Foster votes with House majority for Surface Transportation Extension Act
U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-Dist. 11) voted on Tuesday with a House majority for H.R. 3819, the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015, which extends funding authorization for road-infrastructure projects through Nov. 20.
“While I would have preferred this to be a long-term transportation bill, funding for road-construction projects must continue to flow to the states before the construction season is over,” Foster said. “I am, however, optimistic that Congress will be able to pass a long-term transportation bill before the end of the year, to give our local governments and businesses the certainty they need to make long-term investments.”
The bill also would establish a delay in the implementation deadline for Positive Train Control (PTC), pushing it back to 2018. PTC refers to an electronic safety system, which is designed to automatically prevent train crashes and derailments. At the time the law requiring PTC was passed in 2008, there was no technology in place to implement such a system. Therefore, the December 31, 2015, deadline has been deemed unrealistic.
“I have listened to leadership at Metra and companies that use the rail system to ship goods all over this country, and it is clear that it is too soon to require full implementation of PTC,” Foster said. “Requiring transit agencies and freight railroads to implement PTC this December would be unsafe and disruptive to our freight network. We need to give them time to fully test their systems to ensure safe and effective implementation.”