up to 20 CNG commuter coaches). In addition, the organization is preparing for the construction of a new Davison Service Center that will serve as a hub for Otisville, Richfield Township, and Davison to provide better storage of the new alternative fuel vehicles that are currently being purchased.

“The Mass Transportation Authority continues to invest in the future and these new upgrades put us in a position to prepare for that future and the public transportation needs in our community today and tomorrow.”

Pictured L to R: Hydrogen Fuel Cell, Compressed Natural Gas, Propane Bluebird, Propane van and Propane service truck
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