Record transportation $$ buys more paving, electric cars, bike paths, free bus fare

Vermont Agency of Transportation photo

The House last week passed H.736, the annual transportation bill. The record $866 million “T-Bill” funds the Agency of Transportation’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The bill is now in the Senate.  

Two years ago, the T-Bill was $641 million. Most of this year’s spending increase would pay the state’s share for an ambitious paving and construction plan funded about 4-1 by abundant federal money.

The T-Bill also funds programs to help lower- and moderate-income Vermonters buy electric or highly efficient cars and invests in EV charging equipment, walking and biking infrastructure, zero-fare transit, and the Mobility and Transportation Innovations Grant Program to quicken our transformation to a clean transportation system. 

“The current investments in climate solutions are a necessary first step to advance the carbon reduction policies as required by the Global Warming Solutions Act,” Rep. Maxine Grad (D-Moretown) said in a constituent newsletter published today. 

Notable highlights include:

  • Funds to protect our covered bridges, with penalties and regulations to stop vehicle damage to these important landmarks;
  • Improvements to the planning process for bike and pedestrian projects through innovative partnerships with the Regional Planning Commissions;
  • Updates to the Transportation Board language, clean up and corrections to outdated statutes, and removal of unnecessary reporting requirements.

Vermonters can expect a busy construction season and a robust re-investment in the coming years for improved travel whether it be by car, bus, bike or foot.

(Editor: Much of the information and language for this news story was sourced from Rep. Grad’s column.)

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5 replies »

  1. What good is the “Global Warming Solutions Act” if America goes to hell in a hand basket just to signal how virtuous we are ? Mean time countries like India, and China are still increasing their numbers of coal fired electric plants for the next 40 or 50 years. So I guess, we should go suicidal so they can continue their unmitigated propagation of “dirty” energy ? I’m not, nor would I ever propose that we not continue to make progress towards a more green society, but this needs to be done in a measured way that does not get ahead of the science. (from the frying pan into the fire) I don’t want we here in the USA put in any kind of a boat similar to what we are seeing in Europe now where in a rush to divorce themselves from petroleum they have handed their security over to the Russians. Likewise the possibility of us creating an even bigger environmental quagmire mining, and disposing of the “rare earth” metals required for batteries is an issue that I personally have not heard enough about, and have doubts about the environmental impacts of. Slow it down !

    • When laws pushed and voted by legislators are not created to help constituents but on the contrary to hurt them, and when those same laws profit specific companies and/or are aimed at a totally illusory, unsubstantiated, empirically vague concept of what’s good for Vermont, one should seriously worry and confront all the House Members and Senators who have been voting for this. This is legislative malpractice and constituent abuse at its core.

  2. Perfect. Let’s get that money spent before thinking of the future. Take one example, electric cars and the damage they are doing to the environment. The rare earth minerals used in those batteries are raping countries and leaving devastating effects. Green is good but not at this kind of expense to the earth

  3. cannot support anything being free that someone has to pay for. those riding the bus should have to pay some fare to help defray the expense

  4. What eludes these legions of Bien’s Bum Kissers is that stat’s show the average person NOW PAYS $5200/year or $100/week for INFLATION by US for their stupid “projects” of EV;s for the rich, bike lanes for fancy pant (seasonal) riders, & free (mostly empty) buses. This “abundant federal money” is NOW coming from OUR pockets to THEIRS thanks to Joe-Flation’s devalued dollars. Thanks MORONS! “Free Money” is awful damned expensive for ALL the rest of US, fools!

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