The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Transportation

Maryland’s Proposed Purple Line Update

On August 3, 2016, Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Purple Line, a proposed light-rail project in Maryland, was ineligible for federal funding until the state recalculates the Purple Line’s ridership forecasts.

A Perfect Picture of Government Efficiency: The Washington D.C. Metro

On June 24, 2010, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced a $5 billion overhaul of the Metrorail and Metrobus system.  However, the results of this retrofit have been underwhelming.  The problems have persisted to such an extreme degree that on May 6, 2016 WMATA announced a further improvement program, the $60 million SafeTrack, to fix the lines.

Purple Money

The largest public-private partnership (P3) in the U.S. is expected to start construction by the end of the year sits just outside the Capital Beltway in Maryland.  What Maryland calls the Purple Line, we consider a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars.

Senate Hearing on TSA Operations: Frustrated Travelers and Threats to Aviation

This morning, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs held a hearing entitled, “Frustrated Travelers:  Rethinking TSA Operations to Improve Passenger Screening and Address Threats to Aviation.”

The witnesses included:

The Honorable Peter V. Neffenger, Administrator, Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

The Honorable John Roth, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Jennifer Grover, Director, Homeland Security and Justice, U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)

In Jeopardy: Shuster’s Loftier Vision for Air Traffic Control Modernization

In today’s early edition of “Morning Consult,” an online digest of relevant public policy activities in the nation’s capital, the journal highlighted the disparities between the Senate and House versions of legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  In April, the Senate passed their version overwhelmingly (95-3), while the House bill (approved by the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee) has not made it to the floor yet.

Gas Guzzling Highway Bill Chugs to the White House

Late on December 3, 2015, the Senate passed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act with a vote of 83-16.  Needing only a signature from the President to become law, the FAST Act is a hasty solution to a long-term problem without concern for the amount of taxpayer money it wastes.

The Ghoulish Amtrak Blame Game

Within hours of the deadly crash of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia, big spenders from Washington and New York pounced on the tragedy as a reason to throw more taxpayer money Amtrak’s way.

Let’s begin with the fact that eight people lost their lives in this accident. More than 200 were injured. Politicians and liberal talking heads did not even wait for the victims’ bodies to be recovered before cynically using them as a political prop in a budget fight.

Highway Trust Fund Nearing the End of the Road

The Highway Trust Fund is a transportation fund financed by an 18.4 cents per gallon gas tax extracted from drivers every time they fill their tank.  The tax proceeds are then used to fund work on the country’s rails, bridges, and roadways.

Happy 35th Anniversary, Airline Deregulation!

As a hard-nosed researcher of low fares (in other words, I am a cheap flier), I am appreciative of the fact that, thirty five years ago today, President Jimmy Carter signed the Air Transportation Regulatory Reform Act into law, on October 24, 1978.

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