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Mass Transit: Review of the Bay Area Rapid Transit District's Airport Extension Finance Plan

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO provided information on the Bay Area Rapid Transit District's (BART) finance plan for an airport extension, focusing on: (1) BART's proposed grant amendment and revised project completion schedule; and (2) the reasonableness of the assumptions contained in the finance plan."
Date: March 31, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mass Transit: Review of the South Boston Piers Transitway Finance Plan

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "This report focuses on GAO's review of the South Boston Piers Transitway Finance Plan. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is building a 1.5 mile underground transitway to connect its existing transit system with the South Boston Piers area, which is undergoing significant economic development. The project is experiencing cost increases and schedule delays, which have led to concerns over funding. GAO notes that although MBTA has shown that it has the financial capacity to complete the project, it has not yet clearly demonstrated to the Federal Transit Administration's financial management oversight contractor that funding the transitway project will not impair its ability to operate and maintain its overall transit system."
Date: November 9, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mass Transit: Issues Related to Providing Dedicated Funding for the Washington Metropolitain Area Transit Authority

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "A regional panel estimated that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)--Washington, D.C.'s, transit system--will have total budgetary shortfalls of $2.4 billion over 10 years. The panel and others have noted that WMATA's lack of a significant dedicated revenue source may affect its ability to keep the system in good working order. Proposed federal legislation would make $1.5 billion available to WMATA if the local governments established dedicated funding. This report addresses (1) the characteristics of dedicated funding and its effects on transit agencies and governments; (2) how potential revenue sources compare in terms of stability, adequacy, and other factors; (3) major actions needed to establish dedicated funding for WMATA and the progress made to date; and (4) issues that dedicated funding poses for the region and WMATA. To address these issues, GAO reviewed financial data for the nation's 25 largest transit agencies, interviewed officials from 6 transit agencies and from the state and local governments that support WMATA, and reviewed literature on the financing of mass transit. GAO provided a draft of this report to WMATA and the Department of Transportation for review. Officials from these agencies provided technical clarifications that were incorporated in the report, as appropriate."
Date: May 15, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mass Transit: 'Mobility Improvements' Is One of Many Factors Used to Evaluate Mass Transit Projects

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO provided information on how the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) considers mobility improvements as it evaluates proposed new starts projects, focusing on: (1) how a proposed project's rating for mobility improvements affects its likelihood for selection; and (2) FTA's proposed changes in how it will evaluate mobility improvements."
Date: October 15, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mass Transit: Review of the Tren Urbano Finance Plan

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority's finance plan for its Tren Urbano Rapid Rail Line Project, focusing on the: (1) financing of the Tren Urbano project; and (2) reasonableness of the assumptions contained in the finance plan."
Date: March 31, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mass Transit: FTA Needs to Better Define and Assess Impact of Certain Policies on New Starts Program

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) and subsequent legislation authorized about $8.3 billion in guaranteed funding for the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) New Starts program, which funds fixed guideway transit projects, such as rail and trolley projects, through FFGAs. GAO assessed the New Starts process for the fiscal year 2005 cycle. GAO identified (1) the number of projects that were evaluated, rated, and proposed for new FFGAs and how recent changes to the process were reflected in ratings; (2) the proposed funding commitments in the administration's budget request and legislative reauthorization proposals; and (3) the extent to which amounts appropriated since 1998 fulfilled FFGAs."
Date: June 25, 2004
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Assessment of Community Planning for Mass Transit, Volume 9: Seattle Case Study

Description: One of nine studies done by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) assessing community planning for mass transit. The report identifies "the factors that help communities, facing critical technological choices, make wise decisions that are consistent with local and national goals for transit" (p. vii).
Date: March 1976
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Assessment of Community Planning for Mass Transit, Volume 11: Technical Report

Description: One in a series of reports by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). This particular report is intended to "cast light on prospective changes in national transit policy programs and administration that might improve, in different ways and to different extents, the way communities plan mass transit systems" (p. iii).
Date: February 10, 1976
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Assessment of Community Planning for Mass Transit, Volume 3: Boston Case Study

Description: One of nine studies done by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) assessing community planning for mass transit. The report identifies "the factors that help communities, facing critical technological choices, make wise decisions that are consistent with local and national goals for transit" (vii).
Date: February 1976
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Assessment of Community Planning for Mass Transit, Volume 6: Los Angeles Case Study

Description: One of nine studies done by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) assessing community planning for mass transit. The report identifies "the factors that help communities, facing critical technological choices, make wise decisions that are consistent with local and national goals for transit" (p. vii).
Date: February 1976
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Assessment of Community Planning for Mass Transit, Volume 8: San Francisco Case Study

Description: One of nine studies done by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) assessing community planning for mass transit. The report identifies "the factors that help communities, facing critical technological choices, make wise decisions that are consistent with local and national goals for transit" (p. vii).
Date: February 1976
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mass Transit: Many Management Successes at WMATA, but Capital Planning Could Be Enhanced

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In recent years, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA) public transit system has experienced problems with the safety and reliability of its transit services, including equipment breakdowns, delays in scheduled service, unprecedented crowding on trains, and some accidents and tunnel fires. At the same time, WMATA's ridership is at an all time high and WMATA managers expect the number of passengers to double during the next 25 years. This report reviews (1) the challenges WMATA faces in operating and maintaining its Metrorail system; (2) efforts WMATA has made to establish and monitor safety and security within its transit system; and (3) the extent to which WMATA follows established best practices in planning, selecting, and budgeting for its capital investments. GAO found that WMATA is addressing significant challenges brought about by the agency's aging equipment and infrastructure and its ever-increasing ridership. WMATA has established programs to identify, evaluate, and minimize safety and security risks throughout its rail and bus systems. WMATA has also adopted several best capital practices used by leading public and private sector organizations, but it could benefit by establishing a more formal, disciplined framework for its capital decision-making process. GAO summarized this report in testimony before Congress; see Mass Transit: WMATA Is Addressing Many Challenges, but Capital Planning Could Be Improved, by JayEtta Z. Hecker, Director of Physical Infrastructure Issues, before the Subcommittee on the District of Columbia, House Committee on Government Reform. GAO-01-1161T, Sept. 21 (17 pages)."
Date: July 3, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mass Transit: FTA's New Starts Commitments for Fiscal Year 2003

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Since the early 1970's, the federal government has provided a large share of the nation's capital investment in urban mass transportation. Much of this funding has come through the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) New Starts Program, which helps pay for rail, bus, and trolley projects. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century authorized about $6 billion in "guaranteed" funding for the New Starts program through fiscal year 2003. FTA's evaluation process assigns candidate projects individual ratings for project justification and local financial commitments. The process also assigns an overall rating intended to reflect the project's merit. FTA recommended four projects for funding commitments for fiscal year 2003 in its New Starts report and budget proposal. FTA evaluated 50 proposed projects for fiscal year 2003 and developed ratings for 31 of them. Twenty-seven of these projects were rated as "highly recommended" or "recommended." Although FTA has faced transit budget crunches for years, the agency will end the act's authorization period with $310 million in unused commitment authority. Proposals to limit the amount of New Starts funds would allow more projects to receive such funding, but could harm specific projects being developed and the local transportation planning process. For example, limiting New Starts funds to 60 percent of a project's cost for the 49 projects now in final design or preliminary engineering would "free up" $500 million for additional projects. However, only 20 percent of these projects plan to use New Starts funds for more than 60 percent of projected costs and would be affected by such a cap."
Date: April 30, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mass Transit: Project Management Oversight Benefits and Future Funding Requirements

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) oversight of major capital projects, focusing on: (1) how FTA oversees major capital projects; (2) how financial capacity assessments are used; (3) what types of benefits to grantees and FTA have resulted from FTA's project oversight activities; and (4) how these oversight activities are funded."
Date: September 15, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mass Transit: Use of Alternative Fuels in Transit Buses

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reported on the: (1) status of the development and use of alternative fuel technologies in transit buses, particularly the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) as a fuel; (2) air quality benefits of such technologies; (3) costs incurred by transit operators to use CNG buses, as well as other alternative fuels, compared with the costs to use diesel buses; and (4) primary incentives and disincentives for using these technologies."
Date: December 14, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mass Transit: FTA's Progress in Developing and Implementing a New Starts Evaluation Process

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO provided information on the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) efforts to develop and implement evaluation and rating processes and procedures for evaluating new start transit projects for federal funding, focusing on: (1) the status of FTA's efforts; (2) how FTA implemented the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) requirements for evaluating, rating, and recommending projects; and (3) open issues that FTA needs to resolve to fully satisfy TEA-21 requirements."
Date: April 26, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mass Transit: Implementation of FTA's New Starts Evaluation Process and FY 2001 Funding Proposals

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO provided information on the implementation of the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) New Starts program's evaluation process and fiscal year (FY) 2001 funding proposals, focusing on the: (1) refinements made to FTA's evaluation and rating process since 1999; (2) means by which New Starts projects were selected for FTA's FY 2001 New Starts report and budget request; and (3) impact of FTA's recommendations on its New Starts commitment authority."
Date: April 28, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mass Transit: Bus Rapid Transit Shows Promise

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "To make buses a more reliable and effective high-speed transit alternative, a new concept-- Bus Rapid Transit--proposes (1) running buses on highways exclusively for them or on HOV lanes or (2) improving service on busier routes on city streets. Federal support for Bus Rapid Transit projects may come from several different sources, including the Federal Transit Administration's New Starts, Bus Capital, and Urbanized Area Formula Grants programs, but its use is constrained. Two Bus Rapid Transit projects have received about $831 million in funding commitments from the current New Starts Program. Few additional Bus Rapid Transit projects will likely receive funding commitments under the current New Starts Program, which expires in 2003, because few Bus Rapid Transit projects are ready to compete for funding; many projects are eligible to compete for the $462 million that is projected to remain available for fiscal year 2003; and some types of Bus Rapid Transit projects are ineligible for New Starts funding because projects are required to operate on separate right-of-ways for the exclusive use of mass transit and high-occupancy vehicles. The Bus Rapid Transit systems generally had lower capital costs per mile than did the Light Rail systems in the cities GAO reviewed, although neither system had a clear advantage in operating costs. Precise operating cost comparisons for Bus Rapid Transit and Light Rail systems within and between cities are difficult because of differences among transit agencies, transit systems, and how they account for costs. The performance characteristics also varied widely, with the largest Bus Rapid Transit system ridership about equal to the largest Light Rail ridership. Each program offers various advantages and disadvantages. Bus Rapid Transit provides a more flexible approach than light rail because buses can be ...
Date: September 17, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mass Transit: Information on the Federal Role in Funding the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In recent years, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has faced serious financial and budgetary problems as well as continuing challenges related to the safety and reliability of its transit services. At the same time, ridership is at an alltime high, and WMATA continues to provide critical services and considerable benefits to the Washington region's economic well-being and to the federal government. This statement is based on preliminary results of our work on WMATA that GAO is performing at the request of the Chairman, House Committee on Government Reform, as well as on GAO's previous review of WMATA and other studies of WMATA's financial condition. It discusses (1) the extent to which WMATA relied on federal funding to build its Metrorail subway system and the federal government's rationale for providing that funding, (2) the extent to which WMATA has relied on other federal funding for capital improvements in recent years, and (3) the current funding challenges that WMATA faces and options that have been proposed to address those challenges."
Date: February 18, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mass Transit: FTA Could Relieve New Starts Program Funding Constraints

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) New Starts program has provided state and local agencies with more than $6 billion in the last eight years to help design and construct transit projects. Although the funding for this program is higher than it has ever been, the demand for these resources is also extremely high. FTA was directed to prioritize projects for funding by evaluating, rating, and recommending potential projects on the basis of specific financial and project justification criteria. This report discusses (1) the refinements made to FTA's evaluation and rating process since last year, (2) how New Starts projects were selected for FTA's New Starts report and budget request for fiscal year 2002, and (3) FTA's remaining New Starts commitment authority. GAO found that FTA made several refinements to its rating process. For instance, potential grantees were more strictly assessed on their ability to build and operate proposed projects than in the past. FTA also made several technical changes and established new performance measures to evaluate the program. New Starts projects were selected by evaluating 40 new projects for 2002 and developing ratings for 26 of them. FTA then determined whether the projects rated "highly recommended" or "recommended" met its readiness criteria. Of these projects, FTA recommended four of them for funding commitments. FTA also recommended three additional projects--one that was exempt from the rating process and two that were rated last year. FTA reports that it will have limited authority to make funding commitments to new projects in fiscal year 2003 if it enters into the seven New Starts grant agreements in 2002 as proposed."
Date: August 9, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mass Transit: FTA Needs to Provide Clear Information and Additional Guidance on the New Starts Ratings Process

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21 st Century (TEA-21), Congress authorized federal funding for New Starts fixed guideway transit projects--including rail and bus rapid transit projects that met certain criteria. In response to an annual mandate under TEA-21, GAO assessed the New Starts evaluation and ratings process for the fiscal year 2004 cycle, including (1) changes to the process and any related issues and (2) any challenges related to New Starts initiatives contained in the administration's fiscal year 2004 budget proposal."
Date: June 23, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mass Transit: Preliminary Views on Options for Additional Fiscal Oversight of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In recent years, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has faced serious financial and budgetary problems as well as continuing challenges related to the safety and reliability of its transit services. At the same time, ridership is at an all-time high, and WMATA continues to provide critical services and considerable benefits to the Washington region and to the federal government. This statement discusses (1) WMATA's responsibilities for serving the interests of the federal government, including the agency's role in transporting federal employees and visitors to the nation's capital and in supporting homeland security for the Washington metropolitan region; (2) the current funding challenges facing WMATA and the options proposed to address these challenges; (3) preliminary information on some of the entities that currently provide oversight of WMATA and the focus of their recent reviews; and (4) some considerations and options in instituting spending safeguards and oversight of any additional federal assistance provided to WMATA, should Congress decide to provide such assistance. GAO discussed this testimony with WMATA and FTA officials, who provided comments and additional information that GAO incorporated as appropriate."
Date: July 28, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department