SEC. 5101. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATION. [Legislation]
Section 5101(a)(1) would authorize surface transportation research, development, technology transfer, technology deployment, and application activities that support a broad program of research activities. Section 5101(a)(2) would authorize a variety of programs related to education and training. Section 5101(a)(3) would authorize funds for the Bureau of Transportation statistics. Section 5101(a)(4) would authorize university transportation research. Section 5101(a)(5) would authorize intelligent transportation systems research. Examples of research programs and activities are described below.
Pavement Research and Technology /Long-Term Pavement Performance
Amounts made available under section 5101(a)(1) would be used to carry out provisions of section 502 of title 23, U.S.C., relating to the research, development and delivery of technologies for long-life pavements that are safe, cost effective, meet customer service needs, and can be effectively maintained. Amounts made available could also be used for research relating to long-term pavement performance.
The Innovative Pavement Research and Deployment Program would also be funded under this section. That program carries out the requirements of section 503 of title 23 related to innovative pavement repair, rehabilitation, and construction. In conjunction with each other, these proposals represent the pavement elements of a comprehensive and coordinated program of research, development, and technology deployment that cuts across the traditional boundaries of prior programs.
Bridge and Structures Research and Technology Program /Long-Term Bridge Performance
Amounts made available under section 5101(a)(1) would be used carry out section 502 of title 23, U.S.C., relating to research on a new generation of high performance, low maintenance bridges, stewardship and management of existing bridges, and the safety, reliability, and security of bridges, and long-term bridge performance.
Together with the Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment program, also to be funded under this section, these provisions support a comprehensive and coordinated program of bridge research, development, and technology deployment. The program would encompass new initiatives responsive to needs identified by the National Highway Research and Technology Partnership for Renewal of the Nation's Highway Infrastructure, including enhanced materials, structural systems, and technologies for a new generation of high performance, low maintenance bridges; stewardship and management of existing highway structures; and responses to recognized needs for research and technology to deal with the issues of homeland security and the vulnerability of the Nation's highway structures.
Asset Management Research and Technology
Amounts made available under section 5101(a)(1) would be used to carry out research, development, and technology transfer related to asset management by funding Transportation Asset Management (TAM), a relatively new FHWA program, that provides a framework for the optimal allocation of resources. When implemented, it is anticipated that TAM would significantly revise and improve the fundamentals of investment decisions by ensuring that the expenditure of funds will: (1) be based on an analysis that considers alternatives across functions, asset classes, and modes; (2) be driven by customer requirements as reflected in performance goals; (3) include economic as well as engineering considerations; (4) incorporate an extended time horizon; and (5) be systematic and fact-based. Use of TAM would lead to the highest possible total return on investment in transportation assets.
Safety Research and Technology
Amounts made available under section 5101(a)(1) would be used to carry out research under section 502 of title 23, U.S.C., relating to run-off-the-road safety, pedestrian and bicyclist safety, intersection safety, speed management, and safety management or other highway safety priority areas designated by the Secretary to find ways to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities on our Nation's roadways. Recommendations of the Transportation Research Board's Research & Technology Coordinating Committee would be incorporated into the project selection process to provide stakeholder input and reduce the risk of initiating non-productive research investments. It is anticipated that the program would significantly improve the deployment and evaluation of safety innovations at State and local levels.
Transportation System Management and Operations
Amounts made available under section 5101(a)(1) would fund research activities, defined in section 5201(c)(3), related to traffic detection and surveillance, arterial management, freeway management, demand management, work zone management, emergency management, electronic toll collection, automated enforcement, incident management, roadway weather management, traveler information services, commercial vehicle operations, traffic control, freight management and operations, and the study of the coordination of operations between highway, rail, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian travel. In addition, development and deployment activities associated with these research activities would also be funded under this section.
Planning, Environment, and Real Estate Services Research
Amounts made available under section 5101(a)(1) would authorize increased funding to carry out a program of core research and technology development supporting transportation planning, environmental assessment, enhancement and protection, and the acquisition and management of real property. Technology transfer and deployment associated with this research would also be authorized by amounts made available under this section.
The research would assist State Departments of Transportation, planning organizations, local agencies, and other State, regional, and local governments in delivering high quality, effective transportation programs and projects.
Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program
Research activities that would be authorized under section 5101(a)(1) are intended to carry out the program described in section 507 of title 23, US.C., as proposed in section 5202 of this bill.
Section 5202 of this bill would create a public-private surface transportation cooperative research program in surface transportation-environment research to support the Nation's growth and meet public expectations for an improved transportation system. The establishment of this cooperative research program would enable and facilitate cooperative research across numerous departments and agencies, levels of government, and the public and private sectors, support parallel investigations and shared efforts, and aid in the dissemination of research findings from all resources.
Research would focus on major, multi-year research initiatives to advance knowledge and understanding of complex transportation-environment topics such as: (1) human health, (2) ecology and natural systems, (3) environmental and social justice, (4) emerging technologies, (5) land use, (6) planning and performance measures, and (7) additional priorities.
Exploratory Advanced Research Program
Research activities authorized under section 5101(a)(1) would be intended to carry out the Exploratory Advanced Research Program described in section 5201 of this bill, which would amend section 502 of title 23, U.S.C. While drawing upon basic research results to provide a better understanding of problems and develop innovative solutions, the expression "exploratory advanced research" conveys its more fundamental character, broader objectives, multi-disciplinary nature, and the greater uncertainty in expected outcomes compared to problem-solving research. The distinction between ongoing exploratory activities from long-term advanced research is recommended by the Transportation Research Board's Research & Technology Coordinating Committee, and would be reflected in the use of the term "exploratory."
Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment
As authorized under section 5101(a)(1), the Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment Program would focus on technology development and deployment related to research on high performance, low maintenance bridges; stewardship and management of existing bridges; the safety, reliability, and security of bridges; and long-term bridge performance in order to carry out the requirements of section 503 of title 23, U.S.C., as proposed in section 5203 of this bill. In conjunction with the Bridge and Structures Research and Technology Program and the Long-Term Bridge Performance Program, also funded by this paragraph, this proposal would constitute a comprehensive and coordinated program of research, development, and technology deployment related to bridges.
Amounts made available under section 5101(a)(1) would be used to carry out section 506 of title 23, U.S.C., related to international outreach.
Advanced Travel Forecasting Procedures Program
Amount made available under section 5101(a)(1) would be used to carry out the proposed Advanced Travel Forecasting Procedures program described in section 5206 of this bill.
Funding for the Advanced Travel Forecasting Procedures program would support the development of additional Transportation Analysis Simulation System (TRANSIMS) analytical methods; development and delivery of training on TRANSIMS methods; minor changes to software; computer system support; data collection; technical assistance; dissemination of reports and information; case studies; and direct grants.
Policy Research and Technology
Amounts made available under section 5101(a)(1) would be used to carry out a policy research program, including fundamental long-term policy research, analysis of emerging policy issues of national significance, and the dissemination of data, policy analytical tools, and research findings within the domestic highway community and internationally.
Training and Education: Amounts for training and education made available under section 5101(a)(2) would be used: to carry out 504(a) of title 23, U.S.C., relating to the National Highway Institute; to carry out section 504(b), relating to local technical assistance; and to carry out section 504(c)(2), relating to the Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program.
Bureau of Transportation Statistics: Amounts made available under section 5101(a)(3) would be used to carry out Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) activities, as described in section 5401 of this bill. BTS collects, analyzes, and disseminates statistics on freight movement, personal travel, and transportation economics; geocodes transportation data to facilitate advanced analysis and planning; develops indicators of transportation system performance; and issues statistical guidelines for the Department of Transportation.
The proposed fiscal year 2004 authorized level is the President's Budget level. The proposed authorized levels for fiscal years 2005-09 reflect current services increases to keep pace with expected pay raises and inflation.
University Transportation Research: Amounts made available under section 5101(a)(4) would be used to carry out university transportation research described in section 5301 of this bill. The proposed authorized level is $26,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2004 through 2009.
Intelligent Transportation Systems Research: Amounts made available under section 5101(a)(5) would be used to carry out the Intelligent Transportation Systems Act of 2003, as proposed in subtitle E of title V of this bill. The proposed authorized level is $121,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2004 through 2009.
Collaborative Research and Development: Section 5101(b) would strike subsections (b)(3)(A) and (B) of section 502 of title 23, U.S.C., which cap at 50 percent, unless otherwise approved by the Secretary upon a showing of "substantial public interest or benefit," the Federal share of the cost of collaborative research and development with various non-Federal entities, including State and local governments, and Federal laboratories. The collaborative research and development program was established under section 502 to encourage innovative solutions to surface transportation problems and stimulate the deployment of new technology. The Secretary is authorized to carry out the program on a cost-shared basis. However, the 50-percent cap serves as a disincentive to potential research partners. The program would better realize its full potential if the cost sharing mandated by section 502(b)(1) is negotiated between the collaborating research entities without a cap on the Federal share.
Applicability of Title 23, United States Code: Section 5101(c) would provide contract authority for the programs authorized under the transportation research and education title of this bill. This section also provides that the Federal share would be up to 100 percent, unless otherwise specified or determined by the Secretary.
SEC. 5201. RESEARCH, TECHNOLOGY, AND EDUCATION. [Legislation]
Sec. 5201(a). Research, Technology, and Education.
This provision would amend existing title 23, U.S.C., by changing chapter titles related to research, technology, and education to reflect the substantive changes made in this section.
Sec. 5201(b). Statement of Principles Governing Research and Technology Investments.
This provision would define and clarify the Federal role in the conduct of surface transportation research and technology transfer activities. There are a variety of entities conducting such activities, and this provision identifies the unique Federal placement in this spectrum of work. If the Federal effort is well-designed, activities by others, such as State departments of transportation and the proposed Future Strategic Highway Research Program (FSHRP), would complement the unique Federal activity without duplicating it.
This provision would improve the processes concerning surface transportation research projects by setting out specific management principles and procedures for Federal involvement in research and technology, including project selection and the conduct of the research.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has worked closely with transportation community stakeholders over the years to assure the relevance and responsiveness of the research it undertakes for and with them. As a result of this collaborative review, FHWA has identified a number of desired improvements in the processes it uses to undertake and manage its surface transportation research program. Stakeholder views and suggested improvements are described in the General Accounting Office's (GAO's) report, Highway Research: Systematic Selection and Evaluation Processes Needed for Research Program, and the Transportation Research Board's (TRB's) Special Report 261, The Federal Role in Highway Research and Technology, developed in conjunction with FHWA's Research and Technology Coordinating Committee (RTCC). Similar lessons regarding research and technology investments also have been learned from the 1998 National Highway Research and Technology (R&T) Partnership Forum, sponsored by FHWA, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the TRB.
Although the FHWA R&T program has historically been effective, these reviews have highlighted the need for a number of specific improvements. These include: better definition of the Federal role in R&T; improved stakeholder input into program development; additional emphasis on longer term advanced research; recognition of the need for policy research; and more formal mechanisms for peer review and evaluation of the completed research. Both the RTCC and the GAO concluded that investment decisions for surface transportation R&T activities should be based on the well-established principles of competition and that merit review, to the greatest extent possible.
Sec. 5201(c). Transportation Pooled Fund Program.
This provision would encourage FHWA, State DOTs, and other transportation and research organizations to pool resources to undertake planning, research, development, and technology transfer activities of mutual interest and would endorse FHWA's Transportation Pooled Fund Program as a vital and effective program to achieve these objectives. The provision would also provide authority for FHWA to enter into contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements as agent for all participants in a pooled fund project, to simplify and expedite such projects.
Simplified accounting procedures that allow for transfer of funds to a single account for payment of costs for pooled fund studies is also proposed separately, to simplify the process for administering a project jointly funded by two or more States.
Sec. 5201(d). Operations Elements in Research Activities; Container and Vehicle Security.
The proposed amendments would clarify the components of transportation system management and operations research and development activities and establish the eligibility of these activities to be funded under the surface transportation research title. It would also add freight container and vehicle security research initiatives as eligible components of the program.
Sec. 5201(e). Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center.
This proposal would direct the Secretary to operate, in the Federal Highway Administration, the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center. The purpose of this provision is to recognize the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center as the base for a nationwide research program to meet the transportation needs of the 21st century. The Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center is home to a unique set of laboratories that employs experts in more than 30 transportation-related disciplines, and continued maintenance and upgrading of the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center is critical.
This proposal would also provide for the uses of the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center. The Center supports the conduct of highway research and development related to new highway technology, the development of understandings, tools, and techniques to provide solutions to complex technical problems, and the development of innovative highway products and practices.
Sec. 5201(f). Exploratory Advanced Research Program.
These amendments would revise the Advanced Research Program to reflect the evolving direction of the program. In particular, the changes differentiate ongoing exploratory activities from the more fundamental long-term advanced research recommended by the Transportation Research Board's Research & Technology Coordinating Committee. This distinction is highlighted by the use of the term "exploratory."
Sec. 5201(g). Authority to Purchase Promotional Items.
This section would provide that funds appropriated for the administration and operation of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) may be used to purchase promotional items of nominal value for use in educational outreach and the recruitment of individuals for employment. Authority to purchase promotional items would enhance FHWA's efforts to inform potential applicants of its programs and recruit and hire qualified individuals.
FHWA must compete to attract and retain a strong workforce for the 21st Century, one that has the skills to meet the Nation's transportation needs and reflects the diversity of the American people. FHWA faces a potential workforce problem, due to various imbalances in the current workforce and the large numbers of employees who are becoming eligible for retirement. For example, over the past two fiscal years, FHWA has not been able to meet its generalist civil engineer goals for its Professional Development Program. Similarly, the FHWA field offices have been unable to successfully attract and hire "mid-career" engineers to meet current needs. These recruitment and hiring difficulties are due, in part, to the decrease in the number of matriculating and graduating civil engineering students over the past decade.
In response, FHWA has undertaken a major workforce planning initiative, including development of a human resources strategic plan that calls for a coordinated recruitment and staffing strategy that maximizes limited organizational resources. In addition, FHWA, working with schools and with its transportation partners, is developing outreach programs to make younger people more aware of transportation programs and transportation career opportunities. Private sector employers, as well as States and local governments, often use promotional items as part of their workforce recruitment efforts, both for information purposes and to increase name recognition among potential applicants. FHWA's inability to mirror these practices hampers the effectiveness of its recruiting efforts.
Sec. 5201(h). Facilitating Transportation Research and Technology Deployment Partnerships.
This provision would promote more effective use of available resources by making possible increased cooperation in research and technology between FHWA and other Federal agencies, State transportation departments, and other transportation-related organizations, such as TRB and AASHTO, to better achieve RD&T objectives established at the national level and to develop a technology transfer program to promote and use those results.
Current law prohibits procurement of sources of potentially valuable R&T partners, such as TRB, AASHTO, State DOTs, cities, and counties, thereby creating barriers to carrying out mutually beneficial R&T projects. This provision would streamline the procurement process to allow these R&T partners to be directly funded by FHWA and to allow FHWA to accept funds from these sources for joint R&T efforts. More specifically, this provision would exempt entities such as TRB, AASHTO, State DOTs, cities, and counties from "prohibited sources" status in procurement. The rationale for this change is based on the premise that these entities possess a unique status and it will be beneficial to restore the agency's ability to work with States on test and evaluation programs that provide funds to States to try out innovative products and report on findings.
FHWA would also be allowed to accept funds from these unique partners to conduct joint R&T efforts, as well as to accept funds from other Federal agencies through interagency transfers of funds. States and municipalities might fund research to create solutions for immediate needs. FHWA could participate by administering the projects, providing technical assistance, or sponsoring the project in part. If the problem being addressed has implications that are national in nature, FHWA's Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center might be an appropriate place to conduct research, funded in whole or in part by the other cooperating entities. This would promote effective use of available resources and help ensure that FHWA's R&T program is responsive to our partners.
Sec. 5201(i). Long-Term Pavement Performance Program.
The FHWA proposes to continue the Long-Term Pavement Performance Program (LTPP) with the intent of achieving the program objectives by 2009. Specific activities include data collection, data analysis, product development and delivery, program assessment, and development of a detailed plan for future maintenance and operation of the LTPP database and related materials. This proposal is consistent with both the original vision for LTPP articulated in Transportation Research Board Special Report 202, and the recommendations of the TRB LTPP Committee report "Fulfilling the Promise of Better Roads," 2001.
Sec. 5201(j). Procurement for Research, Development, and Technology Transfer Activities.
The "other transactions" procurement mechanism has proven to be a fast and flexible way to initiate research projects. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) makes extensive use of the authority it has for R&T activities, and serves as a model of how this administrative tool can be used to energize cooperative research activities with stakeholder groups.
DOT's use of this mechanism has been limited. Section 503 of title 23 gives the Secretary broad discretionary authority to enter into "other transactions" for research, development, and technology transfer activities -- but the focus of this section is on motor carrier transportation. In addition, section 5111 of TEA-21 specifically authorizes the use of "other transactions" authority for the Advanced Vehicle Technologies Program (AVP), the responsibility for which the Secretary delegated to RSPA. By its terms, the provision limited RSPA's use of "other transactions" authority to the AVP.
This proposal is to intended to establish the Secretary's broad discretionary authority to enter into other transactions for research, development, and technology transfer activities, not limited to motor carrier transportation and the AVP program, thereby authorizing and encouraging DOT/FHWA to structure innovative contracting arrangements, initiate research faster, and promote better cooperative research activities from stakeholder groups.
Sec. 5201(k). Infrastructure Investment Needs Report.
This provision changes the due dates for the Conditions and Performance reports from "January 31, 1999, and January 31 of every second year thereafter" to "July 31, 2004, and July 31 of every second year thereafter," in order to better align the report dates with the availability of data and the timing of Congressional needs.
SEC. 5202. SURFACE TRANSPORTATION ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM. [Legislation]
This section would create a public-private surface transportation environment and planning cooperative research program to support the Nation's growth and meet public expectations for an improved transportation system. This program would be a comprehensive strategy for realizing that vision. The establishment of this cooperative research program would enable cooperative research across numerous departments and agencies, levels of government, and the public and private sectors, support parallel investigations and shared efforts, and aid in the dissemination of research findings from all resources. A new cooperative research program would focus resources on critical issues that cannot be resolved effectively by parties whose interests are at stake. The program would address transportation environment and planning research that addresses longer-term systems effects.
The research conducted would focus on major, multi-year research initiatives to advance knowledge and understanding of complex transportation-environment topics such as: 1) human health, 2) ecology and natural systems, 3) environmental and socioeconomic relations, 4) emerging technologies, 5) land use, 6) planning and performance measures, and 7) additional priorities.
The current Surface Transportation-Environment Cooperative Research program would be eliminated since the proposed program would replace it.
SEC. 5203. LONG-TERM BRIDGE PERFORMANCE PROGRAM; INNOVATIVE BRIDGE RESEARCH AND DEPLOYMENT PROGRAM. [Legislation]
Section 5203(a) would eliminate the seismic research program and establish the long-term bridge performance program. The seismic research program would be eliminated because the major goals and objectives of this program have been achieved
A 20-year long-term bridge performance program would be established in section 502(g) of title 23 to provide the detailed, quantitative performance information necessary to reliably predict long-term bridge performance. This program would be similar to the long-term pavement performance program.
Under the program, the Secretary would make grants and enter into cooperative agreements and contracts to monitor, material test, and evaluate test bridges; to analyze this data; and to prepare products to fulfill program objectives and meet future bridge technology needs. The program would use various contracting mechanisms to procure the necessary professional, technical and managerial capabilities to implement and conduct this long-term research. FHWA would oversee all aspects of the program, including the design, implementation, operation, and administration, and would conduct periodic evaluations of the program to assure that program goals and objectives are being accomplished, that all actions conform to applicable regulations, and that requirements are being met.
Section 5203(b) would amend section 503(b) to change the name of the innovative bridge research and construction program to the innovative bridge research and deployment program. This name change reflects the expanded focus of the program under section 503(b)(1) from innovative material technology in the construction of bridges and other structures to innovative designs, material, and construction methods in the construction, repair, and rehabilitation of bridges and other highway structures. The reason for this change in focus is to broaden the scope of this program to encourage innovation in all aspects of the bridge program, rather than just materials.
The goals of the program in section 503(b)(2) would also be amended to reflect the focus on innovation. The documentation and dissemination of objective evaluations of the performance and benefits of innovative designs, materials, and construction methods and the transfer of information and technology would be added to the goals of the program. Structural systems would be added to the goal concerning engineering design criteria. Also, the goal of developing bridges and structures capable of withstanding a terrorist attack would be added. The goals of developing cost-effective and innovative techniques to separate vehicle and pedestrian traffic from railroad traffic and nondestructive bridge evaluation technologies and techniques would be eliminated. The reason for this change in focus is to broaden the scope of this program to encourage innovation in all aspects of the bridge program and not just to try new materials. The emphasis on evaluation and technology transfer is needed to ensure that the lessons learned, both successes and failures, are fully documented and broadly disseminated to maximize the benefits of this program and to clearly state that such activities are within the scope and intent of this program.
SEC. 5204. TECHNOLOGY DEPLOYMENT. [Legislation]
This section would greatly expand an infrastructure technology delivery and deployment program that would improve the performance and significantly reduce the long-term costs of highway pavements and bridges. Section 503(a)(1) would be amended to retitle the material dealing with technology deployment to differentiate it from a previous program activity. A reporting requirement associated with the old program would be eliminated. Section 503(a)(7) of title 23 would be amended to clarify with whom the Secretary may make grants and enter into cooperative agreements and contracts and the purposes for those grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts. An application requirement would be added. Section 503(a) also would be amended to include a technology and information transfer provision and a Federal share provision.
Section 503(c) of title 23 would be added to require the Secretary to establish and implement an innovative pavement research and deployment program. The goal of this program is to demonstrate and spur the development of totally new and innovative pavement systems. These new systems would combine high performance materials and methods for the most structurally and functionally efficient and cost effective systems. This program would support the accelerated development and deployment of enhanced materials, design and construction systems, and technologies.
Section 503(d) of title 23 would be added to establish a safety innovation deployment program. This program would support a strategic mix of safety research and technology projects and encourage the evaluation and deployment of safety innovations. Research would be focused on recognized problem areas and would include long-term endeavors designed to produce major safety improvements. This program is proposed because it is difficult for other organizations to maintain the effort needed to achieve breakthroughs that do not have inherent academic interest or profit potential. The program would significantly improve the deployment and evaluation of safety innovations at State and local levels.
SEC. 5205. TRAINING AND EDUCATION. [Legislation]
Section 504(a)(3) of title 23 would be modified to address the broader education and training responsibilities of the National Highway Institute (NHI) by including a reference to "transportation system management and operations" in the types of courses to be developed and administered by NHI; would amend the reference to environmental interests to more accurately reflect current priorities; would provide latitude for NHI to address evolving program areas by substituting the words "in areas including" for "relating to"; and would recognize that the motor carrier education and training responsibilities have transferred to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration by deleting the reference to "motor carrier safety activities."
A new paragraph concerning the Federal share for the Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) would be added to section 504(b) of title 23. The paragraph would provide for a 50% cost sharing for LTAP expenditures. This paragraph would also allow technology and training funds to be used as part of the non-Federal share of the costs. The section would also establish a no-match requirement for Tribal Technical Assistance Programs (TTAP) Centers.
The term "surface transportation workforce development, training, and education" would be defined in section 101 of title 23 and would be added to the definition of "construction" in section 101(a)(3) to make surface transportation workforce development, training, and education eligible for funding under the interstate maintenance program, National Highway System, bridge program, and surface transportation program. Section 504(d) would allow a State to obligate these funds for tuition and direct educational expenses, excluding salaries, in connection with education and training of employees of State and local transportation agencies, employee professional development, student internships, university or community college support, and education outreach activities to develop interest and promote participation in surface transportation careers. The Federal share for these surface transportation workforce development, training, and education activities would be 100 percent.
SEC. 5206. ADVANCED TRAVEL FORECASTING PROCEDURES PROGRAM. [Legislation]
Section 1210 of TEA-21 authorized the establishment of the Advanced Travel Forecasting Procedures Program to develop and deploy the Transportation Analysis Simulation System (TRANSIMS) to improve urban travel analysis and planning analytic procedures. This section would expand the program to include statewide transportation planning and would shift the primary focus of the program from development to deployment.
Through the simulation of the movements of individuals and vehicles, TRANSIMS provides for major improvements in travel forecasting and the estimation of emissions in air quality conformity analyses. TRANSIMS can also better address policy questions such as induced travel and the integration of operational considerations, both highway and transit, into the planning process. The level of detail provided by TRANSIMS makes it suitable for use in identifying transportation vulnerabilities and planning for the transportation response to events such as chemical, nuclear, radiological, and biological terrorism and other security concerns. The TEA-21 funds have been used to develop TRANSIMS methods and software, a user-friendly commercial version of TRANSIMS, training, and deployment of TRANSIMS to Portland, Oregon. However, sufficient funds were not available to support a major deployment effort.
Many metropolitan areas have expressed an interest in using TRANSIMS for travel forecasting, but believe that additional experience is needed before implementing this new procedure. This proposal would aid local areas by building an experience base for TRANSIMS. The Department has a major interest in the deployment of improved travel forecasting procedures. Travel forecasting procedures are coming under closer scrutiny from environmental and other activist groups. It is far more cost-effective to improve the methods than to deal with continued legal and procedural challenges to forecasting methodology. The Department is in the best position to lead the country in this effort. The experience gained from this effort, and methods of implementation developed, would lower the cost to Federal, State, and local agencies to implement TRANSIMS.
The funding would support the following activities: development of additional TRANSIMS analytic methods; development and delivery of training on TRANSIMS methods; minor changes to software; computer system support; data collection, technical assistance; dissemination of reports and information; case studies; and direct grants.
Not more than 75 percent of the funds made available to carry out this program could be allocated to State departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations for the implementation of TRANSIMS.
SEC. 5301. UNIVERSITY TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH. [Legislation]
This section would revise 49 U.S.C. 5505, which established the University Transportation Centers (UTC) program in 1988, to create a partnership between the academic community and DOT for the advancement of research, education, and technology transfer. Over the years, the focus has become less clear and performance results have been mixed in each of the three TEA-21 mandated objectives (peer-reviewed basic/applied research, multi-disciplinary education including participation in research, and technology transfer). This section proposes to create a new program, the University-Industry-Government Partnerships Program, to improve the results of future taxpayer investments by: (1) concentrating the strengths of the participating universities; (2) increasing accountability and integration of the program; (3) fostering a greater tie to the multi-modal national research agenda and developing the future transportation workforce; and (4) creating a stronger University-Industry-Government alliance.
Specifically, in order to open the program to all eligible institutions of higher learning, this section would amend 49 U.S.C. 5505 by removing the requirement that the Secretary establish 10 regional centers. In addition, this section also proposes to delete subsections 5505(i) and 5505(j), which earmark grant moneys for certain specified institutions and groups of institutions. This would ensure an open, competitive process and provide the best return on taxpayer investment.
Proposed subsection (b) would clearly establish the objectives of the new program. Specifically, grantees under the program would be required to conduct basic and applied research that supports DOT's transportation research agenda, establish an education program that includes multidisciplinary course work and participation in research and provides an opportunity for practical experience, and institute an ongoing technology transfer program. In addition, grantees would be required to elect either education or research as their primary objective and direct at least 50% of total costs to accomplishment of that objective.
Proposed subsection (c) would amend the grantee-selection criteria. Specifically, it would require that grant applicants have formal research and education partnerships with at least one private sector partner and at least one public sector government partner (e.g., state, local, metropolitan planning organization, transit operator, or special district). Moreover, applicants whose primary objective is research would be required to have a strategic plan that addresses more than one mode of transportation. Applicants whose primary objective is education would be required to have a strategic plan that includes a research plan that addresses intermodal issues. This section would also establish the amount of matching funds for which the applicant has obtained binding commitments as a selection criterion.
This section would provide that the Federal share of the costs of activities carried out using a grant under this program shall not exceed 50% of costs. It would also withdraw the authority for UTCs to use Local Technical Assistance Program funds as matching funds. It would also direct the Secretary to conduct all grant management and administration functions necessary to facilitate the program, coordinate program activities among the grant recipients, widely disseminate program results, and ensure the effective use of program resources.
Finally, this provision would require UTCs to support and use the Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS) databases produced and maintained by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and available online through the National Transportation Library. The UTCs are already required under TEA-21 to make research results available to potential users in a form that can be "implemented, utilized, or otherwise applied," and this proposal is a mechanism for accomplishing this, ensuring effective and efficient reporting of research results throughout the transportation community. Specific uses would include program development, reporting of active research and technology activities, and input of the final report information.
This proposal would ensure effective use of resources and better integrate UTC R&T activities into a National Transportation Research Program. It would also promote and enhance the dissemination of results from UTC-sponsored basic or applied research or project studies and technology transfer activities among State transportation departments, FHWA, universities, public and private sector transportation organizations, and the public.
SEC. 5302. MULTIMODAL RESEARCH PROGRAM. [Legislation]
This section proposes to replace the advanced vehicle technologies program with a program focused on multimodal technologies. Specifically, proposed section 5506(a) directs the Secretary to establish a program to encourage and promote research, development, demonstration, and testing of technologies that have multimodal applications, including advanced heavy-duty vehicle and hydrogen infrastructure technologies, and to foster adoption of those technologies in transportation. This approach would ensure that advances in multimodal technologies are the singular focus of a DOT program charged with looking at America's transportation system as a whole. While this proposal would provide the Secretary with the authority to pursue all multimodal technologies, it does identify two specific areas of focus for this program:
(1) Advanced Heavy-Duty Vehicle Technologies. Proposed section 5506(a)(1) would require the Secretary to conduct research, development, demonstration, and testing to integrate emerging technologies and projects into multimodal heavy-duty vehicle technologies in order to provide seamless, safe, secure, and efficient transportation. The goal of these activities would be to increase safety, enhance operational efficiency, and reduce fuel use and emissions from heavy-duty vehicles such as highway freight vehicles, transit buses, marine vehicles (freight and ferries), and freight locomotives. This proposed multimodal approach is an effective way to apply new technologies to the Nation's pressing transportation needs.
To carry out this subsection, DOT would enter into collaborative partnerships with the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and the truck, bus, rail, and ferry industries. In addition, DOT would pursue development of a common deployment and test platform for technology integration, adaptable to all equipment manufacturers and end users. This platform would allow the deployment, test, and evaluation under real-world conditions of multiple heavy-duty vehicle components and subsystems with both safety and energy efficiency attributes. Potential targets for active demonstration and test would include power management technologies; component and system reliability growth; component and system modeling and simulation; system integration innovations; safety systems innovations; and emissions and fuel use-reducing technologies.
Proposed section 5506(a)(1) would also allow the Secretary to explore public and private sector research advances; select and integrate technologies for transportation applications to ensure seamless and efficient multimodal transportation systems; analyze multimodal technology and system issues that require new solutions and technologies; establish a competitive process for selecting innovative and advanced technology development and applications projects to address multimodal transportation issues; develop, test, and evaluate new technologies; encourage market deployment and penetration of new technologies that support multimodal transportation; and use public-private partnership agreements to carry out these activities.
(2) Hydrogen Infrastructure Safety Research and Development. The Vice President's Report of the National Energy Policy Development Group declares the need for deploying clean, affordable, efficient, and renewable energy sources in transportation vehicles. The report envisions the use of fuel cell vehicles, direct hydrogen-fueled vehicles, and other alternative fuel vehicles as ways of increasing America's fuel economy and decreasing foreign petroleum dependence. However, challenges exist to meeting America's need for clean, affordable, efficient and renewable energy sources in transportation vehicles.
For example, there are no existing Federal standards for the safe handling and transport of large quantities of hydrogen fuel and for on-board hydrogen storage tanks in passenger vehicles. Such standards are vital if alternative fuel vehicles are to be deployed beyond their present niche market.
America's energy and vehicle companies, assisted by the Department of Energy, are conducting extensive research in hydrogen fuel mass production and fuel cell power systems for vehicles, but little research is being conducted to set the standards for safe handling and transport of large quantities of hydrogen fuel, or safety standards for on-board hydrogen vehicle power and storage systems. The cause, in part, has been the reluctance of both vehicle and energy industries to share strategic investment and research results.
Industry is awaiting Federal guidance on hydrogen infrastructure safety before making investment decisions on the types of fueling systems to provide, and the types of on-board power and storage systems to place on vehicles.
Proposed section 5506(a)(2) would authorize the Secretary to address these challenges by conducting research, development, demonstration, and testing on the safety aspects of hydrogen transportation and refueling infrastructure to support the use of next generation vehicle technologies.
Under the authority of this subsection, the Secretary would maximize the use of public-private partnership agreements to: promote the development of industry codes and standards pertaining to hydrogen infrastructure, including fuel systems, transportation safety (for all modes of transportation, including pipeline), and emergency response; study the transportation-related impacts of the mass storage and movement of hydrogen fuel, the application of hydrogen-based systems in vehicles, and hydrogen fueling practices; set priorities on transportation-related infrastructure safety, with emphasis on vehicle system safety and hazardous materials transportation safety (including pipeline safety); establish a competitive process for the annual selection of innovative and advanced technology development and applications projects to address hydrogen supply, storage, and refueling infrastructure issues; develop, test, and evaluate innovative and advanced technologies; and support deployment and marketability of next generation vehicle technologies using fuel cells and direct hydrogen power systems.
Finally, proposed section 5506(b) would provide the Department with the administrative authority to effectively and efficiently carry out research, development, demonstration, and testing of technologies that have multimodal applications.
SEC. 5303. COMMERCIAL REMOTE SENSING PRODUCTS. [Legislation]
Section 5113 of TEA-21 required the Secretary to establish, not later than 18 months after enactment of TEA-21, a national policy for the use of commercial remote sensing products and spatial information technologies in national transportation infrastructure development and construction. This proposed provision would update section 5113(b) to reflect that the Secretary has established a national policy and will maintain that policy as a means of accomplishing the goals of section 5113 of TEA-21.
SEC. 5304. TRANSPORTATION SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES PROGRAM. [Legislation]
Over the next several years, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will lose a significant number of its employees to retirement. The Department's recruiting strategy to address this challenge calls for a greater emphasis on pipeline recruiting. The proposed scholarship program would be an integral part of that effort, allowing the Department to engage a potential recruiting pool early in the education cycle and widen outreach to include a more diverse pool of potential employees. Partnering with outside organizations, where appropriate, is expected to aid the Department in identifying potential candidates from groups currently underrepresented in the DOT workforce.
Recognizing the importance of student-centered programs for recruitment purposes, the Department of Transportation would develop a Department-wide scholarship program that can provide academic tuition assistance and opportunities to participate in cooperative employment programs. This program can significantly improve the Department's pipeline recruiting efforts by building relationships early with individuals studying disciplines critical to the Department. This is especially important for recruiting for entry-level professional positions, which serve as the training ground for future senior level DOT employees.
Legislative authority to fund scholarship programs currently exists through the Federal Highway Administration and the Eisenhower Fellowship Program (23 U.S.C. 504 (c)(2)). However, this authority is limited. Other DOT Operating Administrations have limited or no authority to fund scholarships, preventing the development of a comprehensive, Department-wide program.
A comprehensive and Department-wide scholarship program responds directly to the President's Strategic Management of Human Capital Efforts (e.g., Strategic Competencies (talent) component of the Human Capital Scorecard). A scholarship program would support the ability of the Operating Administrations to respond to the Secretarial initiative on external recruitment strategies, specifically the requirements to build a pipeline of students and to diversify recruiting efforts. Funding would also expand support for existing and future partnerships that have the capacity to raise awareness about the benefits of working for DOT.
SEC. 5401. BUREAU OF TRANSPORTATION STATISTICS. [Legislation]
During 2002, the Office of the Secretary completed a formal review of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics' (BTS') mission and functions, which resulted in a significant sharpening of the agency's focus around five core data programs and two cross-cutting programs. The data programs will develop useful, reliable, and timely data on freight movement, personal travel behavior, transportation economics, airline data (separately authorized in 49 U.S.C. 41708 and delegated by the Secretary in 49 CFR 1.71(a)), and geographic information systems. The cross-cutting programs will develop and publish key indicators of national transportation system performance and improve statistical methods to address transportation-specific problems.
To increase investment in its core programs, BTS will eliminate or shrink non-core activities, including the National Transportation Library, the Motor Carrier Information program (separately authorized in 49 U.S.C. 14123 and delegated by the Secretary in 49 CFR 1.71(b)), the Intermodal Transportation Data Base, specialized compilations of data from other sources, and data quality audits of non-BTS programs.
Sec. 5401(b). Director.
Section 5401(b) would be revised to expand the qualifications necessary to assume the position of the Director. This amendment would add training and experience in the use of transportation statistics to the list of qualifications.
Sec. 5401(c). Responsibilities.
Subsection (c) would replace a sweeping data collection and compilation mandate with one that is more focused and realistic, given the funding levels proposed for BTS. The premise of the subsection is to build on BTS' strengths - those areas where it can provide relevant data and analysis not available from any other source. While this subsection would narrow BTS' data collection and compilation activities, it is faithful to the original legislative intent for BTS, which is to produce key indicators of transportation system performance.
Sec. 5401(c)(1). Freight Statistics.
This subsection would establish freight data collection and analysis as a core BTS activity. BTS currently conducts, with the U.S. Census Bureau, a Commodity Flow Survey (CFS) every five years. The CFS is a survey of shippers, and requests data on all kinds of freight movements, by all modes. It provides information on the origin and destination of each shipment, its value and weight, the mode of transportation, and the commodity type. Freight data users have raised concerns about shortcomings in the CFS' timeliness, coverage, and geographic detail. BTS plans to address these concerns by replacing the CFS with a more comprehensive, annual freight data collection program, which would also capture data on hazardous materials flows, carrier activity, intermodal connections, and points of congestion. BTS also expects to play a lead role in the International Trade Data System currently under development -- with responsibility for data integrity, security, validation, and dissemination of statistical information related to transportation.
Sec. 5401(c)(2). Travel Statistics.
This subsection would establish travel data collection and analysis as a core BTS activity. BTS currently conducts, with the Federal Highway Administration, a National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) every five years. NHTS data are collected from a sample of U.S. households and extrapolated to provide national estimates of trips and miles by travel mode, purpose, and many other characteristics. The survey collects information on daily, local trips and on long-distance travel in the United States. Personal travel data users have raised concerns about the NHTS' timeliness and inability to report information on small populations, such as non-English speakers and households without a telephone. There are also gaps or inadequacies in the NHTS coverage of bicycle use and pedestrians, travel by persons with disabilities, and time use. BTS plans to address these concerns with a more comprehensive data collection program that would provide more detailed data on modal choice, travel costs, trip times, intermodal connections, and transportation accessibility and reliability. The new program would also collect risk exposure data useful for transportation safety analysis, pursuant to a National Transportation Safety Board recommendation (NTSB/SR-02/02).
Sec. 5401(c)(3). Transportation Economics.
This subsection would establish economic data and analysis as a core BTS activity. This emphasis is consistent with BTS' legislative history; the ISTEA conference report placed a heavy emphasis on economic statistics. BTS has started data programs to estimate the transportation component of the Nation's gross domestic product; track the net value of infrastructure and rolling stock; and measure modal productivity. A new effort -- based on grant-funded research -- will relate transportation activity to changes in the national economy. None of these existing programs is yet comprehensive, and there is a clear need for better data on the costs and benefits of transportation investment and the economic consequences of transportation system disruptions.
Sec. 5401(c)(4). Transportation Geospatial Data.
This subsection would establish geospatial data and analysis as a core BTS activity. The purpose is to put data on maps, where the human eye can detect patterns that might otherwise be hidden in tables of numbers. BTS currently has lead responsibility for the transportation layer of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure and is developing prototype geospatial data standards for the Administration's Geospatial One-Stop electronic government initiative. In addition, BTS provides mapping support to the Department of Transportation's Crisis Management Center. Making geospatial data and analysis a core activity will accelerate progress on completing geospatial data standards for all transportation modes and geocoding the national transportation system.
Sec. 5401(c)(5). System Performance.
This subsection would establish measurement and analysis of transportation system performance as a core BTS activity. This activity includes developing, producing, and publishing key indicators, or measures, of system performance, identifying gaps in data needed for sound transportation decisionmaking, and compiling and publishing an annual transportation statistics abstract.
BTS is currently developing measures, or indicators, for the Department's strategic outcome goals and has begun work on 25-30 key, system-wide indicators. They include, for example, extent and age of the vehicle fleet, household spending on transportation, life years lost from transportation accidents, and air emissions from transportation. Indicators are typically constructed by combining data from multiple sources. BTS currently publishes an annual National Transportation Statistics (NTS) report, a comprehensive compilation of transportation-related statistics. The report includes source and accuracy statements for all data. While compiling data collected by others would no longer be a core BTS activity -- and many such publications would be discontinued -- the NTS and companion Pocket Guide to Transportation are popular basic references and would be continued.
BTS would review data gaps at least annually with the Advisory Council on Transportation Statistics.
Sec. 5401(c)(6). Methods and Standards.
This subsection would establish transportation statistics methodological research as a core BTS activity. BTS would undertake continuing research on statistical methods to address transportation-specific problems in statistics and to improve the quality of BTS data. It would also coordinate broad, collaborative efforts with the modes and others to develop standards and definitions for transportation data. This program would develop statistical policy for BTS, oversee disclosure issues related to data confidentiality, and help DOT's Chief Information Officer maintain statistical quality guidelines for the Department. According to the National Research Council, an active program of methodological research and standard-setting is a best practice for Federal statistical agencies (Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency, 2001).
This subsection would also continue BTS' statutory authority to issue guidelines in order to ensure that transportation statistics are accurate, relevant, comparable, accessible, and in a form that permits systematic analysis. This core activity has received additional emphasis in light of Section 515(a) of Pub. L. 106-554 and the OMB Final Guidelines on Data Quality.
BTS would continue to provide data verification and validation support for the Department's annual performance plan and report under the Government Performance and Results Act.
Sec. 5401(d). Coordinating Collection of Information.
This subsection would be amended to help focus the use of limited resources more efficiently and in a more integrated manner within the Department.
Sec. 5401(e). Supporting Transportation Decisionmaking.
This subsection would restate the existing statutory language in 49 U.S.C. 111(c)(7) and would provide the broad categories of BTS' technical assistance.
Sec. 5401(f). Research and Development Grants.
This subsection would be amended to allow the grant program to focus on core program research, if appropriate. Additionally, grants could be made as an alternative to accomplish program-related research, to investigate and develop new methods of data collection and analysis, or to improve methods for sharing geographic data. The amendment would retain the statutory funding limit on the grants program.
Sec. 5401(g). Transportation Statistics Annual Report.
This subsection would be amended to allow BTS to streamline and better focus its annual report to the President and Congress. The report would provide information on the movement of people and goods, documentation of methods used to obtain the information and ensure the quality of the statistics presented in the report, and recommendations for improving transportation statistics. This subsection would also add a delivery date for submission of the report to the President and Congress.
Sec. 5401(h). Proceeds of Data Product Sales.
This subsection would restate the existing statutory language in 49 U.S.C. 111(k).
Sec. 5401(i). Limitations on Statutory Construction.
This subsection would restate the existing statutory language in 49 U.S.C. 111(h).
Sec. 5401(j). Mandatory Response Authority for Freight Data Collection.
This subsection would provide BTS with independent authority to require responses to its American Freight Data survey. Previously, BTS collected freight data under an interagency agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau. The Census Bureau used its mandatory authority for this data collection as part of its five-year economic census. However, for greater flexibility in the scope and timing of the data collection, BTS is seeking the same mandatory response language that is found in the Census Bureau's statutory authority. This mandatory response language is essential for the success of BTS' proposed American Freight Data survey. Typically, responses collected on a voluntary basis, particularly from business establishments, are less timely, complete, and accurate than responses collected under a mandatory survey, reducing the quality of the data and increasing the cost of the survey. Response rates for address-based voluntary surveys of business establishments range from less than one percent (market research) to between 45 and 60 percent (the U.S. Census Bureau and other Federal statistical agencies). Mandatory data collection from business establishments typically yield 70 to 99 percent response rates depending on the level of follow-up. Past experience at BTS supports these figures. For example, during the early weeks of the 1997 Commodity Freight Survey, response rates were well below what BTS expected (the low 60s). BTS decided to re-print the envelopes, stamping the word "Mandatory" (under the U.S. Census Bureau's mandatory response authority) above the address, and within two weeks the response rate jumped 14 percentage points. The final response rate for the 1997 Commodity Freight Survey was about 77 percent. In addition, the Census Bureau has indicated that many businesses have instituted policies that prohibit employees from responding to voluntary surveys. The language for this section mirrors the Census Bureau's authority that BTS has relied on for past Commodity Flow Surveys.
Sec. 5401(k). Prohibition on Certain Disclosures.
This subsection would be amended to include contractors. Based on the fact that BTS uses contractors to accomplish its statutory mission, the agency believes the statutory prohibition should specifically cover these individuals. BTS has identified this as a gap in the statutory coverage and believes the prohibition should apply whether the individual making the disclosure is an officer, employee, or contractor.
Sec. 5401(l). Data Access.
This subsection would provide BTS with express statutory authority to access transportation and transportation-related data collected by other Federal agencies unless such data sharing is expressly prohibited by law or the sharing of such data would significantly impair the responsibilities of the agency that supplied the information to BTS. This amendment is necessary because of past difficulties experienced by BTS in obtaining transportation data on international trade, freight movement, and other transportation statistics from other Federal agencies. The language for this subsection mirrors the statutory language for the Energy Information Administration (15 U.S.C. 790g(a)).
Sec. 5401(m). Advisory Council on Transportation Statistics.
This subsection codifies the note that appears for 49 U.S.C. 111. Section 6007 of Pub. L. 102-240 (ISTEA) created the Advisory Council on Transportation Statistics; however, the statutory language was placed in a note to 49 U.S.C. 111. This amendment would add clarity to the section and would assist readers in locating the statutory language that authorizes the Advisory Council on Transportation Statistics. It would also expand slightly the qualifications for membership on the Advisory Council on Transportation Statistics.
As noted above, Section 5401 would repeal a number of the BTS' existing statutory responsibilities, including the following:
49 U.S.C. 111(d) - Intermodal Transportation Data Base.
As authorized in TEA-21, TranStats, the Intermodal Transportation Data Base, is now operational. Recognizing the emphasis on higher priority and more focused activities, BTS will finalize development of the TranStats intermodal database of 100 transportation databases. Repeal of this subsection would provide BTS greater flexibility in deciding how to disseminate data for its programs.
49 U.S.C. 111(e) - National Transportation Library.
Recognizing the importance of higher priority activities, BTS would discontinue the National Transportation Library. Though providing one-stop shopping for transportation research documents is a valuable activity, it does not fit into BTS' focus on core statistical programs. BTS hopes that the NTL asset - which includes a large collection of full-text electronic documents and bibliographic information, as well as powerful search tools - will be preserved, perhaps as part of the DOT Library.
49 U.S.C. 111(f) - National Transportation Atlas Data Base.
Proposed section 5401(c)(4) would establish geospatial data and analysis as a core BTS activity. The specific statutory requirement for a National Transportation Atlas Database (NTAD) would be repealed so that BTS has the flexibility to respond to changing customer needs for relevant geospatial data products and services. Further, the Administration's Geospatial One-Stop project is creating a web portal that will provide one-stop shopping for geospatial data of all kinds, which could render the NTAD duplicative.
This section is intended to replace Subtitle C of Title V, TEA-21, which would be repealed. The following describes the changes from the provisions of TEA-21.
SEC. 5501. SHORT TITLE. [Legislation]
This section would name the subtitle the "Intelligent Transportation Systems Act of 2003."
SEC. 5502. GOALS AND PURPOSES. [Legislation]
The goals stated in TEA-21 would be changed to include reference to public safety and security. These changes are intended to reflect new emphasis areas in the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Program.
SEC. 5503. GENERAL AUTHORITIES AND REQUIREMENTS. [Legislation]
The policy would be changed to remove the term "deployment projects" and include the term "research projects," to reflect the proposed elimination of the ITS Deployment Program, and to recognize that research is a significant component of the ITS Program.
The term "Consultation with Federal Officials" would be changed to include reference to the proposed Homeland Security Department to reflect the new emphasis on transportation security.
The subsection dealing with Procurement Methods would be deleted to reflect that this requirement was completed during TEA-21.
SEC. 5504. NATIONAL ARCHITECTURE AND STANDARDS. [Legislation]
This section would continue the general requirements and activities called for in TEA-21 related to Architecture and Standards. The changes would reflect the completion of several specific requirements of TEA-21.
The report on critical standards, the critical standards component of provisional standards, and the waiver of requirement sections would be deleted to reflect that the critical standards requirements were completed.
The provisions on spectrum would be deleted to reflect that this requirement was completed.
SEC. 5505. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT. [Legislation]
This section would establish an ITS research and development program. The program would provide funding for the conduct of research, development, operational tests, and other activities that are necessary to develop and deploy advanced technology to improve the safety and performance of the Nation's surface transportation systems. The priority areas outline and identify system characteristics that would be improved or enhanced, and associated project types that could be funded through this program. The priority areas would include projects that would: enhance mobility and productivity through improved traffic management, incident management, transit management, freight management, road weather management, toll collection, traveler information, or highway operations systems; enhance safety through improved crash-avoidance and protection, crash and other notification, commercial vehicle operations, and infrastructure-based or cooperative safety systems; enhance security through improved response to security related emergencies and improved transportation security systems, such as traffic management systems and systems designed to promote the end to end movement of containers; and facilitate the integration of intelligent infrastructure, vehicle, and control technologies.
SEC. 5506. USE OF FUNDS. [Legislation]
Sections referring to an infrastructure development and life cycle cost analysis and a financing and operations plan would be deleted because they refer to projects funded out of the ITS Integration Program and Commercial Vehicle Intelligent Transportation System Infrastructure Deployment Program, which would be eliminated.
The provision on use of innovative financing would be deleted because there were no requests to use this provision during the life of TEA-21, and it has been determined that there is no need for this financing mechanism.
SEC. 5507. DEFINITIONS. [Legislation]
The term "CVISN" would be deleted because this term is no longer referenced in Title V. The Commercial Vehicle Intelligent Transportation Infrastructure Deployment Program would be deleted.
The term "Commercial Vehicle Operations" would be deleted because this term is no longer referenced in Title V.
The word "Corridor" would be deleted because this term is no longer referenced in Title V.
The term "National Architecture" would be modified to eliminate the reference to adoption by the Secretary. This is not a requirement of TEA-21 and is not being proposed as a requirement in this bill. There is no need to formally adopt the National Architecture, which is often modified to correct minor errors and updated significantly approximately every two years. Adoption would require a rulemaking every time a change is necessary.
SEC. 5508. REPEAL. [Legislation]
This section would repeal the intelligent transportation systems subtitle of TEA-21, which this section would replace.