Biden’s administration just submitted his budget, and anyone in the transportation industry should be foaming at the mouth to get a piece. With the additional $37 billion Infrastructure Law, the total 2023 budget for the Department of Transportation is $142 billion. This is the biggest budget the DOT has ever seen.
The president’s office has broken down the budget granted to specific departments to do specific things that Biden’s cabinet feels will help the American people the most. The budget breaks down to cater to three major sections. Economic Strength and Global Competitiveness, Safety, and Climate and Sustainability.
Biden’s Budget Breakdown
Economic Strength and Global Competitiveness
A proposed $4.45 billion helps 15 major transport projects across 7 states. This includes $100 million to finance the Hudson Tunnel Commuter Rail Project. $1.5 billion of that will help programs like RAISE, National Infrastructure Project Assistance Grant Program, and discretionary grants. Raise means Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity. The other 2.5 billion will be advanced as appropriate under infrastructure law.
Another 230 million will help PIDP. That’s the Port Infrastructure Development Program. This should help strengthen our global and federal supply chains. The Federal Aviation Administration budgets $23.6 billion to modernize facilities and operations.
Highways and roadways are about to get a huge boost with $3 billion devoted to FHWA’s Highway Safety Improvement Program. This monitors and prevents deaths on the highway. Commercial drivers will also benefit from another $506 million for FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Safety Grants. Lastly, $498 million will go to researchers at NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Program. This helps commercial and civilian drivers.
Safety is a great thing that can help all Americans. If this works, people can expect to see a boost in more places than just the road. These plans should also help reduce traffic and speed up drive times. This may even result in fewer insurance claims and hospital visits. We could even see Americans living longer and happier lives. Less time stuck in traffic makes for a happier and safer America.
It’s no surprise that equity has the fewest dollars going toward it. $110.7 million will help the Thriving Communities Program. This helps build technical assistance and capacity building in underserved communities. Another $350 million goes to the Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program. This program builds infrastructure in rural communities to help guide them toward the 21st century. This includes connectivity, safety, and quality of life programs.
Although this has the smallest budget, it is very crucial to Americans. This helps raise America’s standards. If we focus more on underserved towns and cities, we can expect all of America to rise with them.
Climate and Sustainability
This category is where the Biden’s office really wants to flourish. $21.1 billion goes to the Federal Transit Administration. This creates new transit service options, including more electric vehicle transportation, across the country. America’s rail system is also in line to get a boost with $17.9 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration. This will support safety standards and address the years of repair backlogs. It will also increase Amtrak’s services to intercity areas and modernize passenger rail. Lastly, it will also help grade-crossings. You know, the place where rails and highways meet, which causes the most train-related accidents.
Climate issues are a huge part of this budget. $1 billion goes to help the national Electric Infrastructure Program. This program also has $400 million from the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grants program. They plan to spend $1.3 billion to help with the Carbon Reduction Formula Funds and another $12 million to research new ideas for reduction. Lastly, $27 million goes to Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) to streamline the next phase of standards for fuel efficiency of all vehicles.
Biden’s cabinet believe this is one of the most important sections. If America plans to be a world leader, we need to be at the heart of change. We need to lead the race to eliminate carbon emissions and are on the brink of cutting edge technologies. When Biden looks back at his time in office, he will site these changes as how he improved America.
Biden’s Budget is Once in a Generation
This is a very ambitious budget, but if you work in transportation, you’ll probably see tons of new jobs coming your way. States are building their own personal budgets and proposals to submit to the government to finance their projects. Most of these budgets have a summer deadline to take advantage of the funds.
Soon, in the next decade or so, transportation is going to be much different. We don’t know how it’s going to change, but we can prepare for when it does. Rising gas prices already show us that our current way is not working.