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1997 Session

Budget Bill - HB1600 (Chapter 924)

Department of Rail and Public Transportation

Item 516

Item 516

First Year - FY1997Second Year - FY1998
Mass Transit Assistance (60900)$93,203,600
$93,998,700
$89,610,300
$100,216,700
Special Programs (60901)FY1997 $1,242,200
$1,254,200
FY1998 $1,246,000
$1,278,400
Formula Assistance (60902)FY1997 $61,865,700
$62,450,100
FY1998 $61,050,700
$66,741,600
Capital Assistance (60903)FY1997 $20,702,700
$20,901,400
FY1998 $20,765,600
$25,306,700
Federal and Regulatory Programs (60904)FY1997 $9,393,000FY1998 $6,548,000
$6,890,000
Fund Sources: 
SpecialFY1997 $1,000,000FY1998 $0
Commonwealth TransportationFY1997 $92,203,600
$92,998,700
FY1998 $89,610,300
$100,216,700

Authority: Titles 33.1 and 58.1, Code of Virginia.


A. Of the amounts shown as Commonwealth Transportation funds, $47,854,300 $48,660,600 the first year and $48,100,600 $50,248,200 the second year is appropriated from the Transportation Trust Fund.


B.1. The Commonwealth Transportation Board shall allocate all funds for Mass Transit Assistance, other than Federal and Regulatory Programs, as provided in § 58.1-638, Code of Virginia.


2. The allocation of Formula Assistance to each recipient shall be limited to the recipient's eligibility for state administrative, ridesharing, and fuel, tires, and maintenance parts and supplies assistance as defined in § 58.1-638, Code of Virginia. When the initial distribution to a recipient is greater than the recipient's eligibility to receive Formula Assistance, the Commonwealth Transportation Board may transfer the surplus funds to the statewide Capital Assistance distribution under this program.


3. Out of this appropriation, $1,000,000 shall be made available in the first year from balances in the special fund of the Department of Motor Vehicles for state aid to mass transit organizations, to offset cutbacks in federal formula transit assistance. Only those mass transit organizations which in fiscal year 1996 received local government assistance greater than fifteen percent of their total operating budget shall receive additional assistance. Any mass transit organization with federal formula operating assistance constituting less than five percent of their total operating budget, but meeting the fifteen percent local test, shall receive only those remaining additional funds not distributed by the following formula.


The additional funds shall be distributed proportionally by the Department of Rail and Public Transportation to the mass transit organizations meeting the above criteria, based on an ability to absorb the federal reduction. The ability of mass transit organizations to absorb the federal formula operating reduction shall be based on the sum of: 1) the percentage reduction in federal formula operating assistance; 2) the percentage of local assistance to total operating costs during the prior fiscal year; and 3) the percentage of federal support during the prior fiscal year to total operating costs. The lowest sum of percentages will constitute the greatest ability to absorb the federal reduction. The mass transit organization with the greatest ability to absorb the federal reduction, and meeting the local support criteria, will receive 21.5 percent of their fiscal year 1996 reduction in federal formula operating assistance. Mass transit organizations with a lesser ability to absorb the federal reductions, as determined by the sum of percentages, will receive 21.5 percent of their reduction in federal formula operating assistance, multiplied by the ratio of their sum of percentages to the sum of percentages for the mass transit organization with the greatest ability to absorb the reduction.


4. The Department of Rail and Public Transportation shall report to the Chairmen of the Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committees before the 1997 Session on the long-term financial viability of public transit systems in the Commonwealth. The report shall include an analysis of current public transit funding, a comprehensive outlook for the future of public transit funding, and recommendations and options for the General Assembly to consider for ensuring the long-term viability of public transit in Virginia.


C. Out of the amounts for Federal and Regulatory Programs funds estimated at $750,000 the first year and $750,000 the second year from the Commonwealth Transportation Fund shall be paid to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission, as provided in the Washington Metropolitan Transit Regulation Compact.


D. Funds from a stable and reliable source, as required in Public Law 96-184, as amended, are to be provided to Metro Rail from payments authorized and allocated in this program and pursuant to § 58.1-1720, Code of Virginia.


E. Funds appropriated to the Department of Rail and Public Transportation and allocated to the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission to be allocated to its member jurisdictions are held in trust by the Commission for those jurisdictions until released by specific authorization from the governing bodies of the jurisdictions for the purpose for which funds were appropriated.


F. The Commonwealth Transportation Board shall operate a program entitled the Transportation Efficiency Improvement Fund (TEIF). The purpose of the TEIF program is to reduce traffic congestion by supporting transportation demand management programs designed to reduce the use of single occupant vehicles and to increase the use of high occupancy vehicle modes. Using transportation revenues generally available to the Board, funds shall be apportioned as determined by the Board to designated transportation projects in addition to funds allocated pursuant to § 33.1-23.1, Code of Virginia. Total TEIF program funding shall not exceed $1,500,000 per the first year and $1,900,000 the second year. Eligible applicants for grants shall include local governing bodies, transportation district commissions, planning district commissions, metropolitan planning organizations, public service corporations, and transportation management associations whose applications are approved by an eligible public recipient or whose Board includes elected representatives from member jurisdictions. At least 50 percent of all grants-in-aid shall be distributed to eligible public residents with a local match requirement left to the Commonwealth Transportation Board.


G.1. Out of this appropriation, an additional $2,100,000 from the Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund and $2,000,000 from unobligated balances in the Industrial, Rail, and Airport Access Program shall be made available in the second year for state aid to local mass transit organizations. The basis for distributing this supplemental operating assistance shall be determined by the Commonwealth Transportation Board, in consultation with the Department of Rail and Public Transportation. The supplemental distribution formula shall consider lost federal operating assistance, as well as the relative need, efficiency, and performance of local transit properties.


2. In addition, $400,000 shall be allocated from unobligated balances in the Industrial, Rail, and Airport Access Program for replacement vehicles to programs that provide special transportation services for the disabled and the aging, with priority given to programs in localities that integrate and coordinate their transportation resources to the maximum extent practicable.


3. Out of this appropriation, an additional $1,200,000 shall be provided from federal Surface Transportation Statewide Discretionary funds to small and medium size transit properties, for the purchase of buses, based on a method to be determined by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. This distribution method shall give priority to replacement of large buses in fleets that average over eight years old, or trolleys and para-transit fleets that average over three years old. This funding shall not reduce in any way funds that otherwise would be provided these transit properties.


4. Out of this appropriation an additional $2,400,000 shall be provided from federal Surface Transportation Statewide Discretionary funds to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for priority capital outlay projects in Virginia. This additional funding shall not reduce in any way funds that otherwise would be provided to WMATA.