My old friends at Mobilizing the Region have crunched the numbers on President Bush's FY09 budget, and the news is not good for transit. Even in a year where Transporation Secretary Mary Peters is arguing that the federal government should think about getting out of the transportation funding game, Bush continues to set a new low by robbing transit funds to pay for highway projects.
In the broader scheme, however, the Bush budget is bad news for transit. It proposes to shore up the Highway Account of the federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF) by “borrowing” $3.2 billion from the HTF’s Mass Transit Account. It would also cut national transit spending by more than $200 million from previously proposed levels.
There is some good news...MtR predicts the Democratic Congress will reject Bush's transportation budget, but also notes that:
If the Bush proposal goes through, it will establish a dangerous precedent of raiding transit funds to build highways. More immediately, it will cut the balance in the Mass Transit Account to the point where, without new funding, the 2010 federal transit program could not be funded at current levels, let alone see an increase.
East coast governors have already blasted Bush's budget priorities. We're still waiting for a statement from Governor Schwarzenegger.
Photo from Coljan.com