WASHINGTON, D.C.–If you live anywhere in Mississippi besides Jackson, Meridian or other areas with a larger population, chances are you can’t catch a city bus to get where you want to go. There could be more federal dollars to change that if Sen. Roger Wicker’s plan goes through.
His plan, which he talked about Tuesday in a Senate meeting of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, would give locals more control over federal transportation dollars and give less control to what he called “federal bureaucrats”.
“Instead of federal bureaucrats making the decisions, a panel of local stakeholders would decide which projects to approve based on how the project could improve the transportation system, promote innovation, and spur economic development<‘ said a statement from Wicker’s camp.
“I have heard from many city and county officials who are excited about this concept,” said Wicker. “The program would dedicate a portion of federal funding to create competitive grants available to mayors, county officials, and local leaders. The proposal has a great deal of grassroots support and should be included in any long-term transportation proposal moving forward.”
So, be it a bus system or whatever the community needs, the dollars would go to what they deemed important.
Wicker plans to reintroduce the “Innovation in Surface Transportation Act” later this month with Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J).
The legislation would allow local jurisdictions to compete for a larger share of federal funds on a competitive basis. Local jurisdictions, metropolitan planning organizations, transit providers, and others would be in charge of developing projects for consideration.