USA: The American Public Transportation Association has reiterated its disappointment about the urban transport funding aspects of President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget.

The Trump administration has reaffirmed its proposal to phase out the Capital Improvement Grants programme and eliminate the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grants, despite Congress rejecting planned cuts to these grants in the final 2017 budget appropriations bill. As the Trump administration starts work on the detail of a major infrastructure investment programme, APTA has also urged the inclusion of significant public transport funding.

‘The administration has made it clear that infrastructure investment is important for our country’s economic prosperity’, said Richard White, Acting President & CEO of APTA. ‘This budget proposal to eliminate public transportation infrastructure projects is inconsistent with addressing critical transportation needs and helping America’s economy prosper.’

APTA reports that the proposed infrastructure initiative would make $200bn available over 10 years to attract private-sector match funding worth up to $1tr. Yet there are no details on how that money would be prioritised or allocated, APTA warns.

‘Many of the public transit ballot initiatives that voters approved last year raised local and state dollars that would serve as a match to federal dollars’, explains White. ‘This significant cut in federal funding rejects the voters’ will because those projects were proposed with the expectation that the federal government would be a responsible funding partner.’