Senate Passes Transportation Budget Bill

William T. Stachowski

March 30, 2005

(Albany, NY) Senator Dale M. Volker (R-I-C, Depew) today announced Senate passage of the Transportation Budget Bill (S.555-E) that would make substantial investments in our state’s transportation infrastructure. The key element of this Transportation Budget Bill includes a $35.8 billion multi-year transportation capital plan for highway, bridge and MTA mass transit projects, a $350 million investment in multi-modal transportation for facilities that provide more than one mode of transportation, and $100 million for local CHIPS highway assistance.

"Securing the needed state financial resources for our state’s transportation infrastructure is imperative to ensure public safety and enhance economic development opportunities," said Senator Dale M. Volker. "Businesses consistently state that a well-maintained and strategically planned transportation system is necessary to expand and maintain economic development opportunities in New York State. Additionally, the State of New York must be responsible to the residents of New York State in providing a safe and secure transportation system."

Transportation -- The State budget provides for a $17.9 billion five-year transportation capital plan for highway and bridge improvements throughout the state and $17.9 billion for MTA mass transit improvements, adding funding over the five year period for the following items:

$1.3 billion for construction lettings so important road and bridge projects can begin;

$350 million for a new Multi-Modal Program for facilities that provide more than one form of transportation such as bus/rail or port/rail facilities;

$100 million for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) to help localities maintain roads;

$235 million for rail projects;

$76 million for the aviation program; and

$395 million for engineering services to plan transportation improvement projects.

The new five-year highway and bridge plan will be funded in part by a proposed $2.9 billion general obligation bond issue to be put before the voters at the November 2005 election. The Rebuild and Renew New York Transportation Bond Act of 2005, if approved, will provide funding for both the highway and bridge and MTA capital programs, to be split evenly at $1.45 billion apiece.