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Tuesday, February 3, 1998.






Opening Remarks

    Mr. WOLF. The hearing will come to order.

    We are a few minutes early, but we have a lot of witnesses and we just felt we would start now. I would just ask everybody that when the red light comes on, if you could just begin to summarize and end quickly, I would appreciate it. We have about 62 witnesses so we're going to be here all day. There will be an opportunity, too, for people to come back and ask you questions through the mail, to submit questions to you. But out of courtesy to the people asking can you guarantee that I won't miss my flight here or my flight there, if we can keep on schedule, it would be very, very helpful.
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    So with that, beginning a little bit early, I want to welcome you. You can submit your full statement for the record and proceed as you see fit, subject to the fact of the light. And I apologize for that. I wish we didn't really have to do this. I wish we could stay here and just let you talk. But because of where we are and the time limits, we're restricted to that.

    So, Mayor, you may proceed.

    Mayor GIULIANO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We appreciate the opportunity to be here. My name is Neil Giuliano. I am the Chair of the Regional Public Transportation Authority and the Mayor of Tempe, Arizona. It is an honor to be here to appear before you as you prepare for the fiscal year 1999 transportation appropriations bill.

    With me today is Valerie Manning, who is the President and CEO of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber represents 3,300 businesses in our Phoenix metropolitan area. The Phoenix Chamber, as well as the Tempe Chamber, supports our fiscal year 1999 appropriation request by the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, and the RPTA.

    The Phoenix metropolitan area is one of the fastest growing regions in the country. Our Maricopa County population exceeds 2.5 million and is expected to grow by over 70 percent in the next 20 years.

    Phoenix is the 7th largest city, the 14th largest urbanized area in the country, and our transit system is really lagging and is only the 34th largest in terms of passenger trips made. In addition, we're among only three of the twenty largest metropolitan areas that have not constructed a fixed guideway system.
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    In September of 1996 residents of my City of Tempe approved a one-half cent sales tax dedicated to improving the transit system within Tempe. Our significant expansion program is currently being implemented and will continue to be connected to the region over the next five years. Other cities in the Valley are also developing plans to expand their transit services.

    Our metropolitan area has expressed a significant interest in implementing passenger rail service to help relieve congestion in heavily travelled corridors and improve our regional mobility. Last January, our Maricopa County Association of Governments adopted an 18-mile base-fixed guideway corridor into the region's long-range transportation plan, a corridor that would connect Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa.

    During the past year, our Central Phoenix East Valley major investment study was conducted in an important transportation corridor and it is expected to be completed this month. The study will recommend a 13-mile light rail transit segment between Phoenix and Tempe be implemented. In addition, bus service expansion is recommended within the corridor as well.

    Our appropriation request for fiscal year 1999 includes two elements. There is a serious need to replace old polluting buses in Phoenix, and to expand the bus fleet to coincide with major immediate expansions in Tempe as well as some expansions in Scottsdale and Glendale. The total fleet request includes 129 buses and the Federal funding request is $34.4 million. All of these buses will be alternatively fueled using liquified natural gas as required by State air quality legislation. In addition, all the buses will be fully accessible to persons with disabilities.
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    The second component of our request includes continued funding for the 13-mile LRT corridor which I just described. Last year's appropriations bill approved $4 million which will be used for preliminary engineering/environmental work and emergency land acquisition. The Federal fiscal year 1999 funding request is to complete final design. Our request is for $8 million and assumes a 50 percent local match ratio. With continued Federal support, we anticipate the first segment of the LRT to be ready for operation in the year 2003.
    We believe our Phoenix metropolitan area is long overdue with regard to a fair share of Federal transit funding. Last year we were fortunate enough to receive $8.5 million appropriation from Congress for bus purchases and rail planning. We're thankful for those funds which we are over-matching to provide the maximum leverage of Federal dollars. However, as one of the largest metropolitan areas in the Nation, we have growing traffic congestion, mobility constraints, and air quality concerns that must be addressed beginning now. With your help, we can take an important step towards solving our region's transportation issues.
    We understand the demands of the committee and understand the entire Congress has needs in meeting local and regional transportation infrastructure needs. We thank you very much for giving us this time to be before you today and for your thoughtful consideration for our projects that are taking place within the Phoenix metropolitan region.
    Mr. WOLF. I thank you very much. I appreciate your testimony, and Mr. Pastor has been very supportive of your efforts. We do appreciate the over-match, too. I think that's a very significant thing. So I thank you very much. I have no questions. We may have some questions for the record.
    Mr. Packard.
    Mr. PACKARD. I have no questions.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you.
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    Mayor GIULIANO. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    [The prepared statement of Mayor Giuliano follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.
    Mr. WOLF. Welcome, Congresswoman DeGette. I appreciate your taking the time to come.
    Ms. DEGETTE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Packard. I'm glad to be back here again this year testifying before this subcommittee about an issue that Congressman Dan Shaefer, my colleague to the West, and I have been working very hard on, which is the western expansion of our light rail project in Colorado. Most of this project is in Mr. Shaefer's district, but part of it is in my district as well.
    The Regional Transportation District (RTD) in Colorado is seeking an appropriation of $60 million for fiscal year 1999. I know that this committee has a hard task ahead of it in allocating this money, and I appreciate working cooperatively with you on these projects.
    We were very pleased by last year's appropriation which enabled us to continue with the planning and construction of this southwest light rail expansion. I will say that the project is moving along well; we now have the core light rail in place. I've been remarkably impressed at how well this light rail system is working. Many of us were dubious about it when it was first constructed, but it has very high ridership and is quite successful.
    The southwestern expansion through Congressman Shaefer's district is the next expansion of this light rail. I think once we complete that we can move forward to construct a world class transit system.
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    RTD is continuing its progress in the southwest corridor and there will be three major activity centers served by the southwest expansion: First of all, the Denver central business district because the expansion will connect to the existing light rail; secondly, a major retail and commercial facility in Englewood which is currently undergoing substantial redevelopment; and finally, the Littleton central business district. This project will also provide residents of Douglas County, which is the fastest growing county in Colorado and one of the two or three fastest growing counties in the country, with light rail and mass transit to the central Denver area.
    The reason why Congressman Shaefer and I are working so hard on this, as well as our colleagues in the RTD and the State, is because it will provide major economic benefits for the region. In the first year of operation, the southwest light rail project is projected to provide its passengers with a 56 percent travel time-savings as compared to the same trip by automobile. By 2015, the light rail project is expected to cut auto travel time in half, saving its 22,000 passengers over 25 minutes per trip. In addition, the southwest corridor light rail project allows RTD to operate more efficiently. By the year 2015, RTD can provide this light rail service at $2.60 per passenger trip compared to a similar trip by bus that would cost $3.10.
    And let me add, the way the growth patterns are occurring right now in Colorado, so much of the pressure is along two central transportation routes. We really need to find some kind of alternative like light rail to the current auto trips. We simply don't have the resources to expand those highway systems.
    Mr. Chairman, in conclusion, I would say we think this is our top priority. There are also two other priorities which we have been working on and we talked to the committee about last year. One is the Broadway viaduct in Denver which has received bridge priority funding over the last number of years, and the other one is the multimodal transportation at the former Stapleton Airport. I would simply ask your permission to submit testimony as to those projects in writing.
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    Mr. WOLF. Without objection.
    Ms. DEGETTE. Thank you very much.
    Mr. WOLF. If you could just have the RTD submit too the ridership so we can see how well it's going, what the projections were and how many are riding it.
    Ms. DEGETTE. Sure.
    Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. WOLF. Yes, Mr. Packard.
    Mr. PACKARD. Madam, does any of your light rail project go underground?
    Ms. DEGETTE. No, I don't believe any of it is planned to go underground.
    Mr. PACKARD. And does it connect with the new airport?
    Ms. DEGETTE. These two segments, the existing segment we have right now does not; obviously, the southwest segment does not. But in the overall plan, we will have a connecting cog to the airport. That's down the road a little bit in the plan.
    I will say that the municipalities in the Denver metropolitan area have worked extremely well cooperating, figuring out which leg of the light rail will be built at which time. I believe after we complete the southwest corridor, we're then going to complete the southern corridor which goes through a portion of Congressman Hefley's district, and then on into my district, and then will go up North to the airport after that.
    Mr. PACKARD. It does intend though to implement the multimodal concepts that we've tried to include?
    Ms. DEGETTE. Absolutely. In fact, this multimodal transportation center that I just spoke of will be at the old Stapleton airport site and will connect the new airport as well as our whole transportation system. I'm very pleased with how well we're working in the metro area to connect all of our forms of mass transit, and we badly need them.
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    Mr. PACKARD. Thank you, Congresswoman.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you.
    I want to welcome Mr. Cramer, a new member of the committee. I don't know if you would have any questions?
    Mr. CRAMER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'm very pleased to be here.
    No, at this point, I don't want to do any grilling. Thank you. [Laughter.]
    Ms. DEGETTE. And I promise that we will not paint all of the cars orange and blue, despite our temptation to do so. [Laughter.]
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you.

    [The prepared statement of Hon. Diana DeGette follows:]

     "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.



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    Mr. WOLF. Next, we have Mr. Mica and Mr. McCollum.     You can proceed any way you want. If you wish to submit the full statement, it will appear in the record.
    Mr. MICA. If I may, Mr. Chairman, Mr. McCollum is far senior and much more intelligent than I. [Laughter.]
    Mr. WOLF. Since he's younger than you but he's been here longer, I think that's a good idea.
    Mr. MICA. Better looking. More handsome.
    Mr. MCCOLLUM. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. We all know each other well. John Mica has a great deal of expertise in transportation, so I don't know that seniority needs to come first in this.
    I'm just really pleased to be before you today to introduce, along with John, our two very distinguished members from Florida representing the two interests that we have before you. Lee Tillietson, on my far right, John's far right, is with the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority as its principal party here today and main honcho down there, and on my left is Leo Auger, the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority's chief person, which, as you may know, that's commonly known as LYNX.
    We're here in two different ways. They wish to talk to you today, and I strongly support, as I'm sure Mr. Mica does, both the airport interests at Orlando's International Airport, and the major transportation concerns that the area has with regard to both highways and rail and buses. I think the LYNX program with the bus transportation part of this has been terribly important over time. So I strongly support what they have to say.

    [The prepared statement of Hon. Bill McCollum follows:]
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    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

    Mr. MICA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First of all, I want to thank you and your staff particularly for your interest in our community and for recognizing the problem that we have and the problem that so many others have in meeting transportation needs. Central Florida is particularly hard hit because of it being a primary tourist destination for folks all over the world. We are called upon to really be a gateway for America with tourism.
    I would like to introduce first Leo Auger. Leo Auger is testifying for his first time as our new director of the Regional Transit Authority. He replaces Paul Skoutelas, who I think you all have known and worked with before. But we are proud to have him on board. He's addressing, first of all, the overall issue of our Regional Transit Authority.
    With that, Mr. Chairman, if we may?
    Mr. WOLF. Sure. If you can limit the statement, we would appreciate it.
    Mr. MICA. I have a statement——
    Mr. WOLF. Your full statement will appear in the record.
    Mr. MICA. It's about 4,000 or 5,000 pages.
    [The prepared statement of Hon. John Mica follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

    Mr. WOLF. Welcome, Mr. Auger.
    Mr. AUGER. Thank you, Chairman Wolf, members of the subcommittee. I am happy to represent the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority, the public transportation agency serving the Orlando metropolitan area. LYNX, as it is known locally, serves the counties of Orange, Seminole, and Osceola with a population of over 1.4 million residents through a variety of services which include bus, carpool, vanpool, and door-to-door paratransit.
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    I greatly appreciate the opportunity to present the testimony today to emphasize the importance of the fiscal year 1999 appropriations, and, in particular, to discuss the high priority capital projects in Central Florida.
    We are requesting funds from the Federal Transit Administration under Section 3, Discretionary Capital Grant funds. We are requesting a total of $104 million from Section 3, New Start Program; $43.7 million from Bus and Bus Facilities; and $24 million from the Intermodal Project. The total would be $171.7 million.
    The light rail project along Interstate 4, which extends through the entire Orlando metropolitan area, is the major transportation facility serving this region. Virtually all of the region's major attractions and activity centers, including the Orlando central business district, the International Drive district which includes Sea World and Universal Studios, Walt Disney World, and the suburban residential and mixed use centers, are within the Interstate 4 corridor. However, construction of many of the segments of this facility date back to the late 1960's and to the 1970's prior to the area's significant commercial and residential growth. In essence, Interstate 4 is functionally obsolete and incapable of providing existing and future capacity for the regional mobility.
    Understanding the importance of developing multimodal transportation solutions, the Florida Department of Transportation adopted a statewide policy of constraining the Florida urban Interstate to no more than six general purpose lanes and four high occupancy vehicle lanes. This FDOT policy also indicates that a fixed guideway public transportation mode shall be used to compliment the highway facility and serve the mobility requirements of the Interstate corridor.
    In September of 1992, the Florida Department of Transportation began developing a multimodal master plan to identify the improvement of the Interstate 4 corridor from Polk, the Osceola County line, to I–94 in Volusia County. An initial LRT line would encompass approximately 24 miles. The draft Environmental Impact Statement indicates a light rail transit line from State Route 434 in Longwood in Seminole County to the Orlando, Orange County International Drive tourist district.
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    The implementing agency, LYNX, is requesting a Federal support for additional design, right-of-way acquisition, yard and shop land acquisition, utility relocation, vehicle requirements, initial construction activities, and construction management for the initial LRT segment, or the minimal operating segment from Central Florida Parkway near Sea World to Livingston Street in downtown Orlando. The estimated cost for this segment is $548 million.
    The Florida Department of Transportation has already committed 25 percent of the capital funding needed for this segment. And with the assistance of Orange County and the City of Orlando, LYNX is securing 25 percent, or approximately $137 million in additional funds from local/private enterprise, from the local business community. The increment of funds requested for this work for the upcoming fiscal year is $104 million.
    Let me briefly describe our other projects.
    The Transit Bus Project. In order to meet the growing needs of the Orlando metropolitan area, LYNX is requesting funds to purchase 50 new coaches. The Federal funding request for this purchase is $12.5 million to continue to replace the aging buses and to expand the bus fleet.
    The new operating facility required. The current LYNX operations and maintenance base was designed for approximately 110 buses. Today it is handling over 195 buses and over 400 employees. As early as in 1984 the Transportation Authority recognized the need for a new operating base. Currently, LYNX and the Florida Department of Transportation are in the selection process for an operating base site within a two mile radius of downtown Orlando with a land acquisition valued at approximately $5 million. This purchase will exhaust the funds program for this facility. The Federal funds requested at this date is approximately $28 million for the construction of that facility.
    Lastly, passenger amenities. LYNX has created an awareness of fixed route bus service with its improved and expanded services along with its nationally recognized marketing program. However, in order to increase accessibility and mobility, more than vehicles are required. The basic infrastructure improvements in the form of signage, lighting, streetscape, information shelters are critical to attract new ridership as well as to maintain the current ridership. The passenger amenity program calls for the installation of approximately 85 shelters per year. This Federal funding request is $800,000.
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    LYNX is currently also pursuing an application for intelligent transportation system technology. This includes a new communication system, customer information network, travel planning centers, automatic vehicle location system, and signal preemption system. LYNX will be implementing this ITS system in partnership with other public entities as well as the private sector. The Federal funding requested for this project is $2.4 million.
    Specific regional land-use activity centers throughout the region have been designated as intermodal sites. There's a need to advance intermodal stationary development through the detail function design and station area right-of-way purchases. The Federal request for this project is $24 million.
    LYNX has achieved many accomplishments over the past five years. We're most proud of our ridership growth which has more than doubled, making LYNX the fastest growing system of its size in the country. Over this period, over 8 million riders have been added to the system annually. Transportation is the life blood of our community and public transportation, in particular, a critical component of our transportation system in Central Florida.

    Thank you for this opportunity to appear before you today and for the consideration of our request. I would be pleased to answer your questions.
    [The prepared statement of Leo Auger follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

    Mr. WOLF. We have no questions. I appreciate your taking the time. Bill McConum and Mr. Mica have been very strong supporters of the LYNX and also with regard to the airport. So we appreciate your coming.
    Mr. MICA. If Mr. Tillietson could say a couple of words on the airport, we would appreciate it.
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    Mr. WOLF. Yes.
    Mr. TILLIETSON. Thank you, Congressman Mica. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would just like to make four quick points and we've included, of course, the details in our testimony.
    First, Orlando International Airport was the fastest growing airport in the world in 1996. In 1997 and as we go into 1998, we're still experiencing explosive growth, this moving us well out in front of our master plan forecast.
    Second, the airlines have agreed to a financing package for $1.2 billion to add additional terminal and infrastructure to the airport. We have contracts for the additional gates and agreements that support that.
    The third point is we're asking for a multi-year support for an LOI that would allow us to complete a North cross-field taxiway that connects the East part of the airport to the West part of our airport. As we complete the North terminal complex and a fourth air site for this explosive growth, that particular taxiway will be critical. We've completed a cost-benefit analysis and we show a significant net present savings in operating costs with this taxiway. We are committing four years of our entitlement money to this project, and we think it is critical to our future.
    The fourth point, our airport is what we refer to as a ''destination origination airport.'' We've had an independent economic analysis showing that our airport generates direct and indirect economic value to Central Florida of over $14 billion and 54,000 jobs. It is a critical economic engine, if you will, of Central Florida. This expansion program that has been approved by the airlines is going to allow us to keep pace with the tremendous investment that's being made by both the business community and the entertainment community in Central Florida. So we ask for your support for this four-year LOI and allow us to complete this very critical project to allow us to match the airline expansion.
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    I thank you very much for being here today to present this information.
    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Packard.
    Mr. PACKARD. I have no questions.
    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Torres.
    Mr. TORRES. No questions.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you, gentlemen. We appreciate it.
    [The GOAA prepared statement follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.
    Mr. WOLF. Next, Mr. Shaw, with former Congressman and Chairman, Mr. Lehman, and also the Vice Mayor José Smith of Miami Beach can join them at the table.
    Welcome, Clay.
    Mr. SHAW. Good morning, Mr. Chairman. I congratulate you, you're way ahead of schedule, both by the calendar and the clock. So I will keep you on that schedule and be brief. You have announced who I am, accompanied by Mr. Lehman and Mr. Smith.
    Because of the speed with which you're undergoing these hearings, there will be some written testimony as to other projects that will be submitted to the committee for your consideration.
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    Mr. WOLF. Without objection. We will keep the record open, Clay.
    Mr. SHAW. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Very briefly, just at the end of last week I had the privilege of being on Miami Beach and being a part, a very small part I might say, of opening a very innovative system of electric vehicles for mass transit that the City of Miami Beach has inaugurated called the ElectroWave. I think it is probably the wave of the future, which certainly is quite appropriate to its name, but I think it is also a very ambitious program which is somewhat unique, not totally unique. I think Chattanooga has got one of these; they were made in Chattanooga, Tennessee. But it is the first in Florida and I think it is something that we should be taking a look at in that area.
    I support the City of Miami Beach's $7 million request for a discretionary earmark through the Federal Transit Administration. The earmark would be used for a Miami Beach multimodal transit center project that will support the City's existing electric shuttle park-and-ride and provide service known as the ElectroWave.
    My statement goes on to give more detail and I will ask that that be made a part of the record, and I will yield to either Mr. Smith or Mr. Lehman for further comments regarding that project.
    Mr. WOLF. Without objection.
    Mr. SHAW. And then I would like to briefly bring up——
    Mr. WOLF. Well, do you want to cover both of them now, Clay?
    Mr. SHAW. I'll go ahead. Another project which is in Fort Lauderdale, which doesn't have anything to do with this, is a project that is not new to this committee, and it is the Ellert Drive widening project going into Port Everglades. Port Everglades is the second largest cruise ship port in the country, second only to the port of Miami.
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    This project has not been authorized. It was, however, in the 1994 National Highway System designation legislation but, unfortunately, it was dropped by the Senate. We are going to be working on it again and hopefully we can make that part of ISTEA. The price tag on that particular project is $4.5 million.
    A third project I would like to bring to the attention of the committee is one that was born out of this committee, and that is the Tri-Rail Project. I know, Mr. Chairman, you and perhaps other members of the committee are familiar with it. What we're asking for is $26 million in new start funds for the construction of the multi-year Southeast Florida Rail Corridor Improvement Program which includes adding a second track to the corridor.
    With that, I would yield to Mr. Lehman.
    [The prepared statement of Hon. E. Clay Shaw follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

    Mr. WOLF. Okay. Mr. Lehman? Bill, welcome back to the committee.
    Mr. LEHMAN. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. I will submit my written testimony for the record.
    Mr. WOLF. Without objection.
    Mr. LEHMAN. Sonny Holtzman is the chairman of the Dade County Expressway Authority and he couldn't make it. I'm the vice chairman, so I'll be testifying on his behalf. But first, I want to thank you and the committee for the help you gave us in fiscal year 1998. We're asking for a continuation of an effort on your part to help us install the electronic toll facilities. It will try to alleviate traffic congestion in metro Dade County and this is a big effort in that respect.
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    Before I sign off, I just want to remind you that ten years ago you and the subcommittee came down to Miami for the Super Bowl.
    Mr. WOLF. I never went to the Super Bowl. I came down after the Super Bowl was over, but I did come down. [Laughter.]
    Mr. LEHMAN. You came down for the working part.
    Mr. WOLF. I came down for the working part. I left after watching the Super Bowl from my house and went out to the airport.
    Mr. LEHMAN. May the record show that. [Laughter.]
    Mr. SHAW. Bill, he was in the McLean area at the time, I know that for a fact.
    Mr. LEHMAN. Anyway, I've been in touch with the mayor's office in Miami and we would like to invite the subcommittee to come down again in January of 1999 for the next Super Bowl. So you have an invitation.
    Mr. WOLF. Okay. I may want to watch it up here, but we'll talk about that. Thank you.
    Mr. LEHMAN. Thank you very much. And it is in the written testimony.
    Mr. WOLF. Your full statement, Bill, will be in the record.
    Mr. LEHMAN. I'll be back in touch.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you, sir.
    [The DCEA prepared statement follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

    Mr. WOLF. Sir?
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    Mr. SMITH. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, my name is José Smith, and I am the Vice-Mayor of the City of Miami Beach. On behalf of the City, I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak to you this morning.
    The City respectfully submits a transportation-related project for a discretionary earmark through the Federal Transit Administration within the fiscal year 1999 transportation appropriations bill. The City-proposed earmark of $7 million will be used towards a Miami Beach multimodal transit center project that will support the City's existing electric shuttle park-and-ride service, known as the ElectroWave.
    This innovative and environmentally-friendly park-and-ride program is already serving South Beach, a congested urban, residential, and commercial historic district of Miami Beach. This program was inaugurated last Friday. However, an outlying transit center/parking facility to support the park-and-ride and other transit services is still very much needed.
    The multimodal center will provide a vital transportation hub and terminal for this area, bringing commuters and visitors together with parking, an information center, the local and regional transit services, as well as the ElectroWave. Employees of South Beach businesses will also be able to park-and-ride from this facility which will be strategically located to serve the incoming traffic from a major arterial causeway. The transit center will also include a full-scale facility for the ElectroWave program and its electric battery-operated vehicles. In addition, the multimodal center will serve as the terminus of an East-West multimodal corridor, a regional transportation project which proposes to interconnect the Florida Turnpike, the Palmetto Expressway, the Dolphin Expressway, and I–95 with Miami International Airport, intermodal center, downtown, the sea port, and the City of Miami Beach.

    The ElectroWave program is included in the five-year transportation improvement program of Miami-Dade County and has the financial support of the City, the Florida Department of Transportation, the FTA, Miami-Dade County Transit Agency, the Florida Power and Light Company, and other clean air and energy organizations.
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    A fiscal year 1999 discretionary FTA fund earmark toward a Miami Beach multimodal center project is critical to the long-term effectiveness of the ElectroWave park-and-ride service and to our City's interconnection with a 21st century East-West multimodal transportation corridor.

    Thank you very much for the opportunity to address the subcommittee.

    [The prepared statement of José Smith follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much for your testimony. And I appreciate, Clay, your taking the time to appear. You've always been a great advocate, taking over from Mr. Lehman who did an unbelievable job to help your area.

    Mr. SHAW. Those are tough shoes to fill, I can assure you.

    If I may just very, very briefly.

    Mr. WOLF. Sure.

    Mr. SHAW. The City of Miami Beach, after decades of laying dormant, has within the last decade gone through a rebirth which is nothing short of spectacular. There is new hotel construction going on, South Beach and what it has done, Lincoln Road, which used to be a wonderful place and sort of fell into disrepair with a lot of vacant buildings, now is a very lively place. This is a very important project. The City Commission is certainly to be commended for their work in contributing to the revitalization of a wonderful, wonderful area of our country which is enjoyed by people from all over the world.
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    Mr. WOLF. Thank you.

    Mr. Packard.

    Mr. PACKARD. I have no questions, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Sabo just came in.

    Mr. SABO. No questions.

    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Aderholt.

    Mr. ADERHOLT. No questions.

    Mr. WOLF. Again, thank you very much. Your full statements will be in the record.

    Mr. SHAW. I thank the committee for your time.


Tuesday, February 3, 1998.

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    Mr. WOLF. Next, Congressman Davis and also Dave Mechanik, Chairman of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority. And also, if we can get the City of Gainesville, Florida, Perry Maull, Transit Director, Regional Transit System, just maybe those two together.

    What we're doing is we're asking, if at all possible, that the statement be limited to five minutes and any other statement we will submit for the record. And there may be questions, too.

    Welcome to the hearing, Jim.

    Mr. DAVIS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. With me this morning is Dave Mechanik, the Chairman of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority. He and I want to briefly highlight to you three funding issues, much of which is a continuation of the work this committee has already done for which we are very grateful.

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    One is $3 million for revenue rolling stock purchases for buses. The second is $6 million to fund a streetcar station which is intended ultimately to be part of an intermodal system in the Tampa Bay Area, in downtown Tampa, specifically. The third, and I think the most important one, is $10 million for preliminary engineering and environmental studies associated with the Tampa Bay Regional Rail Project which eventually is expected to extend to the East into Congressman Canady's district, who has been very supportive of the project, and to the West to Congressman Bilirakis' district.

    In the last fiscal year, the subcommittee provided funding to help replace the aging bus fleet in Tampa. Compliance with ADA has been an issue for our buses, as it has been with many around the country. The $3 million additionally we're asking for will help to replace some of those aging buses and get into compliance with the ADA.

    The Ybor Streetcar Station would be situated in an area where economic development is really teeming, much in the ways that Congressman Shaw related were happening in South Beach in the Miami area. Apart from that, it also is intended to ultimately be the hub of an intermodal system within the community that will be tied into the rail project I will mention lastly. The subcommittee provided $1 million for developmental and preliminary engineering with respect to the Ybor Rail Project in the last budget.

    The final element is the Tampa Bay Regional Rail Project. This project I think is somewhat unique from the others that you will consider from the standpoint that we expect roughly about 50 percent of the cost ultimately to be handled through State and local government sources. This, unlike other rail projects, is to be constructed based on existing right-of-way owned by CSX, who has been very supportive of the cost of the project. Acquiring existing right-of-way, obviously, reduces the overall cost of the project.
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    The MIS study is due to be completed shortly. We'll be working with the authorization committee with respect to at least the first phase of this project. Today, we are requesting $10 million for preliminary engineering and environmental studies associated with this project. The studies would include that portion of the project that ultimately will extend into Congressman Canady's district, and, as I mentioned earlier, this subcommittee has generously provided some early funding for preliminary studies with respect to the environmental aspects of this project.

    So I think there are some very strong merits here to consider, Mr. Chairman. And I would like to turn over the remainder of my time to Mr. David Mechanik.

    [The prepared statement of Hon. Jim Davis (FL) follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

    Mr. MECHANIK. Good morning, Mr. Chairman, subcommittee members. I'm David Mechanik, Chairman of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority.

    As Representative Davis described, we have three projects we're asking for this committee's support for—$3 million for bus replacement purchases, $6 million for Tampa Ybor intermodal station, and $10 million for the Tampa Bay Regional Rail Project which would be for environmental study and preliminary engineering.

    The funds to purchase buses are requested to help HART replaces buses which are currently 16 years old. We are currently becoming one of the oldest bus fleets in the Nation. If this request is approved, it would bring our fleet age to an average of nine years, which would be a significant improvement for our system.
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    We are also requesting funding for an intermodal station where the historic electric streetcar and bus routes will meet. The station, as Mr. Davis mentioned, would be in the historic Ybor City area which would provide many economic development opportunities. The station will provide important connections for local transit travellers, pedestrians, and intercity travellers. It will serve the downtown area, the channel district, and Ybor City, as I mentioned. The project also enhances a number of new development projects in Tampa; the Tampa cruise ship port at Garrison Sea Port, the Convention Center Hotel which is just getting underway, the Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Arena, and the Florida Aquarium.

    The Regional Rail Project arises out of the major investment study which is just being completed this quarter. The study included pedestrian elements, expansion of the bus system including a bus emphasis corridor on 40th Street, and an extension of the streetcar system in downtown Tampa. The completed project would include a rail system that would link various points within Hillsborough County, Lakeland, and potentially Pinellas County. The Regional Rail Project is critically needed as Tampa Bay is experiencing dramatic growth both in population and employment and road improvements alone will not be sufficient to accommodate that growth.

    Your assistance in these three projects is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much for your time.

    [The prepared statement of David Mechanik follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

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    Mr. WOLF. Thank you.


    Mr. MAULL. I'm Perry Maull. I'm the Transit Director for the City of Gainesville. I would like to thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee for this opportunity to appear before you to request an earmark of bus discretionary funds in the amount of $7 million, for a total appropriation of $8.75 million, to allow us to acquire 25 new low-floor buses and related equipment. This will enable the City of Gainesville and its partners, Alachua County, the Florida Department of Transportation, and the University of Florida to dramatically enhance our bus service to the University of Florida campus.

    Just by way of a little bit of background, we have more of a statement for you in the written record. In December 1996 a Presidential Task Force on Parking and Transportation on the University of Florida Campus recommended a major change in the way transportation and parking was addressed. In the past, most of the 42,000 students and another 17,000 faculty and staff have relied on their private automobiles. Parking has been plentiful and cheap. In the future, as the University grows to some 50,000 students and a related number of faculty and staff, the amount of parking and its cost is going to be increased—the cost will be increased, the parking won't be.

    As a result of this, the task force recommended a major enhancement to bus service. We've already begun to do that. We've added buses to our services and have had record-breaking ridership. These 25 buses will allow us to do ten minute services on corridors to campus and change the whole way that transportation is provided in Gainesville. And I might add that in March of 1997, the University of Florida student body voted to implement a fee on themselves up to $1 a credit hour which next fall will be implemented and give them free unlimited access to the bus system. So we will have 42,000 students with bus passes next Fall. We need these 25 buses as soon as we can get them.
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    Thank you very much.
    [The prepared statement of Perry Maull follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much. I appreciate your coming. I have no questions, just one comment. In the rail, the higher the match, the better. As you're looking to that, we don't have your match yet. I don't know what you've said, but as you've listened to the previous witness was talking about 50–50. The higher the match, obviously, the better it is. But I appreciate your taking the time to come before the committee.
    Mr. Pastor.
    Mr. PASTOR. No questions, thank you.
    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Aderholt.
    Mr. DAVIS. Mr. Chairman, to that point, I believe the representation is the 50 percent. I'm anxious for you to have the benefit of the MIS study, which I'm looking forward to reviewing, but our representation last year and this year continues to be 50 percent. We're working hard at that.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much.

    Mr. WOLF. The Coalition for American Trauma Care, Doctor Champion. Welcome to the committee. Your full statement will appear in the record.
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    Dr. CHAMPION. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I'm a trauma surgeon. I've been working in the Baltimore-Washington area for 25 years. During that time I've established guidelines for the type of patients that should be taken from automobile crashes into trauma centers, and they've been implemented throughout the country as part of the American College of Surgeons Guidelines for Trauma Systems.
    Last year, we did some analyses of the NITSA databases to look at the automobile trauma problem because—this is the common graph that is available showing automobile crash deaths in the United States have gone down, generally speaking, since the late 1970s, but are now on the upswing over the past three or four years. NITSA's own figures will project about 55,000 deaths per year early next century, which is about a 10 percent increase on where we are at the present time.
    What we found when we did these analyses, that graph that everybody is aware of disguises or hides an even more troubling set of figures, which is that the number of deaths prior to receiving emergency care in this country has doubled over a period of 20 years; it was around 10,000 in 1976, and last year in 1996 it went over 20,000. The prehospital time prior to emergency care reaching automobile crash victims in this country is about an hour in rural areas, and about 30 minutes before they get into hospital in urban areas. We tried to revise our guidelines for emergency system response based on the NITSA databases and, after about 150 analyses, were unable to do so. In other words, the rudimentary system for identifying crash victims that need trauma centers and those at risk of dying could not be improved with the current analyses.
    We came up, therefore, with an alternative system which is basically placing a black box in cars and linking the automobiles to the emergency system. With available technology. Now, this is not magic, it doesn't need investments in technology, it just needs investment in the linkage between the automobile crash which will give a crash signature by a cellular mechanism to the EMS system and also predict the risk of injury and the risk of serious injury, removing that 5 to 10 to 20 minutes, depending on where you are, between the crash and the identification of the crash and the location of the crash.
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    Now all these bits of technology exist. It's just a question of linking them up and reducing the time between injury and the receipt of care. The system, the Automatic Crash Notification System will provide the crash signature, the risk of injury, and provide it promptly and immediately to the EMS system together with the location of the crash. That's all summarized in this little graph, which I can pass around if you want to look at it. This should be in an ambulance dispatch center. And it is, as I say, existing technology. It identifies the street map, the coordinates of the car crash at the time the crash occurred or promptly thereafter using a 911 system through triangulated cellular or GPS systems. Technology available today.
    On these bars down here, you'll see the information that we know predicts the risk of injury. We can say that anything from a zero percentage risk of injury to a 30 percent risk of injury are serious injuries, and that will prompt EMS systems to come quickly and, presumably, hopefully reduce the increasing carnage that we see on our roads today.
    So we're asking for an increasing investment in this technology. There are putative efforts involved at the present time but there are resources that should be mobilized from ITS into this. We have spoken with Doctor Johnson. We do believe that more can be done. There is a minuscule fraction of intelligent transport system budgets moving in this direction at the present time. This is a matter of life and death. It's not a question of roads and so forth, it's something that could relate to saving human lives.

    Mr. WOLF. Good. I appreciate your testimony. The technology is available. The committee has funded the ITS. I guess it is all a question of putting it in the ITS that's implemented and put it in the automobiles.

    What I would suggest is having staff set up a meeting for you. I think you ought to go and meet with Doctor Martinez. It is not that you're from California, you're from here, so it would not pose travel inconveniences. So we're going to set up a meeting for you to meet with Dr. Martinez before he comes up before the committee, which is on March 11. We can ask him about that.
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    Dr. CHAMPION. Dr. Martinez is aware of this.
    Mr. WOLF. But I want you to meet with him directly so you can talk to him directly.
    Dr. CHAMPION. Very good, sir.
    Mr. WOLF. Okay. Mr. Pastor.
    Mr. PASTOR. Good morning.
    Dr. CHAMPION. Good morning, sir.
    Mr. PASTOR. More information on the black box. Recently, I rented a car and it was able to tell me where I started and gave me directions as I drove to the place I was going to. Is this what you referred to as the black box, or is this something similar?

    Dr. CHAMPION. No, no, no. That is part of the system, that is one technology. The AAA have mapped every centimeter of the road system in this country and GPS can tell you where you are. If you have the local roadmaps and so forth, you can tell it where you want to go and what the appropriate route is, and, if you have traffic information, the best way to get there.
    The ACN takes actually information from the airbag which gives you the velocity of an impact, whether the airbag was released or not, the principal direction of force, whether the car was rolled over, whether someone was ejected or not, whether seatbelts were used, ultimately whether you're a big person or a little person, whether the seatbelt is likely to damage you or not, and gives you a prediction of whether you have an injury or not because the speed was over 5 miles an hour, 10 miles, or over 30 miles an hour which would give you a risk of life-threatening injury.
    If it's a life-threatening injury, most people die within an hour; we've known that for 30 or 40 years. If we can take 10 minutes, 15 minutes off this pre-hospital, pre-AMS time, we can save lives. That plus there's a lot of improvements in emergency care coming around the corner. All these little boutique drugmakers in California have gotten drugs which will stop the brain dying, stop the heart dying. If we can get there quicker, by early next century we're going to be able to substantially put a dent in what is the second biggest global health problem, which is moving vehicle crash deaths, a growing and hugely costly problem in this country.
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    Mr. PASTOR. You talked about the crash signature. Is this the crash signature there?
    Dr. CHAMPION. Some of that is crash signature, yes. I'll have to put my glasses on. The crash signature would actually give the delta V, that's part of the crashing measure, that's the change in velocity, would give the VIN number of the car to give you the weight and the model and the year, it would give you the principal direction of force, whether the car rolled over, the clear weight of the car, that's part of the VIN. So this is really basically the crash signature here. We've got a mathematical computation which gives risk of injury, risk of death from this.
    Mr. PASTOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you.
    Staff will set that meeting up for you, Doctor. Thank you very much for coming before the committee.

    [The prepared statement of Dr. Champion follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."




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    Mr. WOLF. Next, to save time, if we can have, at the table the American Association of Airport Executives, Mr. Barclay; the Professional Airways Systems Specialists, Mr. Fanfalone; General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Mr. Bolen; and the National Organization to Insure a Sound-Controlled Environment (NOISE), Betty Ann Krahnke. If you can all come up together, we would appreciate it.

    Mr. Barclay, you may start. Your full statement will appear in the record.

    Mr. BARCLAY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would just like to emphasize a couple of points from our testimony. Airports appreciate this committee's leadership of last year in providing $1.7 billion in AIP, particularly in light of the administration's request which was only $1 billion last year. That was an essential increase and we appreciate it very much.

    This year we also want to offer our thanks to Secretary Slater and Administrator Garvey for their strong and effective campaign within the administration to come up with a more realistic AIP level, and the administration's budget does reflect a following of this committee's leadership in recommending a $1.7 billion level for fiscal year 1999. We think that's a much more realistic starting point for the committee's deliberations.

    Second, airports are requesting that the committee consider an obligational ceiling level that would match the authorized level of $2.4 billion for this fiscal year. We think that level is not only justified by all the studies that have been done on airport needs, but considering the added revenue going into the Aviation Trust Fund, we think it would be a wise investment. When one considers that place as small as Hong Kong is investing $25 billion in one new airport, it puts in perspective our request for $2.4 billion for 3,400 airports nationwide in this country. We think that would be a modest investment in our system.
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    If the committee's choices won't allow that kind of a level, we would appreciate consideration of at least a $2 billion, which was the minimum recommended by the National Civil Aviation Review Commission, and it is also the minimum recommended by both airlines and airports who agree on this issue.

    Finally, I would like to leave the committee with the emphasis that these are requests for investments as opposed to consumption spending. If one tries to picture our economy without an aviation system in a country as large as ours, it quickly becomes apparent that we couldn't run a modern competitive economy for the simple fact of geography. It is also clear that aviation capacity can quickly then become a bottleneck in our economy, to its expansion and growth, if we're not meeting demand with capacity in an aviation system. So while we appreciate the $1.7 billion level, it is also sobering to note that that was below the level AIP was at back in 1991 when we had 100 million fewer passengers in the system.

    I would conclude by saying we think an increased AIP level would not only be important for aviation, which it is, and for our members, but it's a sound investment in a growing and competitive economy.

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much.

    [The prepared statement of Charles Barclay follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

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Tuesday, February 3, 1998.




    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Fanfalone.

    Mr. FANFALONE. Good morning, Chairman Wolf and members of the subcommittee. My name is Michael Fanfalone. I am the president of the Professional Airways Systems Specialists (PASS). Thank you for inviting PASS to testify today.

    PASS provides exclusive representation for over 10,000 systems specialists, flight inspection pilots, aviation safety inspectors, and safety support staff employed by the FAA. PASS has testified in previous years that while we have the safest air traffic control system in the world, the system's capacity is being stretched to its limits. We already have proof that the reliability and efficiency of the system is being compromised.

    Today, the time to restore equipment has increased from approximately 7 hours in 1983 to about 27.5 hours in 1997. Modernization of the NAS is years behind schedule, and with the year 2000 fast approaching, the old systems are no longer reliable.

    Year after year we testify about the same concerns and not only do they remain unresolved, they are getting worse. Staffing is a major concern for all the FAA bargaining units we represent. For Airway Facilities, the systems specialists workforce is staffed at 71 percent of the staffing standard. Airway Facilities recognizes that the level needs to be at a minimum of 80 percent of the staffing standard, which would result in 575 currently vacant positions being filled.
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    PASS, however, feels that the FAA should be at 100 percent of the staffing standard, especially since aviation activity is growing, aviation technology is changing rapidly, and the number of facilities will continue to expand. PASS does not understand why the FAA is requesting funding for only 150 system specialists instead of the 575 that Airway Facilities believes are needed.
    Unfortunately, staffing shortages and training deficits have led the FAA to use contract maintenance. This has proven to be a more expensive and dangerously inefficient alternative to in-house maintenance. There are countless examples of FAA contractors directly causing air traffic control system problems or outages. However, if the FAA did the required cost-benefit analysis for the many systems under contractor maintenance, the agency would discover that in-house maintenance is more cost-efficient.
    For flight standards aviation safety inspectors, staffing shortages in the support areas has resulted in our inspector workforce spending much of their time doing paperwork in the office instead of being out in the field doing inspections. Inspectors need at least 500 additional support staff in the form of aviation safety assistance and aviation safety technicians. The positions provide support by writing up accident investigation reports, enforcement investigation reports, answering Freedom of Information Act requests, and interfacing with the general public.
    Not only is support staff desperately needed, but more inspectors are also needed. In December of 1997, approximately 3 to 4 percent of the inspector workforce retired. With the understanding that a time period of two to three years is needed to bring any new inspector up to a level of competence, the FAA must address retirements immediately and hire new inspectors to bring the staffing levels up to insure the safety of the flying public.
    There's also a problem with the year 2000. Getting system specialists trained to maintain the new computer system is of deep concern. The FAA has chosen only to use the Professional Airways Systems Specialists to help with the Y2K problem in a few of its many systems. We would like to be part of more of the Y2K resolution.
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    With that, I conclude my comments and invite your questions. Thank you.

    Mr. WOLF. I have no questions, just one comment though to Mr. Fanfalone. I am worried about the Y2K problem. We have sent a letter over to Mrs. Garvey. I'm worried they're going to run out of time. If you think you can make a constructive contribution, Rich Elford will call Mrs. Garvey and suggest that they have you or your people meet with them within the next week, because this problem will become critical. I think the number of people who have the capability to deal with this are actually declining because they're being hired in the private sector and government can't really afford to bring some of these people on. So we would like to have you work with her. We have asked that they designate one person at the FAA to be responsible for this. So Mr. Elford will work out an arrangement for you to meet with their people to make sure that every opportunity that you want is available for you to participate in solving this very, very difficult problem.
    Mr. FANFALONE. I appreciate the offer. Thank you very much.
    [The prepared statement of Michael Fanfalone follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you.
    Mr. Bolen.
    Mr. BOLEN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, for the opportunity to testify today. I'll be brief and to the point. I've submitted by written testimony.

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    Mr. WOLF. Your testimony will appear in the record.
    Mr. BOLEN. Thank you very much. Mr. Chairman, as you well know, for two years the aviation industry has been embroiled in a very bitter battle over FAA funding. The debate over whether to fund the FAA through user fees or excise taxes has, frankly, brought the aviation community to a standstill. It has taken all of our time and all of our effort and very little else has been done besides focus on that issue. It was a critical issue for us. From a general aviation perspective, user fees would have been very damaging for our industry which has begun to rebound since passage of the General Aviation Revitalization Act. So it was an issue of such seriousness we had to focus on it.
    But I believe that last fall, with Congress reinstating the aviation excise taxes, and because of this committee's particularly strong language in the appropriations bill on user fees, I believe that the aviation community has an opportunity to put the funding issue behind us and begin to focus on how we modernize the system and move forward into the 21st century. It's a critical issue and one that we should have been working together on for a long time but have not. I think we now have that opportunity.
    At GAMA, we are very supportive of moving toward a satellite-based navigation system. Because of that, we hope that this committee will continue to work on the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS). Clearly, it is a program that has had some problems, but it is our understanding that the new contractor is performing under that. We believe the benefits make continued support worthwhile. We know it requires tough management and close oversight on your perspective, but we hope that will continue. We also support a Beta test of these technologies.
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    I think there is a lot about these issues which need to be resolved and we're going to work on those. There are still a lot of details that are unknown, but we believe the benefits are out there and we pledge our support to working on that.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much. I have no questions.
    Mr. Pastor.
    Mr. PASTOR. Simply to say that in mid-January or early January the American Association of Airport Executives had their annual conference and they asked me to participate along with other Members of Congress. I certainly highly recommend that if you're ever invited to go and participate in their conference that you would accept their invitation. It was very well done, Mr. Barclay.
    Mr. BARCLAY. Thank you, Congressman.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Edward Bolen follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.
    Mr. WOLF. The American Public Transit Association, Mr. Millar, and also if the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, the American Passenger Rail Coalition, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, and the American Society of Civil Engineers can all approach the table together.
    Mr. Millar is driving and that's why he's late. [Laughter.]
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    We will begin with Mr. Loftus.
    Mr. LOFTUS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am William E. Loftus, president of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association. We appreciate the opportunity to appear again before you on a familiar subject.
    We urge your support for funding the small railroad pilot project program which is authorized in the current version of the ISTEA legislation, both in the House and the Senate. The authorization in the House provides $25 million a year over the next three fiscal years. The authorization has been included in the bipartisan managers' bill in both the House and the Senate, and we fully expect it to remain in the legislation as it moves through the conference committee and to Congress later this year.
    Over 40 members cosponsored this effort in the House and gave us their active support as we worked to place the provision in the ISTEA bill. These members were drawn together in the common belief that there is a huge gap in this Nation's transportation policy. That gap concerns the role of hundreds of short line and regional railroads that are fighting to preserve rail service in mostly rural areas. These areas do not have traffic volume sufficient to support large Class I rail operations and these small railroads are often the only viable alternative to rail line abandonment. However, many of these rail lines require substantial upgrading if they are able to handle the increasingly heavy rail cars being built by the Class I railroads for general use in the industry.
    There are many examples where a light density rail line project is the most cost-effective use of States' scarce transportation dollars. Many State Departments of Transportation have indicated that they want this flexibility to be able to invest in light density rail line projects at local option. I anticipate the committee will hear from the States in support of funding for these light density rail line projects.
    These projects, for instance, could enhance the ability of a rail line to handle the new heavy axle-load rail equipment and, thus, stay part of the national rail network for moving grain to market, minerals from mines, or unit coal trains into utility plants. There are numerous examples where it is most cost-effective for the State to make a small investment in a light density rail line in order to avoid the much larger expenditure that would be required to upgrade and maintain a secondary road, bridge, or traffic that would be shifted if the rail line did not handle it.
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    Mr. Chairman, we know the committee did not provide funding for the Local Rail Freight Assistance Program in its most recent years. This is not LRFA. We have attempted to fashion a pilot program that gives individual States the opportunity to decide for themselves how light density rail lines fit into their transportation plans. Where the State decides that a private railroad does address a public transportation need, we envision substantial private financial participation in the project.
    Light density rail lines are not typically found in heavy populated metropolitan areas that are blessed with four-lane highways and Class I railroad main lines. Generally, they are in the more rural areas where small shippers depend on small railroads to get their products to market in the most cost-effective way possible. Often it is much cheaper for the State to save an existing light density rail line than build a new highway for truck transportation.
    In addition to providing the States the flexibility to address their specific needs, I believe helping these small railroads is a cost-effective way to help achieve a number of national goals. These benefits include: reduced highway repair costs, highway congestion relief, air quality improvements, and enhanced safety. We are confident that the final ISTEA legislation will authorize the pilot projects and we urge the subcommittee and the committee to move forward with the appropriations in support of them.
    Thank you for your time, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much.
    [The prepared statement of William Loftus follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.
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    Mr. WOLF. Ms. Parcells.
    Ms. PARCELLS. Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, my name is Harriet Parcells and I am the executive director of the American Passenger Rail Coalition (APRC), a national association of rail equipment suppliers and rail businesses. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today.
    The investments Amtrak has been making in new equipment and facilities, combined with service improvements, a renewed focus on customer service, and better marketing are yielding positive results. Amtrak ridership in October through December 1997, the first quarter of fiscal year 1998, rose nearly 7 percent—the largest quarterly increase in 14 years. Passenger revenues for the quarter rose 3.4 percent. This ridership increase comes on top of a 5.5 percent increase in the prior quarter and a 2.6 percent Amtrak ridership increase in fiscal year 1997 overall.
    Two crucial bills were passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in 1997 that reaffirmed the Nation's commitment to an economically strong, healthy national Amtrak system. First, as part of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Congress set aside $2.3 billion for Amtrak capital investments; and second, the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act of 1997 was enacted which provides Amtrak with the needed reauthorization and includes important labor, liability, and other reforms to allow Amtrak to operate more efficiently. These bills are essential building blocks to a better future for Amtrak. But Amtrak must continue to receive adequate capital and operating appropriations from Congress in order to continue the success it is experiencing and to achieve the goal of being operating subsidy-free by the year 2002.
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    When APRC appeared before this subcommittee last year we spoke about our strong support for dedicating a half-cent of the Federal gasoline tax for Amtrak capital investments. This would have generated approximately $4 billion in capital funding for Amtrak. Instead, Congress set aside $2.3 billion in capital funding. We greatly appreciate this act that was taken by Congress and this vital funding will be used by Amtrak for high rate of return capital investments. But Congress must recognize that the $2.3 billion is substantially less capital than would have been generated by the half-cent of the Federal gas tax. If Amtrak is to stay on track to operating self-sufficiency by the year 2002, strong capital and operating appropriations are essential to supplement the $2.3 billion.
    The $2.3 billion is for capital investment. APRC strongly believes that this funding must be preserved for its intended purpose—for capital investment. Amtrak will use this funding to modernize equipment and facilities, and Congress should prevent the funding from being siphoned off for operating expenditures or other non-capital investment expenses.
    Several years ago, Congress and the Administration reached a consensus on a plan that would enable Amtrak to reach the goal of operating subsidy-free by the year 2002. The success of this plan is predicated on Congress providing Amtrak with sufficient capital and maintaining Amtrak on a downward glide path of Federal operating assistance until the year 2002.
    We believe that Congress crafted a good plan and that it is working, but we are here before you as businesses who are in the practice of adopting business plans that set a course for action. These business plans only work if the assumptions on which they are built are met. Yet there's been a significant shortfall or underfunding of the glide path for Amtrak. If the goal line Congress has set remains the year 2002, Congress needs to provide Amtrak with the agreed upon operating funds.
    For fiscal year 1999, APRC urges Congress to appropriate Amtrak at least $376 million to meet its operating needs, $329 million to address its capital needs to be supplemented by funds from the Taxpayer Relief Act.
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    I would like to just comment very quickly on the Administration's budget that was unveiled yesterday. The Administration has proposed $621 million for Amtrak in capital for fiscal year 1999. While we appreciate the Administration's recognition of the importance of capital, they propose taking the entire $621 million from the Highway Trust Fund. First of all, there is no enabling legislation which would be needed to allow this to move forward. My sense also is that at this point there isn't a consensus yet reached in Congress on the levels of highway funding that there will be and I suspect that this proposal will encounter strong opposition.
    We feel Congress crafted a good plan to get Amtrak to being operating subsidy-free. We urge you to stick to that plan. Our testimony also includes our support for Operation Life Saver, the next generation high speed rail R&D program, and for FRA safety work. Thank you.

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much.
    [The prepared statement of Harriet Parcells follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.



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    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Sproles.
    Mr. SPROLES. Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. My name is Max Sproles, vice president of Frederic R. Harris, Incorporated. I am here today as chairman of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. I am a long-time resident of Northern Virginia, a Virginia native. My company has an office in Fairfax with over 40 people working on transportation projects. I appreciate the opportunity to testify on fiscal year 1999 transportation funding.
    ARTBA was founded in 1902 and is the only national association devoted solely to the planning, construction, and safe operation of transportation facilities of all types. Our nationwide membership of 4,000 companies and organizations is composed of contractors, engineers, planners, equipment manufacturers, materials suppliers, financial institutions, educators, and transportation officials from Federal, State, and local government.

    ARTBA commends you and members of the subcommittee for your leadership and strong support of the Federal transportation program. We particularly commend you for the exemplary efforts this subcommittee waged during the fiscal year 1998 appropriations cycle to increase transportation funding and meet our national transportation needs.
    Mr. Chairman, my written testimony has been submitted for the record. I would just summarize several points this morning. First, Federal transportation investments not only improve safety for all Americans, they have a dramatic impact on the economy. A new ARTBA research project study to be released later this month will show that 1.6 million American jobs are directly related to transportation construction activities. This represents 1.3 percent of all U.S. jobs. Each additional billion dollars invested in the Federal Highway Program creates over 42,000. The total value of the Nation's transportation infrastructure exceeds $1.5 trillion, and that's more than 6 percent of the Nation's total tangible wealth in Government and privately-owned structures and equipment.
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    Even more important, however, transportation infrastructure accounts for 12 percent, or $1 out of $8, of the Nation's stock of productive assets. One example helps put the value of transportation investments in perspective. The total value of all the computers and peripherals owned by American businesses is about $160 billion. That's one-tenth of the value of the Nation's transportation infrastructure.
    The second point I would like to make is that Congress should have access to the latest information available on the condition and investment requirements for the Nation's transportation infrastructure as it makes these key funding decisions. The U.S. Department of Transportation's biannual Highway Needs Report to Congress, which is required by law, is now more than one year late. We believe that this report has been held hostage by the White House Office of Management and Budget. We also have reason to believe that the report will have a new format that will make it difficult to assess whether or not progress is being made, and this would be contrary to the letter and spirit of the law.

    Two weeks ago, ARTBA filed a Freedom of Information Act request with OMB seeking all information related to its decisions on the development and delivery, or lack thereof, of this report. We urge the committee to help spring this important report from the Administration so that it can be used in your deliberations and during upcoming ISTEA reauthorization and budget debates.
    Finally, Mr. Chairman, I would like to make a few brief comments on the Administration's budget released yesterday. Overall, we were pleased that the Federal transportation investment would appear to at least keep pace with inflation. Attention must be drawn, however, to the fact that the Administration's budget would invest about $12 billion less on highways and bridges during fiscal year 1999 than the Government will collect in highway user fees from the Nation's motorists and truckers. In our view, that is highway robbery.
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    The fact is the Nation's motorists will be paying for a $34.4 billion highway program and under the Administration's plan getting a $22.2 billion program. ARTBA urges the committee to fully fund the highway program and the Mass Transit Capital program at the level that can be accommodated through the trust fund revenue stream. We also urge that you fund the user-financed Airport Improvement Program at least at a $2 billion level during fiscal year 1999.
    Mr. Chairman, a moment ago I briefly referred to an ARTBA report on the economic benefits of transportation that will be released later this month. This report is detailed in my written testimony and was prepared by ARTBA's director of economics and research, Dr. William Butner, who previously spent 22 years as a senior economist for the Joint Economic Committee. Mr. Butner is here with me today.
    Mr. Chairman, once again we commend the subcommittee for its dedication to America's transportation programs and its work to provide needed financial support. ARTBA will continue to work with you as we try to aggressively meet these most important national needs. Dr. Butner and I would be happy to answer any questions.

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you, Mr. Sproles.
    [The prepared statement of Max Sproles follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."



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    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Davis.
    Mr. DAVIS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My name is Jim Davis. I am a civil engineer. I am also the executive director and chief executive officer of the American Society of Civil Engineers. As you know, civil engineers are the designers, builders, operators, and maintainers of the world's infrastructure, including the transportation systems here in America. On behalf of all of our 124,000 members, I would like to thank you and the other members of the committee for the opportunity to address the fiscal year 1999 budget.
    Regardless of what gets appropriated, civil engineers will make do with whatever we have. We've done so in the past, we'll do so in the future. However, it is difficult for us to come in year after year and look at the budget, and a budget for this year that's relatively about the same as last year, that's relatively flat. The only glimmer of hope we saw in the budget was a potential 10 percent increase in the research and development. We would encourage that that activity take place.
    But the strength of America has been and continues to be its transportation systems. It must continue to be its transportation systems—its highway systems, its railroad systems, its air transport systems. But to maintain our international competitiveness and to serve our members, we need to put more resources into our transportation systems. For civil engineers it is very appalling when we see bridges—we're sort of the doctors of the transportation field—we can look at a bridge, we can determine that it is obsolete, that it needs to be repaired or replaced, and we can come down and say this. However, as I said earlier, we spend what we get year-in, year-out. It is time though for us to look at the backlog that is currently out there. As we understand the report from Federal Highway Administration, over 200,000 of 600,000 bridges are obsolete and need to be replaced. That is a need to invest $80 billion additional in bridges.
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    When we look at mass transit, an area that I know well, we need to invest an additional $7.9 billion to maintain our current mass transit system. We look at the $4.5 billion we have today and we say we're doing good. Twenty years ago when I worked for then the Urban Mass Transportation Administration, I was responsible for the capital and operating assistance budget of $4.1 billion. Twenty years later we look at $4.5 billion and we pat ourselves on the back. There's something wrong with that number. There's something wrong with the way we've been managing our systems.
    We talk about our road system in this country. As I understand the numbers, there are $23 billion we waste on roadways because of ill repair. I was reading a report recently that said 50 to 60 percent of our major highway systems in this country are in need of repair. Civil engineers, again, can design, rebuild the transportation systems in this country. We're trained to do that. However, we need your help.

    We come today to offer to partner with you, to reach out with you to help build safe, efficient, and cost-effective transportation systems. Thank you.

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you.

    [The prepared statement of James Davis follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.

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    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Millar, we're all wondering if you came by Metro or by car?

    Mr. MILLAR. Well, as a matter of fact, sir, I can report Metro is running very well this morning, I just started a little later than I should have.

    Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before the committee. I must start by just thanking you and the members of the committee so much for your work last year. We really started in a very deep hole with the Administration's proposal last year and you and your committee members worked very hard to make changes in the appropriations as it went through the process. We were very, very pleased with the results of the work of this committee last year. We thank you for that very much. It is consistent with your long career and your long support for public transportation, and we really do appreciate that.

    So, really, we're here today to ask that you continue to build on that excellent record that was established by the committee last year. There's no doubt about it, as some of my colleagues have said here, there's a clear need for further investment in public transportation and, in fact, in all of surface transportation. DOT says it is $13 billion a year, AASHTO says it is $14 billion a year, our numbers show $15 billion; whosever numbers you want to use, it is clear there is a need for additional investment in surface transportation and public transit, in particular.
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    The investments that this committee has approved in the past are starting to pay off. I have the great joy really to tell you that the customers are rewarding us by using our services more. In fact, in 1997 ridership was up on public transportation systems across the country, just as it was up in 1996, and it is up across all modes—bus is up, rail is up, commuter rail is up, rapid transit is up. So, again, I think we're seeing the results of a lot of things, including investment.

    That increase in ridership is coming while we're maintaining our efficiency. The farebox recovery ratio of transit systems around the country continues to improve. Our members at APTA are taking seriously the requirements to be good stewards of the public funds, to make sure that they keep their expenses under control, and that they work hard to see that the passengers pay a fair share of the cost of operating our systems. And finally in this regard, we've seen an increase in both State and local assistance for public transportation. So I'm very, very pleased about that.

    In this past year, we've seen some improvements around the country; one of them certainly here in Washington, D.C., the opening of the new MCI Arena. We've seen that when people are given high quality, convenient public transportation service, they will use it. I understand now that MCI is seeing over 50 percent of the people who go to the arena using public transportation. I know around the country, whether it is Cleveland with Jacobs Field, or Baltimore with Camden Yards, and on and on and on, that's a pattern we are seeing. In fact, the benefits of public transportation we have documented in a number of reports in the past year—our Dollars and Cents Report which shows transit's contribution to the economics of the country as well as reduction in traffic congestion, a recently released report on the benefits of commuter rail. I would be very happy to make those available to the committee. So, I think we're beginning to see the pay-off in many of the investments that have been made.
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    Today I have several points to make to you about the specifics of the appropriation, some of which will be of no surprise to you, you've heard APTA before. We are, of course, advocating the highest possible funding for the Federal Transit Program. We believe that, as has been described by the earlier witnesses, that the money is there in the Highway Trust Fund and the Mass Transit account. We would like to see that money spent.

    We believe that the efforts of this committee and others to deal with the long-standing issues relating to operating assistance, that very good progress was made last year and we would again encourage the committee to continue the flexibility for those communities of less than 200,000, but allow all transit systems flexibility to spend formula money on preventative maintenance. I just returned literally at 1:00 this morning from a meeting out in California of over 130 transit general managers and I had a chance to talk with them about how well that preventative maintenance activity is working. With one or two exceptions, it is working very well over the country. So we thank you for that and want to continue it.

    Next, it was mentioned earlier about research. We too believe that research money needs to be spent. We are very disappointed that the Administration in the fiscal year 1998 cycle has been saying to us they are not going to be able to fund the Transit Cooperative Research Program which is so important to us at the same level in 1997, that it is going to be reduced. We would like to see the Transit Cooperative Research Program specifically called out in the appropriations bill and funded at least at the $8.2 level from 1997.

    We also understand the FTA has critical administrative funding needs and we would support that as well.
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    Later this week, Mr. Chairman, I am going to be doing something that, as far as I know, APTA has never done. I'm going to be appearing before Mr. Porter's subcommittee on Labor/Health and Human Resources/Education to talk with them about the benefits of making sure that public transit is thought of as the Nation carries out its efforts in welfare-to-work and the other very important social programs that our Nation sponsors. I'm very much looking forward to that.

    As my colleagues have done, let me close by commenting on the Administration's budget proposal, as much as we understand of it since it was just released yesterday. As far as public transit, I have to tell you we're generally disappointed. Overall, the level of funding the Administration is proposing for public transit is less for 1999 than was appropriated in 1998. There's no new money to assist in welfare-to-work. It has often been said that transit is the ''to'' in welfare-to-work. There's no new money for that.

    There is again the Administration proposal to take the discretion away from the Congress with regard to the allocation of bus and bus facility funds and fold that into a formula with the rail modernization funds. We don't see any good public policy purpose to be served by that.

    And finally, we are concerned that in the rural areas they would fund the ARTAP program out of the rural formula funds, thus effectively reducing the rural formula funds. Certainly, rural areas have a great need for public transit. In fact, later this year we expect to be able to submit to the committee a report that will document the economic benefit of investment in rural public transportation.
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    On the good news side, yesterday the President did announce a new Climate Change Initiative and announced a proposal to equalize the tax treatment of parking benefits and public transit benefits, something that our Association has advocated for years and we would certainly recommend that to the Congress if it chooses to take action on the Climate Change Initiative.

    So on balance, Mr. Chairman, first, we're very pleased with the work of this committee and especially the work you were able to do for us last year. We would ask you to build on that. We believe the higher ridership that we're seeing in public transit, the increase in the farebox recovery ratio shows that we're good stewards of the money and the American people are responding to improvements in the system. We would like to see the highest possible funding levels, and we would be happy to work with you on the details of that as you pull together your bill this year.

    Thank you very much. We're very pleased to be with you.

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you.
    I appreciate all of you coming today. I think the committee is sympathetic to much of what you have said. I think what the committee has done over the years in a bipartisan fashion has demonstrated our commitment.
    Mr. Millar, I would just ask if you could submit for the record how the flexibility has worked. You talked about the 130 transits; tell us where it worked well and where it didn't work so we can take a look at that.
    Mr. MILLAR. Yes, sir.
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    [The prepared statement of William Millar and additional information follow:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

    Mr. WOLF. I really have no questions of this panel.
    I just might say to the rail passenger people, my sense tells me that Mr. Tom Downs was treated somewhat shoddy; that's my sense, my intuition. I'm not going to ask you to comment on it, but I think he was working hard and trying. I think that's taking somebody who had a relatively good record and treating him in a very, very poor way. How that comes out, we just don't know. But I just would like to say that for the record.
    Mr. Pastor.
    Mr. PASTOR. No questions.
    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Packard.
    Mr. PACKARD. Just a question, Mr. Millar. What is the farebox recovery now nationwide?
    Mr. MILLAR. The last year for which the final numbers are in was fiscal year 1995, and at that point I have 37.9 percent as the national average. Based on some preliminary numbers from 1996, we expect when the final numbers are in that will grow to over 38 percent.
    Mr. PACKARD. Thank you.
    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Aderholt.
    Mr. ADERHOLT. No questions.
    Mr. WOLF. Is there anything we can do to get that number up even higher?
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    Mr. MILLAR. Well, I think you keep reminding us of our responsibilities, we'll keep working on it, and together we can make it happen.
    Mr. WOLF. What legislative change would enable that to go higher?
    Mr. MILLAR. I'll have to think on that a little bit, but I'm sure there are some ideas. I've always been a big believer in incentives; if you want people to do things, hold out carrots for them to reach. Certainly, we could work with you to fashion some ideas on incentives that would encourage higher operating ratios. Be happy to work on that with you.
    Mr. WOLF. We would welcome any thoughts you might have.
    Mr. MILLAR. Thank you.
    Mr. WOLF. Again, I thank all of you for coming. We appreciate it very much.






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    Mr. WOLF. Betty Ann Krahnke.
    Are you two together?
    Ms. KRAHNKE. Yes.
    Mr. WOLF. We're limited to five minutes, but if you want to have someone come up and share the time, you're certainly welcome.
    Ms. KRAHNKE. Thank you.
    Mr. WOLF. Welcome.
    Ms. KRAHNKE. Chairman Wolf and members of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, my name is Betty Ann Krahnke. I am a member of the Montgomery County, Maryland, County Council, chairman of the Committee on Noise Abatement of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, and the treasurer and member of the Executive Committee of the National Organization to Insure a Sound-Controlled Environment, better known as NOISE. Betty Ann Kane is the lobbying coordinator for NOISE.
    On behalf of the president of NOISE, Tom Egan, the mayor of Eagan, Minnesota, and our members from cities and counties all across the country, I am pleased to be here this morning to present our comments to the House Committee on Appropriations' Subcommittee on Transportation concerning the fiscal year 1999 budget for the FAA.
    NOISE's primary concerns for the proposed fiscal year 1999 budget are:

    1. Full funding of the statutory 31 percent set-aside for aviation noise mitigation as provided in the Federal Aviation Reauthorization Act. Opposition to any attempt to reduce or divert noise funds to other purposes, and opposition to any attempt to cap noise set-aside funds at a level less than the statutory formula would provide.
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    2. Adequate funding of the overall Airport Improvement Program at least at the current year's level.
    3. Increased funding for FAA research, engineering, and development programs in the Office of Environment and Energy, which includes the development of quieter aircraft engine technology, and support for related programs that are funded by NASA.
    4. Adequate funding for the recently established Office of Noise Ombudsman and related community advocacy and involvement initiatives.
    5. Opposition to proposed changes in the budgetary treatment of contract authority which may harm the ability of airport operators to fulfill commitments to noise mitigation.
    6. A potential erosion of accountability to local communities through the shift from Federal funding to passenger facility charges and other user fees as a source of airport project funding.
    Most of these concerns are the same as we expressed last year in comments submitted for the record. NOISE was very pleased that in last year's appropriation Congress rejected the Administration's attempt to significantly reduce overall AIP funding, and that Congress rejected the Administration's proposed drastic reduction in noise set-aside funding to $21 million and instead set it at $200 million. We urge you to continue to recognize airport and aircraft noise as a serious environmental problem and to honor the commitment to provide adequate resources to address it in the fiscal year 1999 budget.
    I will briefly touch on each of these issues in more detail. But first, let me provide a little bit of background. NOISE is a national organization of local governments, citizen groups, and others working to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on communities. Locally, the metropolitan Washington Council of Governments through its Committee on Noise Abatement at National and Dulles, CONANDA, is an active member of NOISE. Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, and Arlington Counties, the Cities of Fairfax, Falls Church, and Alexandria in Virginia, as well as District of Columbia and Maryland jurisdictions are among the local jurisdictions that participate in NOISE through CONANDA.
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    In following up on these comments, I just want to be sure that you are aware that NOISE has appreciated the Federal Government having us on various task forces representing communities across the country in noise mitigation and noise research issues. I gather that my time is up from the light, but let me just turn to the specifics of the proposed budget.
    First, in terms of the full funding, we are pleased that the Administration's proposed budget does not include language proposed last year that would have diverted discretionary funds from noise mitigation in order to increase funding to small airports. We don't take a position on the funding for small airports, per se, but we do point out that as small airports grow they will face an increased need for noise abatement. There will be little or no designated funds to assist in that, and the potential, therefore, exists for a whole new cycle of noise compatibility and capacity constraint issues and problems. Meanwhile, the cities already with noise plans will not have the money to implement them.
    I want to skip to the issue of why you would fund this with other funds other than user fees. The concern is that when you shift the burden of airport improvement funding from appropriated dollars to passenger facility charges and other user fees it can lead to further disenfranchisement of noise-impacted communities. It can also lead to a loss of ability for Congress to ensure that national noise objectives are met through the appropriations and grant-making process.
    PFC revenue may be used under much less restrictive conditions than apply to noise compatibility measures and other projects that use Federal AIP grant funds. We are particularly concerned that current law allows airports to use PFC revenue for noise compatibility measures eligible for assistance under the specific site whether or not a program for those measures has been approved under Section 47.504. What this allows is that airports that have approved Part 150 plans can use these funds not to implement that plan, but to implement other procedures even though the communities surrounding the airport rely on those plans when making their own land-use decisions.
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    It also allows airports to avoid requirements for consulting public agencies and planning authorities in the area surrounding the airport, as part of preparing the project application, for notice and an opportunity for public hearing on the proposed noise compatibility measure, and for demonstrating that a project will reduce existing noncompatible uses and preventing introducing additional noncompatible uses. The only requirement for general public notice in a PFC project application is after submission to the FAA. When airports use PFC funds in ways inconsistent with Part 150 plans without conducting a Part 150 review, including public involvement, or avoid the process entirely, the value of those plans which the Federal Government funds is undermined.
    NOISE would support a requirement that FAA hold a public hearing in the airport area before approving an application for use of a PFC where the proposed project is financed by the PFC and is not part of an already approved airport plan. Our concern is that the rules that apply to Federal funds don't apply to PFCs, and the involvement of the communities and the tie-in to the Part 150 are just not there. So we want you to look at that issue.
    I'll stop there and try to answer any questions.

    Mr. WOLF. I have no questions. I appreciate your taking the time to come. I am very, very sympathetic. At one time, National Airport was in my district and I spent a lot of time, and still work with Congressman Moran and Congressman Davis and members on the other side of the river on that. So I am sympathetic. I am all for development of airports, but I think they ought to be very good neighbors and people that live under them ought to be protected. So I do appreciate your coming. The committee is sensitive and sympathetic to it.
    Ms. KRAHNKE. We appreciate your support. NOISE also appreciates the value of the aviation industry in the country and in our communities. We just want the impacts in the communities to be minimized.
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    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Pastor.
    Mr. PASTOR. No questions.
    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Packard.
    Mr. PACKARD. Nothing, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much.

    [The prepared statement of Betty Ann Krahnke follows:]

     "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.




    Mr. WOLF. If everyone can come forward, Congressman Quinn, Congressman Fossella, Congressman Weygand, maybe the three together can come up.
    Mr. QUINN. We're going to shorten it as best we can, Mr. Chairman. I'm thrilled to be back again. It's very important and I just want to discuss three projects under the jurisdiction of NFTA, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority in Buffalo, our multimodal transportation authority which services Erie and Niagara County.
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    The first initiative I want to describe is one that the committee has been supportive of in the past. In fact, for two years running the committee has funded this project in Buffalo. This is the third year that we're asking for some help with the actual start-up, and that's for our HUBLINK project. It is a national model that meets the changing transportation needs resulting from the movement of jobs and populations to the suburbs and out of the city. At the same time, this HUBLINK will help NFTA to continue to meet the goal of our welfare-to-work program, the Clean Air Act, and Americans with Disabilities Act, all of course Federal initiatives.
    The shifts in population in Western New York have led to increasing urban sprawl in a region that is otherwise not growing. As jobs move to the suburbs, the City of Buffalo and its share of regional jobs went from 41 percent to 35 percent as a result. Two out of three jobs are located outside of Buffalo, a phenomenon that's happening in other sections of the country.
    Consequently, Metro is faced with entering an area, the suburbs, where a significant amount of automobile traffic exists and where buses are riding half full. Compounding the impact of the problems is a reality of decreasing Federal participation in transit. We believe that HUBLINK, so far as the committee has seen fit to fund it these last two years, is critically important. I might also point out, Mr. Chairman and members, that the financial plan that has been put together back in Buffalo has already identified new funding sources and other partnerships that will include State and local funding as well as our Federal participation. So let me make it clear, it is not a hand out, that we've got other people contributing money. The request is for $6 million from the bus capital appropriation for fiscal year 1999.
    The second initiative I submit for the subcommittee's consideration today involves improvements to alleviate some of the safety limitations at our new Buffalo-Niagara International Airport. Mr. Chairman, I'm sure you're aware that this past November we opened a brand new airport, $157.7 million of the Airport Improvement Program. That phase included construction of a new terminal, roadway system, and a parking structure. Now Phase II, which includes acquisition and demolition of the airport center, runway work, as well as safety improvements were deferred earlier and now need our attention.
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    Now that Phase I is nearly complete, we're seeking $21 million in the transportation appropriations under the FAA Airport Improvement Program for the acquisition and demolition of the building and improvement of runway 14–32.
    Finally, the last initiative, just to discuss briefly with you, and everything is contained in the written report, is an important component of the City of Buffalo's waterfront redevelopment plan, including historic projects that consist of development in the new harbor waterfront plaza. Phase II includes redevelopment of the historic DL&W intermodal station connecting the harbor, waterfront, roadways, and our light rail transit in Buffalo. Truly an intermodal situation.
    Part III, which we're focusing on today, includes development of the outer harbor and a bridge that connects the inner and outer harbor with the relocation of the city's Amtrak station. This important component in this phase is talking about that relocation of the Amtrak Exchange Street station, which is specific and will be explained in my written testimony. We are suggesting and requesting that the committee consider a $6 million transportation appropriation under the FTA discretionary grant program for fiscal year 1999 for the relocation of the Exchange Street station and construction of the new intermodal transportation center in Buffalo's inner harbor.
    Mr. Chairman, basically three projects. All the backup information of course will be provided. We appreciate your hearing our case today and for taking time to talk about Buffalo and the NFTA. Thank you.
    Mr. WOLF. Good. Thank you, Jack, for coming before the committee. I have no questions.
    Mr. Pastor.
    Mr. PASTOR. No questions.
    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Packard.
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    Mr. PACKARD. No questions.
    [The prepared statement of Hon. Jack Quinn follows:]
     "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.


    Mr. WOLF. Going in order, Congressman Fossella. Thank you for coming before the committee today.
    Mr. FOSSELLA. Thank you very much, Chairman Wolf, and members of the committee. I appreciate your taking the time out to allow me to testify before this committee. As you may know, Mr. Chairman, this marks my first appearance before this committee and, in fact, it represents my first as a Member of Congress. I think in many ways it is appropriate that I begin my work here.
    Because of your efforts and that of my predecessors, Susan Molinari and, before her, her father, we've begun work to really work on some critical transportation concerns that we have on Staten Island. As many of you may know, we are very dependent upon ferry service. The Staten Island ferries provide daily commute for more than 60,000 people to and from Manhattan. In recent years, we've added service from Staten Island to midtown Manhattan, again environmentally safe, greatly reducing the congestion on our roads, and also providing an alternative for thousands of Staten Islanders.
    Our priorities for this year are short, and I will submit the remainder for the record, but essentially they call for continued funding to reconstruct the White Hall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan, capital improvements to the privately-operated Staten Island to midtown ferry, and three new high efficiency Staten Island ferry boats to replace an aging fleet.
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    Not too long ago, in 1991 there was a devastating fire that destroyed the White Hall Terminal facility located in Manhattan. As a result, there was a makeshift facility constructed. Temporary as it was supposed to be, it still is in that deplorable condition. So we, along with the City and State of New York, are looking to fund the completion and final construction of the White Hall Ferry Terminal. Again, that would provide for much needed relief to the 60,000 or so commuters.
    Secondly, with respect to the Staten Island-midtown ferry, again under my predecessor, funding was begun for much needed capital improvements to take a two hour commute for many Staten Islanders who live in Staten Island and work in midtown Manhattan and reduce that commute to less than forty minutes, taking many cars off the road. This committee funded it last year; however, it was cut in half to $1 million. We request that that funding be increased to accommodate the major capital improvements.
    Lastly, we talked about our reliance on ferries. The world famous Staten Island Ferry is a growing and aging fleet. Currently, the Kennedy Class boats are an average age of 35 years old, and that's about 10 years older than they should be. We are requesting that we receive funding to begin engineering and design funds for new ferries in the amount of $1 million.
    All of these transportation projects are looked for to bring relief to my constituents in Staten Island and Brooklyn, taking cars off the road, providing an alternative, and environmentally safe means of transportation. Not only that, the new ferries will allow us to comply with the Federal mandates, notably the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as the reduction in the hydrocarbon and particulate emissions by using more advanced fuel technology.
    Mr. Chairman, the projects that I've just described to you are vital to the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn as they serve the primary links in our mass transportation network. Individually and collectively, these three proposals represent a reasonable approach to address the long-term transportation needs of commuters in my district. Simply, these projects have the ability to dramatically improve the rush hour commute for people of Staten Island and Brooklyn.
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    Again, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, let me thank you for allowing me to testify before you here today. I appreciate it. Thank you.

    Mr. WOLF. I thank you for coming before the committee. Congressman Guy Molinari was a freshman in my class and he has explained this. I've been up there, not on a Government trip, just to visit family and I took the Staten Island Ferry. I know how critical it is to your people. And Congresswoman Susan Molinari spoke to me as well.

    I think I've sent copies of a letter to the members, I was up visiting family in New York over the Christmas break and I happened to just jump on a tug boat and went out to Governor's Island. Governor's Island, which we fund through this committee, is having some very serious problems; the paint is peeling, some of the building is beginning to fall down. There was a proposal to bring gambling out on the island, which I think would be a mistake. If you can get out on the island, and I would encourage members, if you get up to New York City, the committee would help you or you can do it on your own, to ask the Coast Guard to take you out and just walk around the island. It looks out on the Statue of Liberty, it looks out on Ellis Island. And as an individual whose grandparents came over from another country, the thought of having a gambling casino looking out on Ellis Island I think is not something that we want to have.

    Also, there are some very historic buildings out on the island. It is where President Reagan met with Gorbachev, also Mitterand was out there, and former President and General Ulysses Grant was stationed at the fort out there. The history is so great. I would think it would be appropriate for the Park Service to expand its jurisdiction and perhaps use the Staten Island Ferries to not only connect to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from Staten Island, but also to think in terms of having a service to Governors Island whereby Governor's Island can be turned into a historic center and combination educational complex whereby all the many great universities in New York City and New York State can come together—Fordham, Columbia, NYU, all of them, Hunter College—and develop some educational system out there, and also have it open whereby moms and dads can just take the kids out to Governor's Island for a picnic on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
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    So I think what you're saying fits into some opportunity of even expanding the service whereby it could include Governor's Island. I would encourage the members of the committee that when you get up to New York City, you can be out and back in about two hours, take the opportunity to go out and walk around the Island and take a look at the beauty and the history. And I think your request, Mr. Fossella, would kind of fit in and the service could also be expanded to Governor's Island.

    Mr. PASTOR. Mr. Chairman, just a question.

    Mr. WOLF. Yes, Mr. Pastor.

    Mr. PASTOR. I don't know whether this was the issue, but wasn't there consideration at one time to give the island to either New York or New Jersey? I remember reading something about that.

    Mr. WOLF. Yes. In the budget agreement which was passed, it calls for the sale of Governor's Island for $500 million. There's no way that anyone will be able to pay $500 million for Governor's Island. And so I think under the Excess Property Agreement that we use for base closings, it would be appropriate to give it to New York City or New York State or a consortium. The problem is if you don't move this until the year 2001, buildings are peeling, roofs are beginning to leak, and if you don't spend time in a building and nobody is there, it begins to go. Also Coast Guard chiefs were raking leaves. With the demand at the Coast Guard and the pressure they're under both with regard to safety and drug interdiction and all these other things, to have a chief petty officer out raking leaves just doesn't seem to be very appropriate.
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    We will make sure that every member of the committee can see the history, also the potential opportunity for education out there, and also for visitors to have the opportunity to come and share, not only visitors from New York City, but visitors from California, Arizona, and Virginia, people that have never seen Governor's Island.

    So I think it would be appropriate if New York City and New York State can develop a consortium. Frankly, I think it would be appropriate to let them have it for $1 a year on a 99-year lease or something like that so that the citizens of this country can take advantage of it.

    Mr. FOSSELLA. I appreciate your concern, Mr. Chairman. There's no question Governor's Island is a national treasure, one of a kind in the country. I do appreciate your concern. I read some of your comments in last week's paper and I think you make some very valid points.

    Mr. WOLF. And your request would fit into that.

    Mr. FOSSELLA. Clearly, I think once we get the three new ferry boats we'll be ready to rock-n-roll. [Laughter.]

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much.

    [The prepared statement of Hon. Vito Fosella follows:]

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    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.




    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Weygand.

    Mr. WEYGAND. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First of all, I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, particularly, and all the members of the committee for your help on many of the projects that I'm going to talk about today. First of all, Mr. Chairman, I would like to submit to you some revised testimony on my behalf to the committee as well as some other supporting documentation that we would hope you would take into consideration.

    I'm going to address two basic project areas, Mr. Chairman. Both of them have very similar kinds of goals, goals that you, Mr. Chairman, and the committee, as well as the Congress have endorsed. The premise for all these projects are simply this. We want to make transportational improvements that link other modes of transportation. You will see that these are all intermodal types of transportational projects. They take benefit and they work with other modes of transportation to make them better.

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    The second is that every single one of them is linked very closely, almost inextricably to business and economic development that is so sorely needed in my State of Rhode Island and in the Northeast. You will see in both projects why we're having these transportational improvements is to improve economic development in these areas.

    The first one, Mr. Chairman, you are very familiar with. It is called Quonset Point. It is in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, it sits on the West side of Narragansett Bay. It is a former Federal property, a naval station. Quonset huts are the name that you got from Quonset Point; they were designed and devised here at Quonset Point in North Kingstown. The Federal land is about 3,000 acres which has been transferred or is about to be transferred over to the State of Rhode Island; 2,000 was transferred in 1974, the balance is going to be transferred this year. It is, as shown in bright yellow, right on the mouth of Narragansett Bay.

    It is unusual in that it has four modes of transportation. It has an 8,000 foot long runway airport, which is shown right here. It has a rail transportation system which, Mr. Chairman, you have been helping on a project, goes from here and here to the North up through Providence to the Boston and Albany area. The third mode of transportation is our deep water berthing, anywhere from 32 to 50 feet depending upon dredging, used to do a lot of naval ship restoration and repairs in the area. And on top of that, we have a freeway system that is just outside of this facility. Route 4, which is shown right there in bright red, leads immediately up about three miles North of that to Interstate Route 95. Four modes of transportation and we have an economic opportunity in the State of Rhode Island that really is not only a gateway for the Northeast, but also provides service to the Mid-West as well as to our European and Asian trading partners.

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    The first project is the Rhode Island Rail Development Project. Mr. Chairman, you've been helping with that in the past and this year the Administration has included an additional $10 million toward the furtherance of that. The voters of Rhode Island put bond money to help support that. We hope that $10 million will continue in the budget and be supported by this committee because the Third Track Project, which is the freight train track, is very necessary. With the Northeast corridor being electrified, it would preclude us using this for freight and, therefore, we need to have the freight line connected.

    The second project which I think is even more important is the roadway construction. We call it Route 403 and it connects Quonset Point to Route 4. Right now it is secondary or neighborhood streets that connect the 3,000 acre facility to Route 4. We're asking that as part of ISTEA an $80 million over six year appropriation be included for the Route 403 project. It will link the entire Northeast system, Route 95 to Quonset Point. Invaluable. Without that, trucks, including port development, will be transported over neighborhood streets.

    The second project area is T.F. Green Airport, another intermodal transportational project, which is the fastest growing regional airport in the country. The State of Rhode Island over three years has invested $123 million in new terminal and related facilities. In just the last 12 months, T.F. Green Airport has increased volume in terms of number of passengers going through T.F. Green by 77 percent. People are coming from the Boston area, Connecticut area, and throughout Rhode Island and New England to T.F. Green. We have a wonderful link from I–95 right into T.F. Green by way of a freeway we constructed many years ago. It is now expanding with Southwest Airlines, Air Canada, and a host of others. We are doing extremely well in bringing new people in.
    The problem that we have right now is the congestion that can and will occur as a result of increased traffic on our freeways as well as pollution. We would like to make a connection between the Amtrak line, which is right here, and the airport terminal, which is right here, with a new Amtrak passenger station and people-mover that would connect to the airport. Nearly 1200 feet away. It's an ideal location. It could be done in a partnership with private developers, the State of Rhode Island, the Economic Development Corporation of the State of Rhode Island, the City of Warrick, but with help from you.
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    We're asking for $2 million for a feasibility preliminary design of the facility. That would really be the starting or the stepping stone to move forward on this project. We anticipate it would be about a $15 to $20 million total project, some of which would be done by private sector, city, State, economic development, as well as transportation. But this would kick us off. This would be the start of a program that really would link our airport, our freeway, and our Amtrak system and provide cleaner and safer highways, and actually increase the volume on Amtrak passenger rail in the Northeast which would be ideal.
    The second part of this is also something that was mentioned just earlier by a previous witness, and that is noise abatement. With the growth of this airport, noise abatement is a very dear concern to the people that live in the neighborhood. We would ask you to continue full funding for small States like Rhode Island to the tune of about $3 million for purposes of noise abatement. While we grow economically and we want this to flourish, we have to respect the people that live there in the neighborhoods. It's my district and I know they are very concerned about making sure they still have a safe, clean, and quiet neighborhood. So we would ask you to consider the full funding for noise abatement at this airport.
    With that, Mr. Chairman, I note that you have my full testimony which includes other programs within the State of Rhode Island. I would be happy to answer any questions that you or the staff may have.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much. I appreciate your testimony.
    Mr. Pastor, any questions?
    Mr. PASTOR. No.
    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Packard.
    Mr. PACKARD. No questions.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much.
    Mr. WEYGAND. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank the committee members.
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    [The prepared statement of Hon. Robert Weygand follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.

    Mr. WOLF. Congressman Filner, if you want to come up. Also, maybe we can bring Mr. Sharpe James up with Congressman Payne now. Don, do you want to come up? Also, is Mr. Ankner with the Coalition of Northeastern Governors here? Maybe you can all come up to the table.
    Mr. Filner.
    Mr. FILNER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. WOLF. Your full statement will appear in the record.
    Mr. FILNER. Thank you. I have submitted my full statement and I have just a few remarks to underline that. I appreciate your attention. I know this is an annual task that gets more difficult each year, and we appreciate your expertise and your wide knowledge of all the projects that are coming up.
    Mr. Bilbray, my Republican colleague adjacent to me, was going to join me in my testimony today.
    Mr. WOLF. Was Mr. Hunter going to go?
    Mr. FILNER. Yes, Mr. Hunter will be right behind me. Mr. Bilbray joins me in these remarks. I think his plane has not arrived yet.
    Mr. WOLF. If he gets here later, we'll be glad to hear him. Otherwise, his statement will be submitted for the record.
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    Mr. FILNER. I know that in the priority that I am speaking about today, my Republican colleagues in San Diego County, although Mr. Packard is here to speak for himself, I know Mr. Cunningham and Mr. Packard agree at least with the concepts that I am talking about today. Only Mr. Hunter, as you know from a long history, disagrees with the priorities of the transportation infrastructure funding.
    As you know, I represent the extreme Southwest corner of the Nation, San Diego, California, at least part of it. I have most of the border between U.S. and Mexico. I want to mention two projects along the border that I think deserve your attention. We in San Diego have the potential to have our economic growth and prosperity assured if we can transform our port, which is one of the most beautiful ports in the world. As you know, it's the largest naval base in the world, it's a great tourist center, but it has virtually no commerce through the port. One of the reasons for that is that we do not have direct rail connections to the East. All rail connections from San Diego go to Los Angeles. We believe that establishing a rail line directly to the East will make our port a working port, create decades of future prosperity, tens of thousands of jobs in the future, and make San Diego a true maritime center.
    As you well know, we have the accidental ability to revive a short line railroad from San Diego to Arizona. In Mr. Pastor's State, that train line can join with the Union Pacific, Southern Pacific, Transcontinental lines and give San Diego complete access to all the eastern markets and make our port a working port. That railroad line that is there is an old railroad that was built in 1912. It has been on and off of service. It is now in service for part of the line into Thecate, Mexico. But for a rather small financial investment by the private sector, that line can be rehabilitated and put into service and begin San Diego's new gain of prosperity.
    Mr. Chairman, that line was built at a time when the U.S.-Mexico border had no real significance and the railroad was built partially through Mexico and partially the United States. For some, like my colleague, Mr. Hunter, that presents a great difficulty. For most of all the other political and business leaders in San Diego, that is an opportunity. Cooperation with the Mexicans will produce, in fact, jobs for American citizens. I am joined in this, by the way, by all the business groups in San Diego, virtually every political figure with the exception of Mr. Hunter.
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    As you know, we have asked for Section 511 loan guarantees in the past. This loan guarantee means that this is not a grant, this is not even a loan; this is the private sector doing this. But in the special circumstances of short line railroads, a Federal loan guarantee will make the bank financing possible and a loan guarantee of $1 million, for example, will leverage in the private sector a $20 million loan for railroads, not just this one, but other short line railroads all across the Nation. I would say this is a rather small investment with great leveraging ability to change the economic context of Southern California and Arizona. My colleagues in Arizona, not only Mr. Pastor but his colleagues, also see the benefit. It would open up new competitive transport lines to the ports on the West Coast and help Arizona's economy also.
    So I present that to you once again. I would hope that a combination of stimulus through loan guarantees and private sector funding will in fact get our railroad started and our economy moving upward with great intensity.
    Mr. WOLF. How do you answer the concern that Mr. Hunter has on the drug issue?
    Mr. FILNER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Hunter, as you know, has been a foremost advocate of increased border protection. I will tell you, Mr. Chairman, that because of Congressman Hunter's efforts we have a border that is now well-defined with a Border Patrol having gone from a couple hundred when I took office to several thousand now. So his concerns are well-placed and important. He has asked for a GAO study of this. GAO has submitted a study, and we have I think included it for the record, that says that with about 35 additional personnel they can cover all the possible border problems that are foreseen by Mr. Hunter or anybody else.
    Let me remind you that of all forms of transportation, a train is the easiest one to deal with. The train crosses the border every day now, the raw materials for Thecate beer are delivered through train, and there has never been a problem according to the INS. You have one track going through a gate. Cars can be sealed with modern techniques. The INS or Customs can take as long as they want to inspect a train. And unlike cars where you have thousands and thousands of them, the train must go through a gate on one track and can be rigorously inspected. The GAO has prepared a report that said that with 35 additional agents they can cover the problem.
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    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Hunter, in his testimony, and I don't know what this is, it just says a GAO report, says according to Border Patrol officials, the lack of roads and trails limit the Border Patrol's access to much of the track between Campo and Jacumbo where the rail line comes closest to the border. The Border Patrol officials said that ''the reopened rail line would be a vehicle for illegal immigration and it is likely that the illegal immigrants would board the train and move through the areas of border control coverage to areas where the border patrol has limited resources.''
    Mr. FILNER. Excuse me. Are you quoting from Mr. Hunter or another GAO report?
    Mr. WOLF. I believe it is a GAO report.
    Mr. FILNER. I think it is Mr. Hunter's rendition of the GAO report, if I am not mistaken.
    Mr. WOLF. We will also ask the GAO. I suggest that you sit down because this is very important.
    Mr. FILNER. I understand.
    Mr. WOLF. Also particularly on the——
    Mr. FILNER. Let me just make one point briefly. I think the GAO had looked into this and recognizes the risks, but feels they can deal with the problem. And let me say finally, though, we are at the border. This is an ongoing problem. The question is, Do we allow a potential problem that we think we can handle 90 to 95 percent of it with very limited resources versus the tremendous potential of economic growth. That is, Are we going to allow the problems of the border to prevent us from seeing the opportunities for all of Southern California, the southwest region, and Mexico? And this is an economic boon for a whole region. Just as in the 19th century, the problems of going across the Nation did not deter our pioneers and our folks and we should not be deterred by certain risks that are there that we have to confront squarely, as Mr. Hunter suggests. But I think we can deal with them.
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    Mr. PASTOR. I just want to add to this. In the area I represent, Nogales, Arizona, we have a short rail line that goes from Nogales, Arizona into Hermosillo. And from Arizona to Hermosillo, we take all the raw material to build cars. And from Hermosillo back to through Nogales, we bring back assembled cars plus other produce and whatnot. There is a gate in which the railroad car enters Mexico and exits Mexico. I have to tell you that if you look at all the drug busts that have occurred in Nogales, Arizona, most of the drug busts have come because people have carried it over or they are coming over in automobiles or trucks. To my knowledge, we have never had a drug bust on the train. We have never had the problem of undocumented people crossing from Mexico into Arizona by the train.
    And I have to tell you that in my conversations with the people that I represent in Yuma, if you go south of Yuma into San Luis, Mexico, that is probably the fastest growing area for Maquiladoras. And you have Japanese, Korean, American, Canadian because most of the goods they are producing there are going to the Far East. One of the problems we have is that we don't have a rail link. So Congressman Filner is right in assessing that it would help the Yuma County area, which is producing all your winter produce right now. It would help them economically to get that into San Diego and from there to the markets.
    So I agree—and I think all my colleagues in Arizona would agree—that we are concerned about the transportation of drugs into this country. We are concerned about the transportation of undocumented people into this country. But we now have—and have had—in Arizona an experience with a rail line that goes into Mexico and we have not had those problems. We now have increased the enforcement in the border by thousands of agents. We now have across the border a 6-foot metal fence. So I think we need to look at this more realistically and say that there is economic development opportunities not only for Imperial County and San Diego County, but there is economic opportunities for western Arizona.
    Mr. Chairman, with your assistance, I would look at this situation and maybe see what we can do to resolve it.
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    Mr. WOLF. Well, I will look at it. I will be honest, as I hope I always am. I have been persuaded by Mr. Hunter, but I am certainly open to it. I would suggest that you all that are interested in this ought to sit down with Congressman Hunter early in the process and see. I think we have been successful in beating them back. I would suggest that you and Mr. Pastor and Mr. Hunter may want to sit down.
    Mr. FILNER. I would hope Mr. Packard, who is fully informed of this situation, might broker that situation for us and help us resolve this.
    Mr. WOLF. I don't really care how you do it.
    Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Chairman, I have been supportive, of course, for some time of the San Diego-Arizona Eastern Railroad expansion and opening, as well as the rest of the San Diego delegation. Mr. Filner is right. We all have been supportive of it.
    The biggest problem that we have in carrying freight across the border has been a truck crossing in San Diego. We have resolved that problem with high technology and with the proper surveillance and good equipment and good agents. That has been resolved. And yet that is a far greater problem and poses a much greater problem than the rail would. I don't think there is any way that the rail would pose problems that couldn't be resolved.
    Mr. WOLF. I just think you ought to sit down with Mr. Hunter.
    Mr. PACKARD. One other part of this testimony that he didn't mention that I think ought to be mentioned is State Route 905. That is absolutely crucial to San Diego and to the entire country. All the goods that come across the border come across that truck crossing. That new truck crossing dumps onto local streets here in the United States. It does not dump onto our freeway system and that poses a huge, huge local problem.
    State Route 905 was proposed to connect the truck crossing to the freeway system. It is a new freeway that would connect to the existing freeways. It is a 5-mile stretch, but it is absolutely crucial.
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    Mr. WOLF. I would assume you are looking at ISTEA for that?
    Mr. FILNER. We are. As you know, there is a section at least in the President's previous proposal for a border infrastructure loan program. I would hope that this committee might look at broadening that program to look at the border as a whole—both the Canadian and the Mexican border. These are national priorities and not just local projects. I would hope you would look at that.
    Mr. WOLF. I understand. For good or wrong or whatever, the decision was made—particularly to the States that have lost money, that have been donor States—is not to load things up and take away. Arizona, California, Florida, and my State have really not benefitted by the current highway formula. Those battles will really be fought out in ISTEA. That is really where they have to. I think the best thing we can do is to return as much possible money to the State of California, to Virginia, to Arizona, and to others whereby they can make the decisions.
    Once you begin to say that you are going to do this for one, then everybody else—clearly, in my area I have the capacity of spending an unlimited amount of money if I were in a position to say that we were going to do it for my area and not for all. That has been a good system.
    Now if it were changed, particularly as chairman of this committee, the opportunities would be unlimited, if you will. I have had some people say that that was a great policy and I really agree with it. Do you think maybe you could have done it 2 years from now rather than now?
    This has been helpful to the donor States. Several years ago there was a situation where 47 percent of the money for demonstration projects went to one State. ISTEA is the place to deal with those demonstration projects—the authorizers—and I respect that process. If we were to begin to kind of pick and choose here, it would be unfair and it would cut into Coast Guard programs, the FAA, and all these other safety programs.
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    So we, for better or worse until either I move on and somebody else comes in—maybe the next person that comes in to be chairman of this committee will reverse this policy. My sense is, though, that the Congress has felt that this is the best way and the fairest way. I think those decisions are really going to be made in ISTEA and also are going to be made by the Governors of the States that are going to be able to determine it.
    And under this policy, your State has benefitted big, big time. If you look at the amount of money your State is receiving now versus what it received, and if you remember back in those times when you were here, during that year 47 percent of the demonstration projects went to one State, California's amount of that demonstration money was zero. And that is just not right. So I think ISTEA is the place.
    But on this other issue, I think all of you ought to caucus and get Mr. Hunter working together. I think that would be helpful. Ron, maybe that would be an opportunity for you to bring——
    Mr. PACKARD. I appreciate that advice, Mr. Chairman, and I thank you. I know this is deja vu and I appreciate your patience.
    Mr. WOLF. That is okay. We are glad to have you. Thank you for taking the time to come.
    [Prepared statement of Hon. Bob Filner follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.


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    Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much.
    You know we have no problems in New Jersey with people coming in, so we will take the money if you can't resolve it there.
    Mr. Chairman, I certainly appreciate the opportunity to come here on behalf of my home town, Newark, New Jersey. And it is certainly an honor to work with the subcommittee because I just want to say how responsive the subcommittee has been in the past funding requests that we have made. We especially appreciate the assistance my colleagues gave us in advancing the New Jersey Urban Corps. And transportation is so vital in New Jersey, it is critical. It has assisted our local economy to draw more people to the city of Newark.
    Mr. Chairman, there has been a remarkable renaissance of Newark and we call it the Renaissance City. We are enjoying it. We had the opening in October of a world-class performing arts center, which everyone is talking about. But it has been because we have had some very good leadership—visionary, energetic leadership—and that is my colleague who I happened to serve on the City Council with before I came to Congress. He was then a councilman and is now a mayor.
    But during his administration, Newark has won a number of awards, All-American City awards, one of the most outstanding environmental protection programs of recycling—way ahead of the rest of the country—bond rates have increased, housing stock numbers have gone up, the city's revenues have increased, and there has not been a tax increase. These are all things that don't happen in urban cities. A number of businesses have relocated in our area.
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    And Mayor James has been the person who has pushed this. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, vice president of the New Jersey Conference of Mayors, and is the past president of the National League of Cities.
    So it is my pleasure to introduce a neighbor of mine, the mayor of the largest city in the State of New Jersey, and actually the third oldest city in the United States, Mayor Sharpe James.
    Mr. JAMES. Thank you, Congressman Payne, for coming from your busy schedule to appear with me before the subcommittee.
    My testimony is submitted, so I won't have to read three pages, but I would like to talk about four projects with Urban Corps funding that has made us pregnant with potential. We are really here to salute the subcommittee for their past help and hope that they will continue the great work of this committee.
    You have helped us with the 280, which was a major highway coming to a dead-end. If you stopped there and caught the light, you never knew if you were going to be alive the next day from being tailgated. We have lost lives there. You have given us the funds to connect to our downtown and also to our university area. And also the Newark Science Park where we have brought the Research Institute from New York to Newark, New Jersey.
    We had the 21 widening program that you helped us with whereby we have the Congressman Joseph Menish waterfront project. And then of course, by opening the New Jersey Park on this waterfront and adjacent to 21, now we know it is not wide enough. The question was, If you built it in Newark, would they come? We have set a record for 100 days with over 250,000 persons have attended the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, a record for this country.
    And then of course we had the 78 connection funds. You started us with that whereby we had a highway, once again, at 65 miles-per-hour ending right on a city street with loss of lives. Now with your help we are going to change that to connect it to an artery that feeds downtown. We are going to relocate and build a new school. And also, it creates an industrial park. And we thank you for that.
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    We could talk about the Newark-Elizabeth rail link. We have the fastest growing airport in America, Newark International Airport. You can see it, but the problem is getting to it for a job. The Newark rail link, which will connect Newark and Elizabeth to the airport, will be the first city in America that has a reality where you can go from the plane to the train to the bus to the subway and then to a hotel and conference center which we will build, like the contemporary hotel in Orlando, because of your help. And it is interesting to note that the number one job-producing entity in the city of Newark is Continental Airlines at the airport. Transportation—10,000 people. So because of your help, there is an economic boom in the area with jobs being created.
    I would simply testify, Mr. Chairman, that we have the fastest-growing airport and the fastest-growing port in America. Hyundai looked at Savannah, looked at New York, looked at Baltimore, looked at Philadelphia, and we are glad that they are bringing all their cars from Korea to Newark, New Jersey because of our intermodal structure.
    As indicated, we have a planned $70 million Congressman Joseph Menish waterfront, a planned baseball stadium along that waterfront. We have opened up—as Congressman Payne spoke of earlier—a $186 million New Jersey Performing Arts Center. We have a planned hotel and conference center in Wavery Yards. And Ray Chambers, one of those millionaires who tries to give away $300 million a year, is trying to buy the Mets so we can bring them from the Meadowlands to Newark where they have better intermodal transportation. If they don't move, we will just buy the team and then move them.
    So clearly, with your help—and we would invite this committee if you want to testify to the work of intermodal transportation and the dollars you have sent to an area—have we been accountable with them? Or has it made a difference in the quality of life? You need only to make one stop 3 hours by Amtrak to Newark or 47 minutes by plane to Newark and you will see the fruit of your labors. So truthfully, Newark, New Jersey has become the first city in America that in reality you will be able to go from the plane to the train to the subway to the bus to a hotel to a conference center, and it all connects because of your valuable assistance.
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    And because of your assistance jobs have been created, there is an economic boom that has been echoed by previous speakers, and more important your help has made Newark, New Jersey the largest city in New Jersey, the third oldest city in America behind Boston and New York viable, and has turned a city which was once the butt of jokes into a Renaissance City. So I am here to thank you for making us pregnant with potential, so now let us deliver the baby. [Laughter.]

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much. I appreciate you coming and Congressman Payne coming. I was familiar with your performing arts center. I was in New York over the Christmas holidays and watched one of the stations—I guess it was the Newark station—that was talking about the center and how excited people were. So I know about it and I appreciate it very much.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr. JAMES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    [The prepared statement of Sharpe James follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.


    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Ankner.
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    Mr. ANKNER. Good afternoon.
    Mr. Chairman, I am William Ankner, director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. With my colleague, John Daly, commissioner of the New York Department of Transportation, I would like to thank you and the committee for the opportunity to appear before you and to testify on behalf of the Coalition of Northeastern Governors.
    Governor Alban, who is the chairman of the Coalition for Northeastern Governors, extends his thanks for this opportunity as well.
    I ask that my complete statement be included in the record.
    Mr. PACKARD [assuming the chair]. Without objection, your prepared statement will appear in the record.
    Mr. ANKNER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    The governors would like to thank the subcommittee for support for funding the broad range of transportation programs that make up our vital intermodal system and encourage you to continue this support in fiscal year 1999. The governors ask the subcommittee to support to the highest possible levels funding which maintains and enhances a connected, seamless, intermodal national transportation system. More specifically, the CONEG governors recognize and call for the subcommittee's support for the following investments which have national and regional significance. For the most part, I will be talking about programs as opposed to individual projects.
    The first issue is to increase the highway obligation ceiling. We applaud this subcommittee's efforts to provide additional funds by increasing Federal Aid Highway obligation ceilings in fiscal year 1998 to $21.5 billion. Continuation of these efforts is critical not only to our States but to the country as a whole. We recommend a goal of $26 billion for highway appropriations, $5 billion for the mass transit account. Our goal is the same as your goal, which is to spend the transportation dollars efficiently and effectively and keep our commitment to the public to use user fees for transportation purposes.
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    We also would like you to support our second major effort, which is transit—transit operating assistance, as well as transit capital, and this new concept called transit preventative maintenance. The northeast is usually viewed as having the major public transportation properties—New York, Boston, Philadelphia, to name but a few.
    We are also one of the major sources of rural public transportation in the country as well with New England—Maine and New Hampshire, parts of my State, Pennsylvania and New York with large numbers of rural public transportation providers. We need continued strong support for public transportation not only for the big systems—which my colleague, Mr. Daly is going to be talking about—but also for the rural public transportation systems throughout the State.
    We also would like to see support for safety. Safety remains one of the critical concerns of the governors. Programs such as Operation Life Saver and other efforts to improve highway and railroad grade crossings are excellent examples of successful programs.
    One of the other critical areas of support for the northeast governors is a national interstate passenger railroad system, Amtrak. Congress and the Administration came to an historic agreement at the end of last session on the financing and reauthorization of Amtrak. Within the taxpayer's bill and law, $2.3 billion was allocated towards Amtrak rebuilding its infrastructure and buying new equipment. To some dismay, I read the President's budget request that is going to call for some of those dollars to be used for operating assistance. That is our future.
    The ITS program is critical to managing our transportation system in the future. Transportation has gone from being simply a landlord activity that builds something and then just fixes it up to management of our system. Our intelligent transportation products are the tools that we are going to need and will use to manage our transportation system. If we can just get our signals better controlled, we can add 10 to 15 percent more capacity to the existing system without building new roadways—simply by just having our traffic signals start talking to each other. The technology is there, the will is there, we need to start financing these kinds of investments.
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    I realize that my time is up, Mr. Chairman. Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here for the Coalition of Northeastern Governors.

    Mr. PACKARD. Thank you, Mr. Ankner. We deeply appreciate your attendance here and your testimony.
    Mr. ANKNER. Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of William Ankner follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

    Mr. PACKARD. Mr. McKeon, Member of Congress from California, will be next, and then Orange County will be ready to take the table.
    Please proceed, Mr. McKeon.     



    Mr. MCKEON. Good afternoon. Thank you for allowing me to appear before you today, Mr. Chairman, in support of a Federal appropriations for a transit maintenance facility for the city of Santa Clarita, California.
    The city of Santa Clarita, located in North Los Angeles County, is home to 142,000 people with an additional 35,000 residing in surrounding unincorporated areas. All of these people are served by Santa Clarita's transit system. This is the city I was the first mayor of, so I am intimately involved in the city and understand very much these needs.
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    Between 1992 and 1997, Santa Clarita Transit grew 400 percent from 500,000 riders to 1.8 million riders annually. Each week day, Santa Clarita Transit carries approximately 7,000 riders.
    Santa Clarita's current maintenance facility is woefully inadequate and does not come close to meeting the community's growing demand for transit. The existing facility is a converted industrial warehouse not originally designed for vehicle maintenance that was built in 1969 and acquired by the city in 1991. The maintenance area is 4,500 square feet and is capable of servicing only three busses at any one time. The facility also has no formal maintenance bays, inspection pits, or permanent vehicle lifts. Portable lift equipment is used, minor vehicle repairs are often done in an adjacent outdoor parking lot area. Bus fueling is done off-site and busses are parked at two off-site facilities that are located one-quarter and six miles, respectively, away from maintenance and fueling facilities. Because no automated washing equipment can be accommodated at the present site, all washing and interior cleaning of vehicles is done manually.
    Santa Clarita Transit has initiated a $14 million phase one project of which $4 million would be provided locally to augment the $10 million Federal appropriation that is being requested. These funds, which represent a 71 percent Federal-29 percent local partnership, will be used to acquire a 12-acre site that will be designed and constructed as a 27,000 square foot maintenance facility with six service bays to accommodate maintenance, service, and storage of 75 busses, an on-site fueling station, and automated bus wash station.
    The 9,000 square foot administrative office with a dispatch room and customer information center will also be constructed as part of phase one.
    A 12-acre site envisioned by Santa Clarita Transit will also give the agency the potential to expand to accommodate the anticipated 150 vehicles that will be needed by the year 2010. This is one of the fastest-growing areas in Los Angeles County.
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    I have also provided a more detailed summary of this proposal for subcommittee members. Your friend, Mr. Packard, will recall that I spoke with him last year about the need for this new facility. I look forward to working with members of the fiscal year 1999 appropriations as the process moves forward.
    I appreciate your time.

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you for taking the time to testify before us today.
    Mr. MCKEON. Thank you for letting me.
    [Prepared statement of the Hon. Buck McKeon follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."


    Mr. WOLF. Ms. Catz is the chairman of OCTA.
    Ms. CATZ. Good afternoon. I am Sarah Catz, the chairman of OCTA. I am particularly pleased to be here this afternoon with Congressman Packard. He has been OCTA's staunchest supporter in Congress and on the Appropriations Committee. We are just so appreciative. Thank you for your friendship and your support.
    Orange County is the fifth largest county in the Nation at 2.6 million in population, and provides 1.3 million jobs in a strong diversified economy. We are also located in the South Coast Air Basin, the only extreme non-attainment area for ozone in the Nation.
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    We are within a few years of completing the Nation's preeminent high-occupancy vehicle system, including a barrier-separated transitway linking three freeways at the system's heart. To date, this $2 billion program is more than 95 percent State and locally funded.
    How are we helping ourselves? OCTA is using revenue from its voter-approved .5 cent $3 billion sales tax to construct transitways, improve streets and roads, and expand commuter rail service. A portion of the funds, $340 million, is available for the development of an urban rail system.

    Recently, OCTA spent more than $4 million in local revenues to complete a major investment study for the Central Orange County Transitway Corridor. Our locally preferred alternative is a 49 percent increase of bus service by 2015 and design study of a 28-mile urban rail line linking Fullerton to Irvine. We are now in progress with a $6 million detailed conceptual engineering study of the rail system. From this study, we expect to determine the rail technology alignment and station locations.
    Within the study, planning grants are being made available to cities in the amount of $1.5 million to coordinate compatible land use. OCTA has worked with the FTA to refine its Federal Section 5309 funding request. The focus now is completing preliminary engineering and final design for the urban rail system.
    The FTA includes the Fullerton-Irvine rail project in its 1998 report on funding levels and allocation of funds for transit major capital investments. OCTA is seeking an authorization of $61.6 million in Federal Section 5309 funds for the urban rail project over the period of the next Surface Transportation Act. For fiscal year 1999 OCTA is requesting an appropriation of $15 million to continue preliminary engineering and final design for the urban rail project.
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    The rail study corridor is noteworthy. It includes 737,000 jobs and 826,000 residents. The employment density exceeds Philadelphia, Newark, Los Angeles, and Saint Louis. The population density exceeds San Jose, Sacramento, Portland, and San Diego. These are cities with high rail patronage or cost-effective rail service according to the FTA. Projected employment growth by 2020 should produce in that corridor more jobs per square mile than present-day Boston and San Francisco.
    Within the corridor are Disneyland, Anaheim Stadium, John Wayne Airport, South Coast Metro, and the Irvine Business Complex. Also in the sector are freeway interchanges that are among the 10 busiest in the United States. Moreover, Central Orange County has paced our recent growth in bus patronage. OCTA is the fastest-growing bus transit system in the Nation during this past year, an almost 10 percent increase according to the American Public Transit Association.
    All this explains the need for and timeliness of our urban rail design study.
    Thank you for this opportunity to speak with you and I would be happy to answer any questions.

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much.
    Mr. Packard.
    Mr. PACKARD. I would like simply to say that Orange County has been a leader in trying to stay paced with the rapid growth they have experienced. They have done very, very well in all their transportation areas. I certainly commend them.
    The .5 cent sales tax that the Counties of Orange, Riverside, and San Diego each passed gives them the ability to match their local cost-share. And they do very well at that. That has certainly been a great blessing that the people voted in a .5 cent sales tax that would be strictly earmarked for transportation purposes. It has proven to be a godsend for Orange County.
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    Thank you very much, Ms. Catz.
    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Packard has been a good friend of yours and I agree with his comment.
    What was the vote on the .5 cent sales tax? What was the percentage of the vote?
    Mr. PACKARD. It required more than two-thirds and it got something like 71 or 72 percent.
    Mr. WOLF. When was that referendum?
    Ms. CATZ. 1990.
    Mr. PACKARD. And again, one of the great blessings is that it gives them the ability to match Federal funds, thus they can access projects that sometimes you couldn't if you didn't have your own local match.
    Mr. WOLF. Yes, and that is very important.
    Thank you very much.
    Ms. CATZ. Thank you for letting us testify today.
    [Prepared statement of Sarah Catz follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

    Mr. WOLF. We will now hear from John B. Daly, senior advisor to Governor George Pataki of New York.
    Welcome, Mr. Daly.
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    Mr. DALY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, for the opportunity to appear before you today.
    My name is John Daly and I am a senior advisor to Governor Pataki of the State of New York. I have submitted a statement already to you, Mr. Chairman, and I will summarize the key points at this time.
    First, let me support strongly the testimony provided by my good friend, Bill Ankner of Rhode Island, on behalf of the Council of Northeastern Governors.
    I am here today, really, to thank the subcommittee for its past efforts to increase funding for transportation, particularly in fiscal year 1998, and to urge the subcommittee to continue to provide the maximum resources available to finance our Nation's essential transportation system. We must take this opportunity to increase our investment in transportation, recognizing that past investments in transportation generate our current economic growth. There is now doubt about that.
    Mr. Chairman, I appreciated your comments about visiting New York City because when you have within your borders a 28-square mile island on and off which you have to move 6 million people a day, you recognize the importance of a good multimodal transportation system. New York City could not exist without that multimodal system. We move 70 percent of those people by public transportation. You can appreciate how much gasoline would burn and how much pollution we would create if we had to move them all by automobile.
    New York may be the most intermodal State in the Nation. Our extensive highway and transit networks, Amtrak service and commuter rail, major airports, and port facilities are all important to our State, regional, and national economies. New York's transportation infrastructure is older than most and in need of modernization.
    Governor Pataki, over 5 years, has made transportation a priority by investing over $24 billion in the next 5 years to improve our highway and transit system. And in his most recent budget, he proposes to increase highway funding by another $200 million, leaving New York with one of the highest self-help levels in the Nation. In fact, FHWA reports that New York's level of State and local effort in financing our highways and transit systems is the highest in the Nation, equivalent to 96 cents per gallon of gasoline tax.
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    We think we are doing our share and urge this committee to continue to assist us—as it has so well in the past—in raising transportation spending.
    Increased Federal investment in transit is necessary to allow my governor and other governors to successfully move citizens off welfare and to work. Without adequate and affordable public transportation, we will deny our poorest citizens a real opportunity to succeed and we will not achieve the goals that this Congress intended when welfare reform was enacted.
    In older regions of the country such as New York, our greatest need is to maintain the existing transportation systems that have served us well for decades. However, we also need to reduce congestion on our highway and transit systems. And last year, with your help, Mr. Chairman and the members of the committee, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York received $20 million to initiate the Long Island Railroad East Side Access Project. This important project will benefit 50,000 daily transit riders, reducing travel time by nearly 40 minutes a day for each commuter. It is a great example of multimodalism at its best.
    Mr. Chairman, I see my time is up. We thank you and the members of the committee very much for your assistance and your understanding in the past. And we are sure that that understanding and assistance will continue.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you, Mr. Daly.
    I appreciate your comments. I think you all do a good job, particularly when you think that your system was built long before there was Federal assistance.
    I sent a letter to the head of GSA. I shared a copy with somebody in Governor Pataki's office.
    Mr. DALY. I have read the letter.
    Mr. WOLF. I am not going to put you on the spot with regard to commenting, but I think there is a great opportunity and I don't think we should be selling you that island for $500 million. I think there should be a——
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    Mr. DALY. That is the first problem we face right now.
    Mr. WOLF. Well, I don't think it is practical to sell it. I don't think you have the money to buy it, nor do I think it is—I mean, every other area, when there is a base closing concept, the community doesn't buy the base. This is basically a base closing concept.
    Secondly, the historic—have you been out on Governor's Island?
    Mr. DALY. Yes, I have. I was raised in New York City, sir.
    Mr. WOLF. I have been amazed at the number of people that I have spoken to in New York City that have never been out on the island.
    So anything we can do—obviously New York State and New York City must come together—but I think a consortium of universities and perhaps you could expand the Park Service's jurisdiction that is currently in Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty to include Governor's Island. I think some Park Service interpretation out on the island might make some sense and then the opportunity for parents to take their kids out on weekends. But I think it is an opportunity with which you all have to feel comfortable because we can't tell you. But on the other hand, I would hope that there would not be gambling out on the island.
    Mr. DALY. In New York State to allow gambling of that sort there would need to be a resolution to pass both Houses of the Legislature twice and then you would have to have a general referendum from the people. So the Governor is certainly not going to be that presumptuous as to take for granted that gambling will occur. If that does occur, sir, it will be a long way off and perhaps after the Governor's Island question has been settled.
    But Mr. Chairman, your letter has been brought very much to the attention of the Governor. As I said, it has moved around. I have received my copy from the Governor's office. We are well aware and we do appreciate your interest very much in Governor's Island. It means a lot to us.
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    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much. And again, thank you for coming before the committee. We appreciate it very much.
    [Prepared statement of John Daly follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.
    Mr. WOLF. We now have Mr. Martin Hernandez with the Labor/Community Strategy Center. We can also have come up to the table the Ventura County Transportation Commission together.
    Your full statements will appear in the record.
    Mr. HERNANDEZ. Thank you very much. I will try to be brief and just highlight my comments.
    My name is Martin Hernandez and I am an organizer with the Labor/Community Strategy Center and the Bus Riders Union. On behalf of the Labor/Community Strategy Center and the Bus Riders Union and the more than 350,000 bus riders of Los Angeles County, I would like to thank the committee for giving us the opportunity to testify before you today in regards to transportation appropriations, specifically asking for no more funding for new rail projects in Los Angeles and more money for bus expansion in Los Angeles.
    In September of 1994, the Strategy Center and the Bus Riders Union filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Los Angeles County MTA charging them with racial discrimination by violating the 14th Amendment of the Constitution and Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act using 70 percent of its budget for about 4 percent of the passengers—rail riders—and the other 30 percent for 94 percent of its passengers—the bus system—80 percent of which users are people of color.
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    The suit was settled on October 28th and right now we are asking your help to ensure that local matching funds for bus service and federally appropriated funds eligible for bus service are both given priority in the forthcoming appropriations cycle for the MTA rather than continuing to support rail projects that threaten to bankrupt the agency, invalidate the provisions of the consent decree, and throw very precious Federal dollars into a vast hole.
    The following is a very reasonable needs-based request that takes into account the consent decree provisions for increasing the bus fleet and reducing overcrowding as well as the basic need of replacing obsolete busses. This is a fraction of what is needed and is represented as a class of bus riders by virtue of the consent decree. We are the negotiating agent, practically, of the bus riders right now due to the fact of the consent decree. We feel that it is our duty at the very least to inform you of what the needs of our constituents are.
    Basically this appropriations request is based on the fact that last year's appropriations has been suspended due to the FTA's hold on funds on the Los Angeles MTA as well as the suspension in Los Angeles over the funding of future rail projects at the present time while they reassess the validity of these projects.
    This request is to include a retroactive adjustment from fiscal year 1998 as well as including fiscal year 1999. By its own admission, the MTA currently needs to replace 40 percent of its fleet of 200,400 busses due to obsolescence, and we feel the MTA is way behind schedule. Based on the needs of Los Angeles County, we feel that the MTA should have at least in the last 2 fiscal years order 600 new natural gas busses to help modernize the dilapidated fleet. The MTA has ordered 223 of these busses at the end of last year, leaving a deficit of 377 that should have been purchased for the total of 600. The MTA was also mandated by the consent decree to increase the fleet of busses by 102, and to create a new service pilot project of a minimum of 50 busses.
    The consent decree also mandates that by December 31st the MTA would reduce its bus overcrowding in the peak hours to an average of 15 persons standing, which is 135 percent of capacity, down from the standard of currently 145 percent. The MTA has not done that and our estimates show that there were 100 percent of the most highly used busses are in violation of that at the present time. We estimate the number of buses to meet this deadline to be 200, but this is December 1997 and those buses have yet to be ordered.
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    At a cost of approximately $320,000 for a new CNG bus, the total is about $233 million, approximately $117 million per year. We are asking the Federal appropriation to be 50 percent of the request, which will be $116 million for the last two years—that is $58 million from last year's appropriations, and $58 million for fiscal year 1999. This is over and above the formula grant of Section 9 of ISTEA allocations to Los Angeles.
    Briefly, we all know the situation with the MTA's rail projects. We feel it is a waste of money for those funding for you and from your end as well. The Times in 1993 reported that the MTA's contracts average about 388 percent increase after they have been awarded. Ridership on MTA's public transportation system has declined 23 percent since 1985, according to an August 28, 1993 news article in Daily News. And the California Transportation Commission outlined several increases where the budgets for many of the lines have gone up, such as the 1996 budget for the red line for MOS–3 from $3.44 billion to $4.329 billion. The extension for the East Side has gone up from $979 million to $1.1 billion. The mid-city extension is $490 million and is expected to cost $682 million. These of course are projects that have been suspended so far.
    So we see an agency that is increasingly increasing their funding that could be used for bus service and implement the consent decree.
    In August of 1997, an independent analysis by Mayor Riordan's office found unrealistic financial assumptions and flawed funding plans and found a deficit of at least $29 million that the mayor's staff said could go as high as $50 million in that year. This was from the L.A. Daily News in August 1997.
    Later, just last year in December 1997, high-ranking MTA officials found at least $62 million in subway construction cost overruns that lower-ranking staff had hidden from MTA's Board of Directors for as long as 2 years. The chief executive officer feared that the total could reach as high as $100 million. This was another Daily News article from December of 1997.
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    Mr. Burke moved a few weeks ago to halt the construction of the east side and mid-city extensions of the red line and the Pasadena blue line indefinitely in order to make a careful analysis of the MTA's finances. But the MTA Board has directed the staff to continue looking for funding at the same time they are kicking people off the busses, cutting service late at night, and they are coming back to you asking for more millions of dollars in that funding.
    We would respectfully ask that that funding be shifted toward bus and to halt the bleeding of the bus system in Los Angeles and also halt the bleeding of your own selves to put that kind of money into a wise investment.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you for your testimony. I share a number of your concerns that you raised. As you know, the committee did basically fence the language. We fenced their money in the report with regard to the east side and the mid-city. Certainly I am not in a position to tell the people of Los Angeles what they ought to be doing, but I think a good aggressive bus system along the lines of what other regions are doing—there is one down in Brazil that is a bus but it is not really a bus. It opens up almost like a rail car. There are a lot of creative ideas that I think would get the transit to the people quickly and I think serve more people.
    But the committee has been concerned with the problems there and that is why we put the language in the report that we did. But I appreciate you taking the time to come.
    Mr. HERNANDEZ. Thank you very much, sir.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very, very much.
    [Prepared statement of Martin Hernandez follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."


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    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Davis?
    Mr. DAVIS. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. I am Bill Davis, chairman of the Ventura County Transportation Commission and vice chairman of the Board of Directors of the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, known as Metrolink. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today.
    SCRRA is the seventh largest commuter rail system in the country. It serves five counties comprising most of the Southern California Region. Its ridership, at 27,000 trips per day, continues to grow at least 10 percent a year. With virtually all its operations performed through private contractors, it is one of the largest public-private partnerships in transit today.
    The SCRRA system is a major success story. One of SCRRA's greatest distinctions is that with the exception of some FEMA funding received after the Northridge earthquake, the entire system was built without Federal dollars. Of course, we are here today and we are asking for some Federal dollars. This assistance is proposed for improvement to the Santa Susanna rail tunnel number 26 located on the Ventura and Los Angeles County line near the city of Simi Valley, California.
    The tunnel was constructed in 1907 and is in need of major repair. There are some pictures in your packet which show the condition of that.

    The total project costs are estimated at $20 million. We are seeking 80 percent Federal participation, or $16 million. The State of California will provide the local match of $4 million.
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    As part of the purchase and joint use agreement with the Southern Pacific Railroad several years ago, SCRRA became fully responsible for the operation and maintenance of the line, including the tunnel. Unfortunately, the years of deferred maintenance by the Southern Pacific Railroad leaves us with a major problem. Mr. Chairman, 20 passenger trains go through the tunnel each day in addition to 8 to 10 Union Pacific freight trains using the tunnel every day. On our Metrolink trains, 1,200 Ventura County passengers go through the tunnel every day and only sheer luck has prevented a major catastrophe from occurring in the tunnel.
    As you will see in this letter, the tunnel is 1.25 miles long with no lighting and no ventilation. It is seismically unsafe with groundwater seeping through the walls and the natural sandstone floor causing flooding on the tracks and a great deal of mud, even on dry days. In the material accompanying my statement is a photograph depicting the tunnel's dangerous state.
    The tunnel lining, which was installed in 1921, is no longer connected to the surrounding mountain. At the time of construction the lining was braced with wood packing which is now decayed. So now we have a freestanding tunnel shell that is not connected to the mountain rock and is very vulnerable to seismic activity.
    The natural rock floor has turned to mud under the weight of the trains and barely supports the train traffic. Traffic itself has settled into dips and sways, greatly restricting the speed with which a train can travel through the tunnel. The proposed repairs will resecure the lining to the rock and provide a stable subgrade and track support system, an emergency walkway, safety lighting, ventilation, and security fencing. Once funded, it will take about a year to complete these needed improvements.
    The major benefit of this project is improved passenger safety. In its current condition, even a minor problem like a train breakdown could have devastating results for passengers trying to walk out of a 1.25 mile dark tunnel through the mud and uneven floor, breathing in trapped diesel fumes. Even without considering the possible safety repercussions, it is clear that the economic cost of a major disruption of daily passenger service and intermodal goods movement caused by a non-functioning tunnel would be enormous.
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    As a side benefit to these urgent safety improvements, the tunnel would also be reconstructed to provide high and wide clearance, an additional cost borne by Union Pacific. I think most of the train traffic will be used for out of Port Hueneme, which is the fourth most active port in California. Another benefit would be the ability to increase train speeds through the tunnel from the current 25 miles per hour in good weather and 10 miles an hour in bad weather. The result will be shorter travel times, making commuter and intercity rail more competitive with highway travel.
    I greatly appreciate your consideration of this request and thank the committee for permitting me to testify. I would be glad to answer any questions that I can.
    Mr. WOLF. I have no questions.
    I thank you very much for your testimony.
    Mr. DAVIS. Thank you very much, sir.
    [Prepared statement of Bill Davis follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."




    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Dicks and Mr. Smith and the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority and Pierce Transit.

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    Mr. DICKS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee.

    It is a pleasure to appear before you today in support of the fiscal year 1999 appropriations request for the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority, known as RTA.

    The voters of our region approved RTA's 10-year plan 15 months ago by an impressive 56.5 percent majority. That margin of victory is especially impressive because the voters agreed to impose taxes on themselves to pay for most of the plan.

    Since then, RTA has been moving forward aggressively to implement the plan to help relieve the worsening congestion problems in our region. We need your help to keep the RTA plan moving ahead as swiftly and efficiently as possible.

    I also want to express my continued strong support for the request of Pierce Transit, which will be introduced by Congressman Adam Smith.

    Now, I would like to introduce to you my good friend, Bob Drewel, the executive of Snohomish County in Washington State and the chairman of RTA's Board, who will describe this year's RTA request.

    Mr. DREWEL. Thank you, Congressman Dicks.

    Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, it is a pleasure to be with you again today on behalf of the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority. I am joined today by Dave Earling, a member of the Edmonds City Council and Chair of the RTA Board's Public and Government Affairs Committee; Paul Miller, a member of the Tacoma City Council and Vice Chair of the RTA Board; and Bob White, the RTA's executive director. I would also like to recognize Bob Vilhauer of the Boeing Company and Rick Daniels of the Washington State Department of Transportation who have joined us today to show their support for our efforts.
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    I certainly would like to thank Congressman Adam Smith for joining us today as well.

    I know you have a long list of witnesses today, so I promise to be brief. I will just summarize our testimony, which we will submit for the record.

    Mr. Chairman, our region's transportation system is frequently ranked as one of the most congested in the Nation. Our program, Sound Move, will increase capacity of the system through a mix of light rail, commuter rail, and regional express bus services. Our citizens agreed to tax themselves to pay for 80 percent of the cost of the plan and we need your help to finance the final 20 percent.

    We come before you today with a very ambitious but honest request. For fiscal year 1999 we are seeking $34.1 million for our link light rail project and $72.4 million for our Sounder commuter rail project, both from Section 5309 new start funds. We are also requesting $18 million in Section 5309 bus funds for our regional express program. These funds will enable us to complete the preliminary engineering and environmental analysis for our link and Sounder projects and to procure $130 million worth of commuter rail vehicles. We expect to negotiate a full funding grant agreement this year for our Seattle-Tacoma commuter rail segment with services beginning by the end of 1999. We anticipate signing a full funding grant agreement for the remaining commuter rail segments in 1999 and for our light rail project in the year 2000.

    These funds will also help purchase 175 new busses and make our 20 new express bus routes a reality in 1999. I say this is an honest request because it is based on how much money we can actually spend in fiscal year 1999. It represents a Federal match of 50 percent for our light rail, 25 percent for our commuter rail, and only 25 percent for our busses, which I understand is an unusually low percentage. In some we are moving aggressively forward with a cost-effective program and strong local financial commitment. And again, we could use your help.
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    We appreciate your consideration of our request and we look forward to working closely with you during the coming years.

    Thank you.

    [Prepared statement of Bob Drewell follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.




    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Smith.

    Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. I am pleased to appear before you this afternoon to ask, first of all, for help with the Tacoma Dome Station project and to thank you for the help you have given us thus far. Phase one has been completed. I was pleased to be there for the opening ceremony last October and it is working very well for our region and we appreciate your past support. We are here today to ask for support for phase two, which I will get to in a moment.
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    Before I do that, I want to echo the remarks of Mr. Drewel and Congressman Dicks with regard to the RTA. That is critical to our region from one end to the other. Mr. Drewel represents Snohomish County, Norms, and Pierce; and I have King, Pierce, and Thurston. It is all linked and the RTA is critical to all of that. I urge your support for that project.

    I am also pleased to introduce Mayor Brian Ebersole, who is the mayor of Tacoma and also chairman of the Board of Commissioners for Pierce Transit that oversees the Tacoma Dome Station project that I am here to urge support for. Basically we need to move on to phase two and phase two is linked to what Mr. Drewel talked about, which is light rail and heavy commuter rail. Phase one set up express bus service to Seattle and is working tremendously. We have had a dramatic increase in ridership from Tacoma to Seattle as a result. But as we bring in the light rail and the commuter rail projects, there will need to be expansion projects to accommodate that—additional parking spaces, amongst other things—and that is why we come before you today for a $7 million request to keep this project going forward, and to thank you for the efforts you have made in getting it to this point.

    Phase one is working wonderfully and we would love to see phase two come about. We would appreciate your assistance with that.

    Now I will turn it over to Mayor Brian Ebersole.

    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Mayor, your full statement will appear in the record.

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    Mr. EBERSOLE. I got that clue. Thank you, sir. I know you are under tight time constraints.

    Mr. Chairman, as mayor of Tacoma I appreciate the opportunity to come before you to tell you about the successful completion of phase one of the Tacoma Dome Station and to submit our formal request for an additional $7 million in fiscal year 1999 plus discretionary funding for phase two. Thanks to the good work of Congressman Dicks, Congressman Smith, and yourself, phase one of the Tacoma Dome Station opened on time within budget in October 1997. The 1,200 stall park-and-ride facility is the new base for the hugely popular Seattle express bus service, which runs between Tacoma and Seattle.

    As Mr. Drewel mentioned, I–5 is one of the Nation's most congested corridors. As predicted, the station and the new bus service was added in cooperation with the RTA and is already attracting new ridership. Week day ridership on the Seattle express is up 10 percent since the station opened.

    With phase one up and running, it is time to complete this multimodal transportation hub as planned by proceeding with phase two. We think that will be up and running by the year 2000. To accommodate this service and the additional parking needed, we are seeking $7 million in fiscal year 1999. The funding will enable us to expand the number and type of connections, build 1,000 additional parking stalls, purchase the needed busses for expanded connections, and construct passenger amenities and public and private space for transportation-related services, and perhaps potential public-private developments.

    With the support and leadership of this subcommittee, we anticipate being able to complete phase two with the discretionary funding of $7 million.
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    Mr. Chairman, this has been a successful Federal, State, and local partnership in the public interest and we look forward to your continued support.

    Thank you, and I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.

    Mr. WOLF. We have no questions. Thank you very much.

    Mr. EBERSOLE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    [Prepared statements of Hon. Adam Smith and Mayor Ebersole follow:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.




    Mr. WOLF. Maybe we can jointly have Westside Light Rail with Congresswoman Furse and then the South/North Light Rail with Congressman Blumenauer and Congresswoman Hooley.
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    Welcome to the committee.

    Ms. FURSE. Thank you so much, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your unwavering support for this project. My district is very much aware that we owe you a great debt of gratitude. You have been so supportive over the last 6 years.

    I come before this subcommittee requesting $36.6 million in Federal funding to complete the Westside Light Rail project in Oregon. The $36.6 million is consistent with the full funding agreement and will allow the project to open on time and on budget later this year. The Westside project is 85 percent completed and the most ambitious segment—this tremendous 3-mile tunnel that we had to build—is now entirely finished. All but two of the 36 low floor cars are delivered. They will be the first to operate on a light rail project in North America. They are delivered and we are going to run them right away.

    And I am pleased to tell you, Mr. Chairman, that the President has included in his budget $36.6 million for the project. So we are in the budget.

    There is obviously growing excitement about the opening of this project, but most importantly from the business community. More than 6,000 new housing units and $230 million in new office and commercial space is now located along the light rail alignment. The first two stations are open and they connect us to the Eastside. So that is a very successful project which has nearly 10 million rides annually.
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    The appropriation of $36.8 million will get the Westside project off this subcommittee's plate and allow the grand opening to proceed as scheduled on September 12th. I would like to give you a personal invitation to the opening, Mr. Chairman, and of course every other member is also welcome. It promises to be the biggest celebration Portland has seen and you deserve to be a part of it.

    May I give you this?

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you.

    Ms. FURSE. Mr. Chairman, I also have a letter from the director of the project which I would like to have included in the record.

    Mr. WOLF. Without objection, the letter will appear in the record.

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you. It will be nice as you leave Congress to see it completed. I know you have been a strong advocate and a champion for it, so I appreciate your efforts.

    Ms. FURSE. So have you, and I thank you so much for all the consideration you have given me and for this project.

    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Olver.
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    Mr. OLVER. I heard, I believe, that this will be the first time for those cars to be in operation in North America. Was that correct?

    Ms. FURSE. Yes, fully accessible. They are assembled in Sacramento. There will be no barriers for people getting in and out of these light rail cars. We are really proud that that was part of the project.

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much.
    [The letter follows:]


Tuesday, February 3, 1998.





    Mr. BLUMENAUER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Olver.

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    I would like to echo the sentiments expressed by my colleague, Congresswoman Furse. We are extremely grateful to the subcommittee for the assistance we have had over the years in the development of the Westside Light Rail project. We are confident it is something that will merit your continued confidence and we are here today to suggest that there be a continuation of a seamless web.

    You have one of the most difficult jobs in America because there are a number of communities that are moving forward to try and build on this. I was impressed with what has happened to it with our neighbors to the north. The Federal Government has been an active partner in our community and made possible not just the Westside. The Eastside line that runs through the heart of my district now has seen a 50 percent increase in ridership since it opened, $1.33 billion in private development, and has been an opportunity for us to work with other communities around the country.

    We are asking respectfully that you consider adding an additional appropriation this year for the South/North Line, which will ultimately connect Clackamas County with my colleague, Ms. Hooley, to the north to Vancouver, Washington. We think it will continue that development that the Federal Government has been proud of. We want to continue being a partner.

    I have some information I have already submitted for the record and look forward to working with the subcommittee in any way I can.

    [The prepared statement of Hon. Earl Blumenauer follows:]

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    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

    Mr. WOLF. Ms. Hooley, welcome to the committee.

    Ms. HOOLEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.

    I just want to tell you a little story. I had a visitor from Minnesota at our place. She was working for the city of Minneapolis. She looked at some newspaper articles and they were having a huge fight as we looked at trying to fill in this wheel that we have. We have a spoke going to the Eastside and now to the Westside, thanks to your help, and now we need to go South/North. There was an article in the paper about people arguing where this was going to go, not because they didn't want it but because they wanted it. They had hired two of the best law firms and lobbyists to try to get it to their area.

    She said, as we're talking about this issue, the issue is that businesses are very nervous about it. What we have found in the Portland region is that people are confident enough in the system that the ridership has increased and that people are now arguing where they want it to be, and they are building their businesses, offices, and their homes along the light rail. So thank you very, very much for what you have done in our region.

    The thing that makes this project unique is that in our region we have really tried to combine land use planning along with transportation. The people have said through their votes and through their pocketbooks that they want this to happen. The other thing that is unique about this area is that people have taken a very long-term look at this. So I know people in my area and the South/North people that are waiting for this mixed spoke have very patiently watches the Eastside be built, the Westside be built, and they have waited 20 years and would now like this to occur in their area.
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    So thank you for your past support and I will reecho what Congressman Blumenauer and Congresswoman Furse have talked about, and that is that what we need to continue this project is an additional $30 million. I respectfully request that and would be happy to answer any questions.

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you.

    Mr. Olver.

    Mr. OLVER. I was just curious. I am a longstanding supporter of these projects. I think you have had the great advantage of being able to do this in a coherent way, unlike my big city which grew up bit by bit over a long period of time. But I am wondering, should I anticipate more spokes or the rim of the wheel next?

    Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Chairman and Congressman Olver, we are moving aggressively to finish the system, but it is not with an expectation that there will be any continuation in terms of what we would be requesting from this committee.

    For instance, we have recently undertaken an extension to the airport off the existing line and we are not coming forward asking for that. We think because of the help from the Federal Government and the rest of the backbone of the system that we will be able to finance that without direct Federal appropriation. Other works that we are doing with street car and with commuter rail we think we have the momentum, with the help of the Federal Government through this committee with the backbone of this system, that it will reduce our requests on ISTEA funds and I don't envision you will be seeing a parade of people before this committee because of the help you are giving us in putting the system in place.
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    Mr. OLVER. I don't think we should hold you to that, though.

    Mr. BLUMENAUER. Please, do.

    Ms. HOOLEY. Congressman, I think if you will also look at the geography of the Oregon-Washington area that it fits this particular alignment just by the very geography of our area.

    Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Chairman, I was just going to echo. Congresswoman Furse extended an invitation for that second weekend in September to come and witness an unparalleled community celebration. Concurrent with that light rail opening, we will be having a national conference that will draw some 1,500 to 2,000 people from around the country with communities that are working on new starts and some of the existing rail lines. We will be in touch with you and committee members because we think there is a role where these people from around the country could benefit from interacting with you and it is really an unprecedented forum for people who are involved with the work you are doing and hope that you would consider perhaps being a part of that initiative that we will be celebrating.
    Mr. WOLF. We'll take a look at it.
    Mr. BLUMENAUER. Thank you.
    [Prepared statement of Hon. Darlene Hooley follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.

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    Mr. WOLF. Next we have Congressman Ford with the Memphis Area Transit Authority and also Congressman Bart Gordon and Congressman Clement with the Middle Tennessee Commuter Rail System. The full statements will appear in the record.
    Mr. FORD. Mr. Chairman and other members of the committee, my colleagues from Tennessee and others who are here, I thank you for the opportunity to testify before the subcommittee today. I am here to offer my unqualified support of the Memphis Area Transit Authority's efforts to secure an $8.2 million new start earmark in the fiscal year 1999 Transportation Appropriations Bill.
    As a result of your past support MATA has undertaken four new public transit projects, Mr. Chairman, since 1993. We are now at a critical juncture with the downtown public transportation system and the continued support of the subcommittee is crucial to its future success. MATA is moving forward to complete the Medical Center Rail Extension, the final link in the downtown public transit system and the first investment in a regional transit system.
    You may recall that the Medical Center Rail Extension connects the two largest employment centers in my district. At the east end of the rail line, the Medical Center Station will serve as a rail and bus transfer point. The Medical Center Extension is also a key component of a larger regional rail plan that will provide light rail service to three corridors in the mid-south region. We will seek authorization of the plan during the reauthorization of ISTEA.
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    Mr. Chairman, this project is not only important to my district, but it is designed to meet the policy objectives of both the subcommittee and the United States Department of Transportation in four fundamental respects.
    First, it is a sound investment in a modern transportation infrastructure system that will increase the mobility of tens of thousands of our region's citizens in an environmentally sustainable and cost-effective way.
    Second, this project will contribute to the success of ongoing welfare to work efforts by providing transportation to the area's rapidly growing health services industry.
    Third, when combined with existing projects, namely the North End Terminal and Central Station, the Medical Center Rail Extension will become part of a multimodal transportation system that will provide people with convenient linkages between various transportation modes.
    Fourth and lastly, MATA has generated substantial public and private support at the local level by using a market-driven, customer-based approach in the development of its downtown transit system.
    Mr. Chairman, I share your commitment to improving transportation. Like improving the skills of delivery of education at every level, our modern transportation infrastructure is an important investment in our Nation's future prosperity. Our Nation is reaping substantial dividends from decades of investment in transportation technology and education. But the money that we spend in this area, Mr. Chairman—as I am sure you will agree—must be spent wisely. The transit projects in the ninth district meet that standard. They are prudent investments that will strengthen the district, the region, and ultimately the Nation.
    I strongly urge the continued support of this committee for this successful partnership between the Federal Government and MATA.
    Again, Mr. Chairman, we thank you. We received our funding from the Federal Government to help extend our second runway at the airport in Memphis and you played a critical role in making that happen.
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    Again I thank you and the other members of the committee.

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much, Congressman Ford.
    [Prepared statement of Hon. Harold Ford follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.





    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Clement.

    Mr. CLEMENT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. It is a great honor and pleasure for us to be here today. I sure endorse what Congressman Ford said about the importance and significance of light rail in Tennessee and other respective States as well. I sure endorse his idea of what he is trying to do for Memphis.
    Today Congressman Gordon and I are here to request funding for a proposed commuter rail system in Middle Tennessee. We respectfully request $15 million for the Nashville/Middle Tennessee Regional Commuter Rail for fiscal year 1999. This initial investment would cover costs for system development planning; preliminary and final engineering; capital costs for rail stations, grade crossings, track signal and improvements; locomotive leases; and train cars. Both city and State governments have committed their support to the project and, as required under ISTEA, will provide the necessary 20 percent funding match.
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    Middle Tennessee is one of the fastest growing regions in the Nation, both in population and economic prosperity. In order to combat the high growth, density, and traffic problems being faced by the residents of Nashville and surrounding areas, we have been working with local officials to develop a plan for a commuter rail project.
    The Nashville/Middle Tennessee Regional Commuter Rail would have a significant impact on travel needs in several areas of the region's major commuter corridors. Across our Nation, commuter railroads carry an estimated 1.2 million passengers every business day. Because of commuter rail, commuters on and off the road save time, highway congestion decreases, safety improves, the air is cleaner, and the overall economy thrives.
    A leading example of commuter rail success is right here in Washington, D.C. And Mr. Chairman, I want to brag on you and the others in the delegation for what you have meant to commuter rail in the Washington, D.C. area. Area commuters have the option of using the Virginia Railway Express and the Maryland Mass Transit Administration. Both systems are extremely efficient and user friendly. Commuter rail is a vital component of meeting commuter needs here in Washington, D.C. and we hope to emulate the success of VRE and MARC in Middle Tennessee.
    Yesterday, we put in operation in the Greater Nashville Area our land port. This is the beginnings of a mass transit terminal and system for the Middle Tennessee Area. This will be for car pools, van pools, shuttle service, bus service, light rail, commuter rail, and ultimately Amtrak service. Previous studies have identified six corridors generally parallelling the six radial interstate highway corridors in which commuter rail service might be considered.
    And I might say to you, Mr. Chairman, we have a full commitment in the public as well as the private sector when we talk about embracing the establishment of commuter rail service and making it a top priority.
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to address the committee today. We will be pleased to answer any questions you may have on this funding request. I have a full, complete evaluation of the Regional Transportation Authority, the Metropolitan Planning Organization Metropolitan Transit Authority, about commuter rail for our area. I would sure like to submit that for the record as well, on behalf of Congressman Gordon and myself.
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    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much.
    Mr. GORDON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee.
    I am here to concur with my friend and neighbor, Bob Clement. Bob represents Nashville Proper and I represent the suburbs outside Nashville. I know you must get tired of people coming in here with their tin cup all the time, so I will try to be brief and make my formal testimony a part of the record.
    Mr. WOLF. Without objection, your prepared statement will appear in the record.
    Mr. GORDON. Let me just try to quickly explain what is going on.
    Three of the 100 top growing counties in the Nation are in my district, the suburbs around Nashville. One is in the top 50. It is virtually paralysis now in trying to get in and out of Nashville. Every interstate is either completed to the full length of the interstate with additions or in that process. They can't add any more lanes. We have gone as far as we can go. It is an absolute nightmare.
    Because of that, there has been a Board convened to study this project. We are not coming in here just on the fly. There has been a great deal of work put together on the feasibility, where things should go, and what needs to be done. With Bob's help and the ISTEA bill last time, there was a land port that is just opening up in Nashville, so that once we get them in on the existing rail, we can take them on the rest of the way.
    This is something that is very important and that is needed. The $15 million allows the study to be completed and all the preliminary things to get started so that the city can go ahead and start land banking—whether parking lots or just the stations—because it is so fast growing that we just lose opportunities every day.
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    Again, this is not an initial response. There has been lots of work done. I wish you could drive to the airport with me sometime and I think we would be in good shape because it is a mess.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you, Bart.
    Mr. Olver.
    Mr. OLVER. Is this plan intended to be completed on existing railroad rights of way that have been sitting there but have gone out of usage over a period of time to bring an effective commuter rail system?
    Mr. GORDON. I think that is the last of the fine-tuning. What we think is the best way to do it—there is a network of four rail systems already around Nashville that go exactly where they need to go. And quite frankly, the cheapest and easiest way to do this is as Amtrak upgrades for us to get the old Amtrak type equipment—it is anywhere from a 25- to about a 35- or 40-mile commute—and put that in use on existing tracks.
    We are not trying to do some super-duper thing here. We are trying to make this affordable and reasonable and something that works. The rails are right where they need to be.
    Mr. CLEMENT. I agree with what Congressman Gordon said. We will need some spurs. There is no doubt about that. We will have to build some track, but it will be minimal what we will have to build according to what we already have in place in our infrastructure.
    Mr. OLVER. And does this plan to reach all the contiguous surrounding counties to Davidson?
    Mr. CLEMENT. The studies show that many of the counties can be reached from Nashville and we could have it running a number of different directions. Naturally, we want to make it most economical and we also want to serve the most people.
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    Mr. GORDON. The four high growth counties are all contiguous with Nashville. They all have a rail system right smack dab through them to their major communities. And quite frankly, by the time this is done, then you can go one more ring of counties out. But it all fits. We are not plowing new ground. We are not buying up new corridors, which would be impossible to do even if we wanted to do it now. It is trying to salvage an existing smart system of railroad before we lose it.
    Mr. OLVER. Thank you.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much for taking the time. We appreciate it very much.

    [Prepared statements of Hon. Bob Clement and Hon. Bart Gordon follow:]

     OFfset Folios 562 to 569 Insert here

February 3, 1998.




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    Mr. WOLF. Congressman Frost, Congresswoman Johnson, Congressman Sessions, and Congressman Hall, for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit.
    Mr. FROST. We'd like to go ahead and begin, if we may.
    Mr. WOLF. Absolutely, Martin. Believe me, we've been here since early this morning. Mr. Hall's statement will appear in the record at the end if he doesn't come.
    Mr. FROST. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee. I will be brief in my remarks today in support of Dallas Area Rapid Transit's fiscal year 1999 appropriations request. You have written testimony presented by my colleagues from the Dallas delegation, and, of course, you have Eddie Bernice Johnson and Pete Sessions with me.
    DART is requesting an appropriation of $50 million of new starts and $10 million of bus discretionary funding. The new start funds will be dedicated to the North Central Extension to the 20-mile DART light rail transit starter system. The funds will be used for light rail vehicles, real estate, and construction.
    DART is replacing 14 to 18 year old buses over the next five years. DART has committed all of their FTA formula funds to the bus purchase. To supplement these sources, DART requires $10 million to complete the funding of approximately 25 of the total order of 488 buses, which includes 200 natural gas-powered vehicles.
    As I think you know, I have been a supporter of DART since their beginning in 1993. My colleagues who are with me today have been elected in recent years and are also supporters of this program. My support has continued despite the ups and downs, a bond referendum defeat, new transit system plans, and, finally, the opening of the rail systems over the past year and a half.
    I am proud to say the citizens of the DART service area have responded enthusiastically to the rail openings. Each day approximately 35,000 passengers are carried, approximately 10 percent beyond projections. As a result, the surrounding suburban cities and businesses are all climbing on board, so to speak, wanting DART to speed up construction of the light rail system to their respective cities.
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    The subcommittee deserves some of the credit for the DART success. Fiscal years 1991 through 1996, the subcommittee allocated $160 million for the 20-mile starter system which DART matched with $700 million of local funds, a very substantial over-match on the local level.
    The rail funding requested today is an integral part of DART's future rail plans, which, in fact, will be under construction this fall on both the North Central and Northeast lines. Congressman Sessions will elaborate on the rail extensions during his remarks. Again, the fiscal year 1999 DART appropriation request totals $60 million and I respectfully request your support.
    Mr. Chairman, I am also fortunate to represent part of the City of Fort Worth. I have been asked by the Fort Worth Transit Authority to formally submit its proposal request for fiscal year 1999 of $12 million for the Rail Tran Intermodal Transportation Center project, and $2.7 million for buses. As you may know, the Rail Tran project will provide a much needed rail service between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth. Phase I of the service which links Dallas to South Irving has opened and ridership is 50 percent higher than anticipated. I respectfully request your support for this worthy project.
    I don't think Congressman Hall is joining us, but Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson has been a very enthusiastic and effective supporter of the DART system since her election to Congress and most of the original lines are in her congressional district.
    I yield at this time to my colleague, Congresswoman Johnson.
    Ms. JOHNSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and other distinguished members of the committee. I will submit my formal testimony and simply make a statement.
    My support for DART goes back to working in the referenda to get it started, going down the first time and winning the second time. I worked with it at the State level prior to coming to the Congress.
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    A substantial amount of the rail system is in my district. I can tell you that it has stimulated a great deal of economic development. But in addition to that, it is taking people to work and getting them home without being on the parking lots that we call highways and freeways. We still have those and we will have to continue to extend these lines in order to relieve that burden.
    We have grown tremendously in the area. Our population is nearing 4 million people. It will continue to stimulate a need for moving people more rapidly than being in their cars on the freeway.
    Construction will generate $2.1 billion in local business and revenues and support 39,000 jobs between now and 1999. I can tell you that the people who did not like DART are on it. They are riding. We have probably somewhere around 45 million rides in the DART system in a year. The reality is a lot greater than the projection because it is a beautiful system that's quiet and safe. I think the rail is in the right places. We have a very large Veterans Administration Medical Center and there is a rail line that is right there at that center. It has caused a great deal of relief for veterans getting back and forth. It goes almost to the airport and eventually we hope it will go to the airport because we have development around the airport that has caused tremendous congestion in traffic. Only 10 percent of the people who work around that airport in the Irving area live in the area; they live outside the area and they travel in and out.
    I know that my time has expired. I thank you for the opportunity to appear before you. You've been fair to us and I hope we can continue to expect that. And I hope one day you'll get the nerve to come and ride it.
    Mr. WOLF. Nerve? Opportunity.
    Ms. JOHNSON. Opportunity. We'll give you the opportunity if you'll come do it.
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    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Sessions.
    Mr. SESSIONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and members of the subcommittee. We appreciate the opportunity to be here today. I am joining with my colleagues and also Mr. Hall, who is unable to be here today, to suggest to this committee that we recognize and understand that you are having to take into account projects all over the country, people who, much like Dallas, have worked within the community, who are trying to make those tough decisions about what their community intermodal transportation needs are and working on how they are going to be accomplished. I would like to give you an argument about why Dallas, why now.

    That opportunity perhaps is most effectively told when you recognize that just based upon the problems that Dallas has in being in compliance with ozone days, that means where we have ozone days we not only get in carpools, but we also get in our trains and the subways, and we do things. This is becoming a matter of importance to Dallas because we are having more and more of these days. We are one of the leading cities in the Nation on ozone action days and we're having to do something about it. This has caused what I believe is a responsibility on behalf of not only the taxpayers, but also the way citizens react very responsibly. We can see the problems that we have.
    We have given a great deal of money to make sure that I–75, which is the major corridor that goes through Dallas, is not only completely redone, but we are trying to build in opportunities for people and transportation riders through light rail. We have funded I–75, we're about four years off finishing that, but the responsible citizens are also catching on to those opportunities that are there. The ridership of light rail is incredible. You've heard for years probably that of the whole country Texans would be the last to ride in a train. That's probably what we thought was going be true before this. I can now tell you ridership is incredible. The numbers are there.
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    I am asking for this money because it not only comes through my district, but it extends well past my district. People will now have an opportunity to come and be a part of the economic development. There are people who are minorities, there are people who are outside the normal economic activity of the central business district that now will be allowed to participate because of this cost-effective, clean, safe environment that we have been able to create.
    Why Dallas, why now? The reason is because we believe in it, we are funding it by what I believe is by any stretch of the imagination would be a greater portion of what we're doing. We believe in it and we're participating and we will fully utilize it.

    Lastly, DART was the transportation organization of the year. They are effective and good at what they do. We believe in it and the entire community supports what we are trying to do here today.
    Now that we've ended our presentation, we will be happy to make ourselves available to any question that you or the committee have, sir.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much.

    Mr. Olver.
    Mr. OLVER. No questions.
    Mr. WOLF. I want to thank you. I'm very aware of the system over the years. We appreciate your taking the time to come before the committee. If maybe somebody could contact Mr. Hall's office, we could then put his testimony in for the record.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr. FROST. Mr. Chairman, if I may just make one other final point. I don't know if there's another system that has had as substantial a local share as the DART system. We basically have had an 80 percent local share and 20 percent Federal share, funded by local sales tax. I think the citizens of our community are to be commended. We are doing our share and we're just asking the Federal Government to partner with us but we're carrying the majority of the load.
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    Mr. WOLF. Thank you. Thank you all very much.

    [Prepared statements of Hon. Martin Frost, Hon. Eddie Bernice Johnson; Hon. Ralph Hall; and joint statement of Hon. Martin Frost, Hon. Ralph Hall, Hon. Sam Johnson, Hon. Eddie Bernice Johnson, and Hon. Pete Sessions follow:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.



    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Knollenberg, Mr. Stupak, Mr. Visclosky, and maybe joining Mr. Visclosky, if you could, would be Mayor Luecke of South Bend.
    Your full statements will appear in the record.
    Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Chairman, understanding that and realizing that there are many witnesses behind me, I simply want to suggest to you that I wanted to express my appreciation for the serious consideration and assistance you and every member of the subcommittee gave to my request last year, I deeply appreciate that, and look forward to working with you during this Congress relative to the request pending in my testimony today.
    Mr. SABO [assuming chair]. Do you want to cover any points?
    Mr. VISCLOSKY. No, sir.
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    Mr. SABO. Okay. I didn't want to cut you off.
    Mr. Olver, do you have any questions?
    Mr. OLVER. No questions.
    Mr. VISCLOSKY. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    [The prepared statement of Hon. Peter Visclosky follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.
    Mr. SABO. Mr. Mayor.
    Mr. LUECKE. Mr. Chairman, thank you. I am Stephen Luecke, Mayor of the City of South Bend. I want to thank you for this opportunity to come before you today. I'm here with members of the TRANSPO board and representing Congressman Tim Roemer to seek the final stage of funding for our TRANSPO Intermodal facility.
    Mr. SABO. I thought we'd given you final last time, but it didn't quite work out.
    Mr. LUECKE. Well, we appreciate that. We certainly appreciate the support that this panel has provided to the facility over the six or seven years that we've been coming. We hope to make this the last presentation on this as we seek to complete the project.
    I won't go into great detail because I know you're familiar with the project.
    Mr. SABO. We're very, very familiar with it. Mr. Roemer has spoken to me at least 57 times. It has come before the committee and I am very, very aware of it. We've had you here before the committee time after time. I don't want to cut you short here.
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    Mr. LUECKE. That's quite all right.
    Mr. SABO. No, go ahead. You've come in from out of town so I think you should feel.
    Mr. LUECKE. Thank you. We just again want to stress our thanks for the support that it has received from you and members of the committee here. It has been a great project for the downtown South Bend. The electric circulators which will reduce pollution and also increase the ease of public transportation in downtown. It has also been an anchor for other development that we are doing on the South end of downtown with some public investment and a lot of private investment. The final stage here to bring Amtrak back into downtown South Bend where it belongs we believe will increase ridership on Amtrak as well as increase usage of the intermodal facility downtown is extremely important.
    So we really wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you, to note that in 1997 ridership for TRANSPO was up 9 percent while national ridership was up just 2 percent in similar systems, that our passenger and charter revenues are up over 1996 and this is without an increase in fares. So we believe that the things that we are doing are very supportive of public transportation in South Bend, important for our community, important for South Bend and Mishawaka. We wanted to thank you, again, for your support as we hopefully are able to fund the final $2.3 million of this project.
    Mr. SABO. We'll do everything we can. Thank you for coming. And if Mr. Roemer wants to submit a statement, we will keep the record open.
    Mr. LUECKE. He does have written testimony to submit, thank you.
    Mr. SABO. It will appear in the record as fully read. Thank you very, very much.

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    Mr. SABO. Mr. Olver.
    Mr. OLVER. I am kind of curious here. Roughly, what is the total amount of Federal money, State money, and municipal money in this whole project? I'm really only interested in maybe plus or minus a million or so in each of those.
    Mr. LUECKE. Approximately $17 million Federal, and approximately $6 million local and State. This is page 11 of the booklet there.
    Mr. OLVER. Okay. I will look at that page a little bit more closely. Thank you.
    Mr. SABO. Thank you, Mr. Olver.
    Congressman Hall, if Mr. Knollenberg and Mr. Stupak can hold, we'll let Mr. Hall go first because he was with the other group that left.
    Mr. HALL. Mr. Chairman, I thank you. I'll be brief. I'm just in total support of the presentation made by Mr. Frost and the Dallas delegation, Mr. Sessions. I'm Ralph Hall, a Member of Congress from the 4th District of Texas, supportive of the DART request.
    I thank you for your time. I'd like to put a statement into the record.
    [The prepared statement of Hon. Tim Roemer and Mayor Stephen Luecke follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.

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    Mr. SABO. Thank you, Ralph. I appreciate your coming in. Your full statement will appear in the record. Thanks.
    Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to speak before your subcommittee today. I applaud the efforts you've made to keep a tight rein on spending. Your committee has made a significant contribution to our efforts to balance the budget, and I look forward to working with you and the committee in the appropriations process to make the Federal Government less costly and more efficient for all of us.
    I am here this afternoon to discuss an issue that is critical to Michigan but vitally important also to the American economy. The issue is Corporate Average Fuel Economy, better known as CAFE standards.
    As a member of the congressional oversight delegation that attended the Kyoto conference on climate change, I have concerns that the Clinton Administration, lacking the votes to win ratification in the Senate, may attempt to accomplish the goals of the Kyoto accord through regulatory fiat.
    In his State of the Union speech, President Clinton reiterated his commitment to meeting the reduction targets for the emissions of greenhouse gases mandated by this treaty. These targets, 7 percent below 1990 levels, will require the United States to dramatically slash our consumption of energy. While even the Administration seems to recognize the dislocation caused by this treaty, President Clinton still feels it is worth meeting the objectives of this over-reaching treaty. However, many Members of Congress, myself included, do not believe that fewer jobs in the United States and a lower standard of living for American families is a price we should expect the people of this country to pay while much of the rest of the world, almost 80 percent, contributes nothing to this cause.
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    Mr. WOLF [resuming chair]. Including China.
    Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Including China, including India, including Mexico. Clearly, there are very real problems with the proposed Kyoto treaty.
    While the Clinton Administration would propose new taxes to achieve the goals of the treaty, I believe the Administration will adopt a more stealth approach to achieve their objectives.
    One obvious approach for the Administration would be to increase CAFE standards, specifically the mileage standards for light trucks. It is worth noting that light trucks, better known as sport utility vehicles, minivans, and pickup trucks, now account for 53 percent of new automobile sales sold by U.S. auto makers. Increasing CAFE standards for these popular vehicles would have a chilling effect on our domestic auto industry by severely restricting the ability of U.S. auto makers to produce the vehicles that the American people want to buy.
    Higher CAFE standards would require U.S. auto makers to reduce the size and scale back the amenities of their light truck models. This would distort the market and alter the appeal of these vehicles. One of the reasons light trucks are popular is because their size makes them safer than smaller vehicles. In 1997, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration came out with a study entitled ''Relationship of Vehicle Weights to Fatality and Injury Risk.'' This report found that a 100 pound reduction in the average weight of an automobile would result in an additional 302 highway-related fatalities annually.
    Let me be very clear on this point. Increasing CAFE standards for light trucks would require the U.S. auto makers to down-size these vehicles. As a result, more people would be involved in auto accidents causing more injury and death on our Nation's highways. This is a fact that must not be overlooked during consideration of this issue.
    Mr. Chairman, the scientific community is divided on the issue of whether or not carbon dioxide emissions are causing the Earth's temperature to warm. But study after study shows that people driving smaller cars are more at risk of personal injury than those driving larger cars. Given the lack of sound science on the global warming issue, and the negative impact higher CAFE standards would have on the U.S. auto industry and vehicle safety, there is no logical justification for increasing fuel economy standards for light trucks. We must not allow the proponents of the flawed Kyoto treaty to use this opportunity as an excuse to impose unreasonable and unwarranted new regulation on the American driving public.
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    Mr. Chairman, the old saying ''If it ain't broke, don't fix it'' has never been more applicable. The Big 3 is in the process of developing technology that will make the vehicles of the future cleaner and more fuel-efficient. The market is working, let's make it work, let's let it work, let's ensure the Federal Government doesn't interfere with a system that works. Language preventing the Clinton Administration from moving forward with an increase in CAFE standards has been included in this committee's bill since fiscal year 1996. I am requesting that similar language be included in this year's bill.
    With that, Mr. Chairman, again I thank you for the opportunity to testify and present this case. I look forward to working with you.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you, Joe.
    [The prepared statement of Hon. Joe Knollenberg follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.




    Mr. WOLF. Bart?
    Mr. STUPAK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have four issues I would like to bring to the committee's attention.
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    The first issue I would like to bring to the committee's attention is I would like to request the committee provide $6 million for further study of the replacement of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw. Last year you did put some money in to begin the study and design. Actually, the Coast Guard would like to submit three different bids to different shipyards at about $1.5 million apiece, and the remaining $2 million would be used actually to keep the Mackinaw moving for this year. I'm sure the committee will fund at least keeping the Mackinaw available, but I think it is time we start actually putting these ideas on paper and get moving. So I would ask the committee to consider that.
    Mr. WOLF. If the gentleman would yield. Staff just said that the Coast Guard did not request any funds for that area, for the study. So you might want to talk to them.
    Mr. STUPAK. All right. We will because that's where we got the request from.
    Next, Mr. Chairman, let me go to airports, which is always a concern in my district being up in Northern Michigan. The Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, I'm very appreciative of the subcommittee's assistance last year in having the GAO conduct a study on this matter. I am anxious to see the outcome. However, I don't want the issue to fall by the wayside. Cherry Capital Airport has the highest traffic growth for 1990–95 than any other airport in the United States. That region of the State of Michigan is growing at about 20 percent a year, traffic growth has been tremendous there. By now, we are probably the third busiest airport in Michigan and yet we still don't have radar.
    We just don't want a tragedy to happen while we continue to——
    Mr. WOLF. When is the GAO report due?
    Mr. STUPAK. This fiscal year, I want to say by summer.
    Mr. WOLF. We'll ask when the GAO comes before the committee. We're going to ask them what is the status of that report so we can alert Mr. Stupak's office.
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    Mr. STUPAK. Very good. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Again, I just don't want that falling by the wayside.
    Mr. Chairman, the cross one-way at Chippewa County Airport in Kincheloe, Michigan, once again the subcommittee was very helpful last year by including language that recommended that the Chippewa County Airport receive a grant to build this runway. As of this date, we have not yet received it. We're going to continue to work with transportation officials to make sure it's there, but I just wanted to make you aware of the situation. You gave us good report language last year; so far it has not yet been fulfilled. It was $1.35 million and that was provided in the report. Like I said, we still have not received it.
    Last, but not least, and probably the only new request I have, Mr. Chairman, is for K.I. Sawyer Airport up in Marquette, Michigan. We're asking that the subcommittee provide $2.28 million to begin the process of relocating Marquette airport. It is going to the old Air Force base which was K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base. The Air Force closed that base in 1994. Economic studies and everything else have indicated that if we could relocate the airport from Nagoney down to the old air base, it certainly would go a long way in helping out the economic conditions of that area. That was my largest employer in my district and that area has been pretty much devastated.
    So if the subcommittee could help us, we would be looking at appropriating $2.28 million for the relocation of the airport from Nagoney to Marquette to the old base.
    That's a quick summary of my written testimony.

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you, Bart.
    Mr. Olver, questions?
    Mr. OLVER. Just out of curiosity, where is the third largest airport?
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    Mr. STUPAK. In Michigan, now it would be in Traverse City, Cherry Capital Airport.
    Mr. OLVER. That's Traverse City?
    Mr. STUPAK. Right. Third busiest I should say.
    Mr. OLVER. That would be after the tri-city——
    Mr. STUPAK. Detroit, of course, is number one. Number two is Grand Rapids. And it is always a battle between us and probably Bishop Airport in Flint or Capital Airport and Lansing.
    Mr. OLVER. So Midland Saginaw is not in that category?
    Mr. STUPAK. No, but they all have radars. Of the top ten airports, I think eight of the ten have them. We're right there at about at number three. In the last five years, that area has just taken off. We've had tremendous growth. It is now my largest county. It used to be about the third largest in my district. In the six years that I've been here, it is now the largest county in my district. The growth has been tremendous.
    Mr. OLVER. Seems pretty telling.
    Mr. STUPAK. We also have a flight school there with the local college.
    Mr. OLVER. Thanks.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you, Bart. We appreciate your testimony.
    [Prepared statement of Hon. Bart Stupak follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.

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    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Pickett, Mr. Scott, and Ms. Morella, if you would all come up together.
    Mr. PICKETT. Congressman Bobby Scott was supposed to be here today but he, unfortunately, is not going to be able to be here. He has given me a copy of his testimony and I would ask permission for that to be entered in the record.
    Mr. WOLF. His full statement will appear directly after yours, Owen.
    Mr. PICKETT. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to once again express my support for continuing funding for the Norfolk-Virginia Beach light rail project. It is a $450 million 18.25 mile line which primarily utilizes a lightly used Norfolk Southern Railroad right-of-way. Last year we requested a total of $5 million for the initial funding of the preliminary engineering and environmental work for this project, and your committee provided $2 million.
    With these funds that you provided and those already available at the local level, the Tidewater Transportation District was able to award a contract to begin the PE–EIS work on the 18.25 mile first segment of the line.
    During the past year, the Tidewater Transportation District has worked with the Federal Transit Administration and its project management oversight consultant and has requested additional matching funds from the Virginia General Assembly and the Commonwealth Transportation Board.
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    In fiscal year 1999, the Tidewater Transportation District is requesting a Federal appropriation of $20 million to maintain the schedule of work already underway, and to meet the request of the cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach to accelerate the selection of the alignment to the Norfolk Naval Base and the Norfolk International Airport. These funds will permit Tidewater Transportation District to maintain the presently schedule PE–EIS work on the first segment line, and to advance the PE–EIS work on the naval base alignment as well as complete the right-of-way appraisals for both segments of the line in 1999.
    With the funding level requested, Tidewater Transportation District will maintain its schedule for presenting the FTA the information necessary for the issuance of the record of decision and permit the beginning of negotiations for a full funding grant agreement.
    That completes my remarks on that project, Mr. Chairman. I know that you're aware there are several other projects in our area that I'll be communicating with you on. I appreciate your indulgence and your help in this regard.

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you.
    Mr. Olver.
    Mr. OLVER. Nothing, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. WOLF. We have no further questions. Thank you very much. If you can give us the Bobby Scott statement, we'll include that in the record.
    [The prepared statements of Hon. Owen Pickett, Hon. Robert Scott, and Kim Kimball follow:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.
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    Mr. WOLF. Connie, welcome to the committee.
    Ms. MORELLA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Olver, it is a pleasure to be here. Thank you for the opportunity for this annual tradition to appear before you in support of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's funding request for fiscal year 1999.
    I urge the subcommittee to appropriate $50 million in fiscal year 1999 for the budget for Metro. This is the last remaining funding necessary to complete construction of the Metrorail system that we see displayed on the map in all of our subway cars.
    Metro's fast track program is, indeed, a success story. The program is on schedule, within budget, and for that Metro is to be highly commended. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, and the planned 103-mile Metrorail system is almost complete.
    Metro has already opened the Blue Line to Franconia-Springfield, almost doubling the number of riders originally projected. I know that the Chairman also will be pleased to join me this summer in July when Metro extends the Red Line to Glenmont in Montgomery County. I recently toured that line with Metro officials, and I was impressed that Metro is doing such an excellent job of fitting that line into a highly populated suburban area. I have seen firsthand how Metro has worked closely with the community to address their concerns, and I know that Congressman Wynn will be with us too on that day.
    The full 103-mile system will be complete in 2001, several years ahead of schedule. This truly remarkable progress has been achieved in large part because of the strong support that you, Mr. Chairman, and Congress have given to Metro's accelerated construction program. It has worked.
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    Our regional delegation also deserves recognition for the very closely coordinated effort that we have all put forth to make this a regional priority and to support Metro through difficult budget times.
    I urge the subcommittee to finish the commitment begun more than a quarter of a century ago by appropriating the $50 million left in Metro's authorization.
    We must keep in mind, however, that the Metrorail system is now 21 years old, and the Metro bus system is 25 years old. Many of the facilities in these systems are in need of repair and equipment must be replaced. Metro has one of the oldest bus fleets in the country, uses antiquated garages that are inherited from private companies to house those buses.
    Metro is facing $130 million annual shortfall in its rehabilitation and replacement program. The Federal Government has invested $7 billion in a construction partnership, with local governments contributing $2.5 billion. This is a substantial public investment which we have a responsibility to protect.
    Our subway system is a treasure. In 1997, Metro won an award from its peers as the number one rail system in the Nation. Without its safe, clean, reliable service, the horrendous traffic congestion in this region would be much worse. We must preserve the Metro system so that it maintains the top quality transit service that it currently provides to the National Capital Region.
    There are some other projects I'd like to mention for the State of Maryland. As you may know, the MARC commuter rail operates 79 trains along 187 miles of track that accommodates 5 million passengers per year. Maryland is in the process of upgrading the MARC commuter rail in order to provide an alternative transportation mode to commuters that is both cost-effective and time-efficient.
    The State of Maryland is asking for $30 million in the fiscal year 1999 budget for Maryland commuter rail system for the purchase of cars and for much needed track improvements. I urge the subcommittee to support it.
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    Woodrow Wilson Bridge, only federally-owned bridge on the Interstate Highway System. As the owner of this bridge, which is crumbling and deteriorating at an alarming rate, the Federal Government has a responsibility to provide fair and equitable funding for the replacement of the bridge that is in line with other projects of national importance.
    I believe the Federal Government should provide 100 percent of the funding for the project, and Maryland is asking for $60 million for this project in fiscal year 1998.
    I also urge this subcommittee to support Maryland's request for $20 million for their bus program. Traffic congestion in this region is the second worst in the country and our public transportation systems need your support.
    I would also like to share my support for permitting the Department of Transportation to conduct the Sustainable Transportation Pilot Initiative through the transportation appropriations bill. It establishes a pilot program to fund combined planning of transportation and land use. Pioneered in Portland, Oregon as a LUTRAQ, making the land use-transportation-air quality connection, successfully demonstrated that transit combined with transit-oriented land use and smaller road improvements were effective in reducing road congestion while preserving community values.
    Also, noise mitigation. My last point. The Administration has asked for funding for the Airport Improvement Program at last year's level. As you know, funding for noise mitigation is currently authorized for 31 percent of AIP's discretionary funds. Airport noise is an undeniably serious problem that affects communities nationwide. In the Washington area, communities in Northern Virginia, the District of Columbia, Montgomery County, Maryland are all negatively impacted by over-flights from Washington National and Dulles Airports.
    So in your deliberations regarding funding for the AIP and noise mitigation, I urge the subcommittee to consider the hundreds of thousands of our citizens who live near the airports, have their lives disrupted on a daily basis by airport noise.
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    I know I took longer than I should have, and I thank you very much for your indulgence, and certainly for the kind of support you've given to this transportation need throughout the years. I thank all the members of the subcommittee and thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you, Connie.
    [The prepared statement of Hon. Constance Morella follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.
    Mr. WOLF. We'll hear Mr. Wynn and then we'll see if there are any questions.
    Ms. MORELLA. Fine. Thank you.
    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Wynn, welcome to the committee.
    Mr. WYNN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and good afternoon to you and the members of the committee. I'd like to thank you for this opportunity to appear before you to talk about transportation issues of concern to the 4th District of Maryland and to Maryland generally.
    First, I'd like to talk about what I consider the most critical transportation project, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, a project that I know you are very familiar with. It is well known that the bridge is the only segment of the 42,000 mile Interstate System that is federally owned. Unfortunately, it is also one of the worst bottlenecks on the East Coast and desperately needs to be replaced. We have had authoritative reports indicating that there is only a nine year useful life remaining for the bridge.
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    In order to proceed with this project, adequate Federal funding must be authorized. However, in order to maintain progress in the design of the project, an appropriation of funds is needed in fiscal year 1999. I am pleased to see the President has included a request of $180 million for design activities and the right-of-way acquisition, and I certainly would support that figure. The State of Maryland has indicated that in this year we would need an appropriation of $60 million for that purpose so that we can keep this project moving forward.
    I want to take this opportunity to emphasize in no uncertain terms, Mr. Chairman, that I'm gravely concerned over the Administration's continued insistence that the Federal Government contribution only be in the neighborhood of $400 million. I feel very strongly that that is grossly inadequate and that we need a much larger appropriation hopefully through the ISTEA bill in order for the Federal Government to assume its rightful responsibility in replacing the bridge.
    I think timing is of the essence, quite frankly. Even if there are no delays in funding approval, the project will last through 2004. If the new project is not completed by approximately 2005, however, it will probably be necessary to institute lane closures and truck prohibitions in order to allow the current bridge to be operated safely. Thus, it is absolutely essential that we continue the progress and funding this project in order to stay on schedule.
    Let me move on and join with my colleague, Ms. Morella, in supporting a second project for the State of Maryland regarding the MARC commuter rail system. Maryland is currently in the midst of a $450 million upgrade of its commuter rail system known as the Maryland Rail Commuter Service, we call it MARC.

    I would like to request an earmark of $30 million of new starts discretionary funds for the expansion of MARC. These funds will be used for the purchase of two new electric locomotives to be deployed on the Penn Line, allowing for more efficiency with interface with Amtrak's high speed equipment operating on the Northeast corridor. The funds will also be used for the construction of a major MARC maintenance facility and for right-of-way and construction of a direct rail connection between the MARC Camden Station and the MARC Penn Line Amtrak Northeast corridor station.
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    Third, I'd like to join with my colleague in supporting an appropriation for WMATA. I, too, am seeking $50 million in fiscal year 1999 to continue construction of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority system, completing funding for the entire 103-mile system which I know you're very familiar with. It will reduce traffic congestion in one of the most congested areas of the region, it will increase Metro ridership, which will also reduce congestion, and help with the efficient operation of the system.
    Specifically in my district, the Green Line from Anacostia to Branch Avenue in Prince Georges County will provide four new stations in Southern Prince Georges County, at Southern Avenue, Naylor Road, Suitland, and Branch Avenue. In addition, these funds will allow completion of the Green Line from U Street-Cardoza to Fort Totten in the District of Columbia and will connect with the existing Green Line in Prince Georges County, creating the full completion of the 103-mile system. As I said, I know the Chairman is very familiar with this and would ask for funds to support those efforts.
    Again, I would like to thank you for your time, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee.
    [The prepared statement of Hon. Albert Wynn follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you. No one in Congress will be happier to see the completion of the Metro. I appreciate the fact that the whole area delegation, both Republican and Democrat, House and the Senate, have worked closely together.
    I also agree with your comment on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. I think the Administration's funding proposal, I guess they were thinking that Congress is just going to go and do it. But they're going to begin shutting down lanes and will probably begin limiting the bridge to trucks, which is going to put a tremendous amount of burden on the American Legion Bridge.
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    I just don't understand it. It's their bridge. If it were a normal situation, a State bridge, funding would be 90-10. I just don't understand what they're doing, particularly with the President's proposals for new spending in other areas. I would have thought they would have come forward on this. When Secretary Slater comes before the committee we're going to talk to him about that.
    But I think your points are exactly right on target, both of them.
    I have no questions.
    Mr. Sabo.
    Mr. SABO. Will $50 million really finish WMATA?
    Mr. WOLF. Yes, it does. When WMATA started Mr. Sabo's hair was brown. So, yes, it finishes it. It's a good system and it is well-run. I think Dick White, the new manager, has really brought a new, good style of management. But, yes, this will be it.
    Mr. SABO. I can't believe it.
    Mr. WOLF. We'll have a mortgage burning party.
    Ms. MORELLA. We'll invite Mr. Sabo out when we complete the Red Line and do the same thing with the Green Line when that happens.
    Mr. WOLF. I think we should carry him on our backs.
    Mr. Olver, any questions?
    Mr. OLVER. No questions.
    Mr. WOLF. I thank you both for coming before the committee this afternoon.


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    Mr. WOLF. Congressman Cummings, welcome to the committee, and Mayor Schmoke, welcome.
    Mr. CUMMINGS. Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, I thank you for this opportunity to appear before you today together with the Mayor of my city and my schoolmate from high school, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke. We will present our request for funding in the fiscal year 1999 Department of Transportation appropriations to conduct a major investment study of a ''people mover'' system for downtown Baltimore. As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I am seeking the support of my committee for this project as part of the reauthorization of the ISTEA bill.
    I want to emphasize that a people mover system will fill the gap in our mass transit system. Our light rail, subway, MARC commuter rail, and bus systems efficiently transport people into the downtown business core from outlying areas. The MARC typically handles about 18,000 commuters daily, and the subway and light rail carry more than 43,000 and 22,000 daily riders, respectively. These numbers do not account for recent extensions of rail service which will show increased ridership.
    We also have a bus system which over 240,000 people board everyday. The piece that we are lacking is a mode of transit to move people East and West through the city. The people move, elevated above the congestion of street traffic, would provide that much needed cross-town transportation mode.
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    I invite the subcommittee to visit Baltimore to see the development and growth of our downtown business district. The Inner-Harbor is still a vibrant attraction for residents and tourists. A few blocks away our new football stadium will open in late summer. Our nearby Powerplant Development houses a Hard Rock Cafe, and will be joined by the first ESPN Sports Bar and Grill, and a Barnes and Noble bookstore. We just broke ground for a Planet Hollywood Restaurant. These new entertainment venues compliment and add to the attraction of such well-known points of interest as the National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center, and the Visionary Arts and Museum. All of this is in the path of the proposed people mover.
    Mr. Chairman, I now yield to the Mayor of Baltimore City, Kurt L. Schmoke.
    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Mayor, welcome. Your full statement will appear in the record.
    Mayor SCHMOKE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I would just like to summarize. I thank Congressman Cummings for his strong support of our efforts.
    Just one correction in my statement, I note that the Inner-Harbor of Baltimore is so active and attractive that every year we attract more people than Disney World. That only happened one year, I should mention for my friends from Florida. But it just points out what Representatives Cummings was talking about. We have massive attractions, including a large convention center and all these other attractions in the area. We have transportation lines moving people North-South, and the Congress has been very supportive of many of those. What we lack is something to move us East and West.
    But even more important than those connections are some air quality issues. We seek to address some of these air quality issues through alternative modes of transportation. Our city is classified as a nonattainment area for ozone. In order to be able to meet interim air quality standards set by EPA and the State of Maryland, it is going to be necessary for us to promote enhanced use of our mass transit systems.
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    So we're hoping to integrate all these systems with the downtown people mover, which will be about a three mile people mover mode of transportation going East-West from Camden Yards, the stadium area, all the way through the Inner-Harbor into Fells Point and Canton area, which are very heavily congested areas. We believe that this convenience will attract and keep people in our city and will be a significant enhancement.
    What we seek is $1.5 million from the Federal Transit Administration Section 3 program in fiscal year 1999. We project the study is going to take about $3 million. But we have been actively involved in putting together our funds also so that we can have additional money to meet at least the minimum 20 percent match for the total amount of this study.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much. I want to congratulate you, you really have done an amazing job. I periodically will go up to the Inner-Harbor. It's a great place to take your family.
    I wanted to take this opportunity just to raise something with you. You don't really have to comment on it, it's not necessary, but I've seen the request by some in the Maryland Legislature to bring gambling to the State of Maryland. I happen to agree with Governor Parris Glendenning's position.
    You've really got to be careful because, if you look at areas where gambling has come in, particularly with the job that you have done in the Inner-Harbor, the number of restaurants that go out of business is unbelievable. In Atlantic City, if you look at the number of restaurants that go out of business, there's only so much money that people in this region have and they're either going to spend it on slots or they're going to spend it in the restaurants or they're going to spend it at the stadium. You have a great stadium. I don't know what your new stadium is going to be like, but if it is anything like your current stadium, it's a great stadium.
    Gambling really has a major impact. We've been looking at studies, and I was the one who put in the language to the bill to set up a national commission to study the impact on gambling in the country. The attendance at the Iowa State Fair was down last year by 12 to 14 percent. They believe these people weren't going to the State Fair, they were going into the gambling halls. The impact on crime, the impact on addiction. Once it comes in, you almost never see a story saying gambling casino shuts down.
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    I think it is one of the bright lights actually up and down the East Coast of what you have done. People come not only from Northern Virginia, but they come from far away, from Philadelphia. I just think it would be almost such a negative with regard to what you've done. Obviously, I have no right to tell the people of Maryland what they should do, and I know how you're thought of in the State, and I don't know where you are, and it is not necessary for you to answer, I'm not trying to get you to come on the record with regard to your Governor's position, but I really think if you look at the studies, and I'll send you some material, of where it has come in, what the impact has been. Obviously, Atlantic City is not exactly the model city for the Nation. I just think it is something you ought to be very, very careful about.
    Mayor SCHMOKE. Sure. Thank you, sir.
    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Sabo.
    Mr. SABO. No questions.
    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Olver.
    Mr. OLVER. No questions.
    Mr. WOLF. I thank you both for appearing today.
    [Prepared Statements of Hon. Elijah Cummings and Mayor Kurt Schmoke follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."


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    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Kanjorski, welcome.
    Mr. KANJORSKI. Mr. Chairman, I'll make an observation as a back-bencher in the minority. I was looking at last year's appropriations and I became aware of very strong support for the State of California, the State of Louisiana, the State of Maryland, the State of Minnesota, and the State of Wisconsin, and the State of Pennsylvania in certain areas of Pennsylvania. I only make that point because having served in the Congress now for 13 years, I have never come before this committee and asked for support because I always thought that ISTEA and appropriation fundings would occur on a need basis. But apparently I misjudged the approach that should be taken, and that's why I'm here today.
    I represent a district that is Wilkes-Barre City and we're making an application for the support of a downtown intermodal system. To say I represent a city of 44,000 people, because if you look at Wilkes-Barre City that's all it would appear, it actually is the third largest city of Pennsylvania because it is surrounded by contiguous 30 communities. It really constitutes a population of 150,000 people. Over these 13 years, we've never had the support of any major transportation facility in the third largest city of Pennsylvania even though Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and the district to my North which encompasses several little towns have had significant contributions.
    I'm not adverse to those contributions, but I think there's a fairness here that this committee really has to pay attention to. We have other major population centers in Pennsylvania and in the United States that require Federal assistance of some sort. In Wilkes-Barre now we're trying to put together a reversal of a great deal of exodus of the working population in downtown as a result of lack of transportation and as a result of the Agnes flood that occurred some 25 years ago.
    One of the areas that the city administration thinks they will have a major impact on the downtown of Wilkes-Barre, which is really the center city of the third largest city of Pennsylvania, is this transportation facility. It is only a $29 million facility. As I said, I've had no good fortunate in having it funded in prior years, although Senator Specter was fortunate enough in the Senate and he did receive $1.5 million last year in the conference on the appropriations. This facility is going to cost $29 million. What we're asking for is an addition $8 million so that we can accomplish something that will help save the center city of the third largest populated city of Pennsylvania.
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    If we come in, however, and make an application, or if the committee addresses this saying, oh, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, it has a population of 44,000, we really don't warrant an intermodal transportation system. Well, it isn't just 44,000; it's 150,000 to 180,000 people. Anybody that has driven up I–81 through Pennsylvania looks off over into this tremendous valley, it's a huge valley that suffered a loss itself of $2 billion in the flood Agnes. This is an attempt to continue to bring us back. What I'm asking the committee to do when they go into deliberations is to really support the city administration of Wilkes-Barre with the idea that they are supporting a transportation facility to serve 180,000 people and to help bring back the economic resurgence of that center city and that entire area.
    I would really appreciate it if some evaluation were made by the committee of over-looking what appropriations have been made in past years. I understand the prerequisites of appropriation seats and political clout and ability to attain that. But there are some of us that are out there in the hinterlands that represent some very large populations that have really been disadvantaged because of the process. So I'm here really to ask you to consider levelling the playing field here. I know you don't like to support highways, but we don't get highways either and we don't get public transportation facilities. We're at a decided disadvantage. You have to remember, my district and Wilkes-Barre City is the equivalent of Washington, D.C. You've never seen me getting $100 million bridge or a $200 million subway system financed by the Federal Government. We just don't get it. I think fairness now dictates that this committee start looking at the negative impact this is having on some of the rural and less identified population centers in the United States, and particularly Pennsylvania.

    Mr. WOLF. I'm not going to get in a debate with you, Mr. Kanjorski. I need to go back and look at the record. But Pennsylvania in this committee has done exceptionally well, probably one of the top actually in the country. It is the responsibility of the people from Pennsylvania to come in. We're not the wizards to say where it ought to go in Pennsylvania; people come before the committee. But if you look at Pennsylvania as a State, whether it be from ISTEA, whether it be from this appropriation committee, or, frankly, whether it be from the full appropriations committee, there could even be members coming in saying they felt that Pennsylvania got more. But we'll be glad to review the record.
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    Mr. KANJORSKI. What I would like the committee to pay attention to is there are four or five districts of Pennsylvania that get the lion's share of the funds and the others get none. I'm in Congress 13 years and I've never had a project funded by the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee for any transportation facility in my district. When I look through the list and I pay attention to it, I recognize the power of a seat on the appropriations committee but there has to be something that's left over for some of us.
    Mr. WOLF. I think the committee has been very, very fair. In fact, if you look, it has probably been as fair in the last several years as it has ever been in history. We have not just made these determinations based on who serves on the committee. That's why we did away with the Highway Demonstration Projects, to turn the money back to your State whereby the people of the State of Pennsylvania can make the decision. But we will take a look at whatever projects you're requesting funds for. But I think if you go back and look at the raw numbers for Pennsylvania compared to other States, you will find that Pennsylvania has done very, very well.
    Mr. KANJORSKI. Mr. Chairman, I don't want to belabor it, but two members on appropriations committee and out of about $25 million, two districts. Only those two districts. Maybe we would argue the Pennsylvania delegation doesn't represent——
    Mr. WOLF. You had more than two; you had Mr. Foglietta——
    Mr. KANJORSKI. Yes, $15 million for SEPTA, which is Philadelphia.
    Mr. WOLF. And you had——
    Mr. KANJORSKI. Mr. McDade has one, two, three, four, five, six projects.
    Mr. WOLF. And Mr. Murtha, too. There were a number also out in the Pittsburgh area.
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    Mr. Sabo.
    Mr. SABO. No questions, Mr. Chairman. Minnesota would trade with Pennsylvania on a per capita basis.
    Mr. KANJORSKI. I agree with you. You would trade with perhaps Altoona, Pennsylvania, but you wouldn't trade with the second or third largest city of Pennsylvania.
    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Olver.
    Mr. OLVER. No questions.
    Mr. KANJORSKI. You won't engage? Well, I would appreciate your looking at it. I just wanted to make the committee aware that we really could use the $8 million to get this project going. There's little chance that we get it in ISTEA, there's no chance we can get it anywhere else, so what it means is this city has been there for 200 years, it is never going to have the facilities necessary to support itself.
    Mr. OLVER. Mr. Chairman, I will engage for a moment. I have the experience having been from Pennsylvania, I once lost a spelling bee because I misspelled Wilkes-Barre. Having been a old farm boy, I thought we were talking about wheelbarrows or something like that. But Wilkes-Barre as you have defined it, that's not all of Luzerne County then is it?
    Mr. KANJORSKI. No, no. Luzerne County is about 340,000 people.
    Mr. OLVER. You're counting 180,000 which is the close-in suburbs to this core community.
    Mr. KANJORSKI. Wilkes-Barre center, that's right. It is the Wyoming Valley. If we call it the city of Wyoming, it would be 150,000 to 180,000 people which would be the third largest city of Pennsylvania. The problem is it has got 30 little communities, none of which can ever put a project together to ask me to help them fund it. So it is only the City of Wilkes-Barre, which is the center of the spoke, if you will.
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    Mr. OLVER. They've organized themselves in a way most detrimental to getting Federal grants, haven't they?
    Mr. KANJORSKI. Yes, 176 communities in my congressional district, 1,700 elected officials, the largest city of 44,000, the next largest below 15,000, the average below 2,500. They will never be able to put a project together. Unless we get some support from the committee, we'll never have any project like this funded. And it will have to go to Wilkes-Barre, which statistically would look very bad, would look like 44,000 people, why do they want a $29 million intermodal center. It is not 44,000 people; it's 180,000 people. It is just that they're not smart enough to call themselves all by one name.
    Mr. OLVER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    [Prepared statement of Hon. Paul Kanjorski follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.
    Mr. WOLF. We will take Congresswoman Fowler.
    Ms. FOWLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your taking me out of order today. I came in to a wonderful new airport out in Virginia. It's raining in Florida just like it is up here except worse.
    Mr. WOLF. I didn't think it rained in Florida.
    Ms. FOWLER. We don't like for it to, it ruins our image, but it does. I want to thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to testify before you today. I believe you all have copies of the testimony. This is regarding several projects of importance to the 4th District of Florida.
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    My first funding request is for $12 million for mass transit studies and right-of-way acquisition in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jacksonville Transportation Authority has developed and short-and long-range plans for the development of a new mode of mass transportation, their light rail system. Toward that effort, the JTA has identified four potential major transit corridors. Consultant studies that have been performed for the JTA indicate that three of the four corridors can definitely support light rail, while the fourth would at least support express bus service and likely light rail. These corridors have also been identified in the Metropolitan Planning Organization's long-range transportation plan for the region.
    Currently, I am seeking authorization for this through ISTEA. Should the project receive authorization, then it would require an appropriation under the FTA discretionary grants for new starts. The initial funding would be used for right-of-way acquisition and necessary studies, including an Environmental Impact Statement on each of the four corridors identified. This is an extremely important project for the City of Jacksonville. We are facing tremendous growth and increasing traffic congestion and are trying to come to grips with that.
    My second request is for $3 million under the FTA bus and bus-related facilities program for the FTA. These funds would be used for the purchase of eight new buses and for the development of a mini-transit center. The new coaches would allow the JTA to expand express services for our growing commuter market as well as the welfare-to-work initiative. The $1.5 million request would be matched with a local share of $500,000, which would be 25 percent. The Regency Transit Hub Station is part of the long rang plan for development of mini transit centers to be located in our fast growing suburban communities. This request would be matched with a local share of $3.6 million, so the local share would be 70 percent of what we're requesting on that one.
    My third request is $12 million for the Daytona Intermodal Facility in Volusia County, Florida. The intermodal facility will provide working residents and over 8 million annual visitors with a centrally located hub that integrates both public and private transportation services. The facilities will be located in the core of the Daytona Beach redevelopment district and will be the nucleus for a number of private redevelopment projects totalling over $150 million. It also contributes to the resolution of key environmental and safety matters.
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    Last year the Volusia County MPO adopted a resolution in support of the intermodal facility, also the Florida Department of Transportation has elected it as an intermodal development project, and it has been incorporated into the State's five year work plan. I appreciate last year, Mr. Chairman, the committee gave $2 million towards the start up of this facility and we're now coming back to ask for money to complete it.
    I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify today and to let me come this afternoon. If I can answer any questions, I'd be glad to do so.

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much.
    Mr. Sabo.
    Mr. SABO. No questions.
    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Olver?
    Mr. OLVER. No questions.
    Mr. WOLF. Thank you very much. Your full statement will appear in the record.
    Ms. FOWLER. Thanks so much.
    [Prepared statement of Hon. Tillie Fowler follows:]
    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

Tuesday, February 3, 1998.



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    Mr. WOLF. Next, if we could have the Non Commissioned Officers Association of the United States, the American Legion, and also the Navy League of the United States.
    Welcome. Your full statement will appear in the record, but take whatever time you feel appropriate.
    Sgt. Major OUELLETTE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I'll try to make these remarks very brief.
    Mr. Chairman, the Non Commissioned Officers Association of the United States of America appreciates the opportunity to appear before the subcommittee on behalf of the members of the United States Coast Guard. The Association has prepared and submitted a detailed statement in which the primary quality of life legislative issues particularly of enlisted Coast Guard men and women have been discussed. NCOA understands the difficult deficit reduction climate in which the Congress and the Coast Guard must operate. The efforts of this subcommittee have been, and will continue to be vitally important to the well-being of the enlisted force.
    Mr. Chairman, the Coast Guard is at a critical personnel juncture. The average ship that goes to sea today will be manned at 80 percent of its normal complement. Recruiting is down substantially. In an effort to meet recruiting goals, the services had to implement two and three year contracts, offer bonuses of up to $12,000, and GI Bill kickers of up to $30,000. Still, the average recruiter must interview more than 100 potential candidates to find one acceptable recruit, and the Coast Guard has had to expand the recruiting substantially to meet its recruiting goals.
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    The major point the Association wishes to make to this subcommittee is that the decision to maintain a credible Coast Guard automatically carries with it a responsibility to take care of those who comprise the force, regardless. This subcommittee has done just that in the past. Yet much more must be done to avert a manpower crisis.
    NCOA has offered a number of pay, personnel medical care and quality of life improvement recommendations intended to address a number of areas which can significantly improve the overall well-being of Coast Guard members, retires, their families and survivors. As a matter of parity, the same recommendations will be made to those committees and subcommittees maintaining responsibility for the other DOD military services.
    Mr. Chairman, perhaps the single most valuable effort this subcommittee could make to the well-being of the Coast Guard enlisted community and the armed force in general is to send a signal that Congress will provide some stability in pay and benefits. Any effort this subcommittee can make to increase military pay, reduce the current estimated pay disparity with the civilian workforce, and provide the necessary funding to support the pay improvements passed by Congress last year will make a difference in the Coast Guard's ability to recruit and retain the people needed to meet their wide range of mission responsibilities. The Coast Guard relies on the funding decisions made by this subcommittee to maintain equal footing or parity with the other DOD services in terms of quality of life program availability.

    Mr. Chairman, NCOA appreciates the opportunity to present a number of enlisted views in testimony today, and looks forward to addressing further details and any other issues with you and your subcommittee staff. Thank you.

    [The prepared statement of Michael Ouellette follows:]

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    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you.

    Mr. HUHN. Good afternoon. Mr. Chairman and members of this committee, I am S. Peter Huhn, Director of Legislative Affairs, Navy League of the U.S. On behalf of our national president Jack Kennedy who could not be here today, I am honored to testify before this subcommittee.

    The Navy League of the U.S. is a non-profit educational associated dedicated to supporting the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and U.S.-flag merchant marine. We are unique from other associations in that we do not have any active duty military members. As such, our membership is comprised of American citizens throughout the country who support a strong maritime defense.

    The Navy League believes it is vital that we consider the collective benefit of our Government expenditures. In that vein, I would like to address the value of the United States Coast Guard to this Nation's well-being. The Navy League has long held that when our tax dollars are sent to Washington, and Congress appropriates to the Coast Guard, this country receives a good value for its investment.

    I want to tell you that the Coast Guard is a real bargain. We have all heard the widely circulated number that for every dollar invested in the Coast Guard, they return a value of $4 to the American taxpayer. That is a good investment. But a closer examination of the data behind the numbers reveals an interesting fact. The 4-to-1 return is based solely on the value of lives and property saved in an average year, compared to the total Coast Guard operating expense. It does not take into account the value of many other Coast Guard missions. The 4-to-1 ratio does not consider the benefit of the Coast Guard's seizure of over 51 tons of cocaine and over 25 tons of marijuana last year. The 4-to-1 ratio does not consider the benefit of 10,000 illegal migrants that were intercepted last year at sea. The ratio does not consider the 12,400 oil and other hazardous spills responded to by the Coast Guard, the 23,000 safety inspections, or the 55,000 aids to navigation maintained by the Coast Guard. The Navy League believes the 4-to-1 return on investment is a significant under valuation of the benefit to the Nation of the U.S. Coast Guard.
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    Mr. Chairman, as a father and husband, I know you are concerned about the availability of illegal drugs in our neighborhoods and schools. Therefore, I hope you will share my sincere appreciation of the Coast Guard's efforts in 1997 in stopping 500 million hits of cocaine from reaching our cities and playgrounds. That's a contribution worth talking about. Furthermore, that 500 million hits of cocaine that my police department or yours didn't have to respond to saves them for other tasks. Certainly the Coast Guard's day-to-day performance saving lives, protecting property, guarding our shores requires no demands that they be properly equipped. In the words of Admiral Kramek, Commandant of the Coast Guard, ''One life saved is a triumph, 500,000 lives a year is truly magnificent.''

    Mr. Chairman, the Navy League is concerned with the aging of the Coast Guard's cutters and aircraft, resources that are being operated day in, day out at a far greater rate than expected. For example, in terms of size, the Coast Guard is the seventh largest naval service in the world. Unfortunately, in terms of age, the Coast Guard's cutters rank 37th out of 41, and by the year 2000 the turbine engines used in the 12 Hamilton Class Cutters will have been out of production for many years and becoming increasingly difficult to cost-effectively support and maintain.

    We ask for your support for the Coast Guard's plan to modernize its aging fleet of cutters, aircraft, and equipment used to communicate and manage information. This is referred to as the Deep Water Program. The Coast Guard should be commended for their approach that is committed to optimizing operational readiness while minimizing overall life cycle costs. We hope that the Deep Water Project meets with your approval and can move full speed ahead to modernize our force.
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    In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, those who would illegally enter our land, those who would profit by the spread of drugs to our Nation's children, those who pollute our waterways and oceans, those who strip the natural resources from our oceans will surely not benefit. In fact, it is time to recognize the tremendous job the Coast Guard does on a routine basis whether this Nation is at war or peace. Thank you very much.

    [The prepared statement of Peter Huhn follows:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

    Mr. WOLF. I want to thank you both. I agree the Coast Guard does an outstanding job. What is that figure with regard to the Army and the Navy and the Air Force; do you know what that is?

    Sgt. Major OUELLETTE. I don't have that number right off hand, Mr. Chairman, but I'll be more than happy to provide you with that.

    Mr. WOLF. If you could get that.

    Mr. WOLF. The committee has always been in support of parity with regard to whatever the Defense Department does with regard to the best pay and benefits. The other thing, would it be better, it's not going to happen, if the Coast Guard were in the Department of Defense rather than in the Department of Transportation?

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    Sgt. Major OUELLETTE. I don't know if I'm qualified to answer that.

    Mr. WOLF. What do you think though?

    Sgt. Major OUELLETTE. During time of war it is under the Defense Department.

    Mr. WOLF. We're hopefully not going to be at war for the next many, many years. So now, would it be better if it were in Defense Department versus being in Department of Transportation?

    Sgt. Major OUELLETTE. If you look at the whole picture, just to look at it as sort of one-stop shopping. We've got the Coast Guard that really comes under the jurisdiction of this committee. It probably would be better if it was under the DOD and then everything would be lumped in. For instance, one of the problems they had was last year Congress passed legislation in the authorization bill that said to the services we want everybody across the board to standardize their tuition assistance program, to do it the same. And they are attempting to do it.

    The problem is this year the Coast Guard fell about $4 million short of providing a consistent range of benefits. In other words, what they will pay per hour and the percentile is the same across the board, what happened was that the other services will allow members that go on tuition assistance a maximum annual benefit of about $3,500. The Coast Guard, because of the limited budget, the lack of money to put towards that program, only has an annual cap or maximum benefit of $1,000. I think the Coast Guard was asking for about $4 million to try and square that away and to level the playing field on tuition assistance because it is something they use as a recruiting tool. But I don't think you'll see that $4 million reflected in the Coast Guard request because I think it was popped by OMB.
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    But it would be of benefit. Those are the kind of problems that you have. But in that same light, Mr. Chairman, from what I hear from the other services, they are having a tough time coming up with the dollars to fund the tuition assistance programs at the levels that they are consistently funding it at.

    To get back to your question, I think so if you had a one-stop shopping kind of thing. Remember the Coast Guard though, if the Coast Guard came under anybody for control, I think I heard one time that they see themselves as probably better operating under the Committee on the Judiciary because of their missions and the kinds of things that they do in that area.

    Mr. WOLF. Do you have anything to add?

    Captain HUHN. In my opinion, they would do better under DOD. Although an unpopular word, BRAC, I think with possible need to consolidate and better utilize the bases we have, they could gain a lot from it. Industry has done a lot of consolidation, and I think probably it would work to the Coast Guard's benefit in consolidation.

    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Sabo?

    Mr. SABO. Is basic pay the same between the Coast Guard and Navy?

    Sgt. Major OUELLETTE. Yes, sir. And also basic allowances and those types of things. Virtually everything is the same. The annual COLAs that re approved by Defense, of course you match that because this subcommittee funds the retiree portion. But they are all equal. For instance, a good example, this goes back to your days as chairman of the Budget Committee, remember when the DOD services passed the Voluntary Transition programs, the SSB and those to try and encourage people to get out. They put those into effect, yet that first year there were no programs put in place for the Coast Guard. So the Coast Guard operated one year on a down-sizing mode without any voluntary separation programs, then they were put in the following year. That's the kind of thing.
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    That's a challenge. It's very difficult I would think trying to operate money to go to the Coast Guard not really knowing sometimes what is going on on the other side because of conferences and everything and things drop out. I think you've done an extremely fine job, and I'm just looking forward to continuing to work with you on the Coast Guard.

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you.

    Mr. Olver.

    Mr. OLVER. No questions.

    Mr. WOLF. Thank you both for coming before the committee. We appreciate your appearance very much.

    Is the American Legion here, Dennis Duggan? He's not here to testify.

    Does anybody else for the good of the order? If not, the hearing is adjourned.

    [Prepared statement of Dennis Duggan and other prepared statements from Members of Congress and other individuals and organizations follow:]

    "The Official Committee record contains additional material here."

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