By Guy Page
The Senate Transportation Committee has approved the House Transportation bill – but with some significant changes.
The Senate committee version:
- Ends Covid-era free bus fares after July 1. It allocates $1.6 million for fare relief.
- Removes an electric bike subsidy. E-bikes cost under $300 at large department stores.
- Restores $3 million for maintenance to the Department of Motor Vehicles budget.
- Allocates $850,000 to VAST (Vermont Association of Snow Travelers) to replace old trail grooming equipment, and other improvements.
- Funds a study of regionalizing the Burlington International Airport, now operated solely by the City of Burlington. Regionalization would allow other affected Chittenden County communities to have a say in the operation of the South Burlington-based airport. It also would protect the airport from possible negative impacts of a Progressive-run Burlington city government determined to make major climate-related changes at the airport.
If approved by the full Senate, the bill as amended would return to the House for consideration of the changes.