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HomeNewsArchivesNews Brief: Transportation Bill Has over $124 Million for V.I.

News Brief: Transportation Bill Has over $124 Million for V.I.

March 10, 2005 – Thanks to a change in the territory's designation to "urbanized area," the territory's mass transit federal funding could increase from $150,000 to $1 million a year for the next six years.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed for the third time in as many years, legislation to provide for six years of federal spending on the nations' transportation needs. The bill, the Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, H.R. 3, could net the U.S. Virgin Islands more than $124 million in additional funding over the next six years to improve its roads and highways, according to a release from Delegate Donna M. Christensen.
The additional mass transit money is included in the $124 million.
"We are very pleased at the significant increases in highway funding that this bill represents," Christensen said. "The Virgin Islands is set to receive approximately $16 million per year for the first three years, and $20 million for last three years of the bill."
Christensen said that under the previous Federal Transportation bill, the territory received approximately $13 million yearly in highway funding each year for the last six years. The current bill also includes $8 million for Phase II of the Christiansted by-pass and $8 million for the east -west corridor road on St. Thomas.
Christensen credited Transportation Committee Chairman Don Young and Ranking Member James Oberstar for doing the work that she said resulted in an almost 600 percent increase in federal funding for mass transit programs in the territory.
"Chairman Young and Ranking Member Oberstar supported our efforts to include a technical amendment in the bill that changes the territory's designation to "urbanized area" for the purpose of mass transit funding which resulted in the increase, which is earmarked to operate a modern transit system. "This is good news as it represents a significant shot in the arm for our VITRAN bus system," Christensen said.

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