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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release February 4, 2000

          Details Administration's Livable Communities Initiative

     Washington, DC -- Vice President Al Gore announced today the

Administration will seek $211 million for new transit system work in 12 urban regions as part of its $9.3 billion Livable Communities budget proposal for FY 2001.

The Vice President and Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater said the Department of Transportation will seek to enter into major transit grant agreements this year in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Chicago, northern Illinois, Denver, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, northern New Jersey, Portland, Ore., Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Washington D.C.-Maryland (chart attached).

"Investing in important mass transit projects like these is key to rebuilding our cities and creating livable communities, "it will stimulate economic development throughout our nation," the Vice President said. "For hardworking Americans, who live in our metropolitan areas, the payoff is in a better quality of life."

The proposed transit funding is part of the Administration's $9.3 billion Livable Communities Initiative. For fiscal year 2001 appropriations, the Vice President said the budget will request $9.1 billion for transportation systems, $25 million for regional smart growth efforts, and $125 million to fund crime solving technologies to improve community safety. The initiative also includes a tax credit proposal calling for $10.75 billion in bonding authority over five years for Better America Bonds. The proposed funding for the Livable Communities initiative represents a 14 percent increase over last year.

"These budget proposals expand the choices available to communities in ways that will improve our quality of life while ensuring that we maintain our strong economic growth," the Vice President said.

"In his State of the Union message, President Clinton asked for a renewed commitment to make our communities more livable," Secretary Slater said. "Investments in transportation infrastructure do just that for these communities by providing access to the bounty of jobs, markets, schools, and great opportunities that are so representative of America."

The Vice President said that the Administration's fiscal year 2001 budget for the Livable Communities initiative includes:

"Regardless of where we Americans live or where we stand on the economic scale, one thing that unites us is our desire for a high quality of life, safe communities, healthy open spaces, and reduced congestion," the Vice President said. "This budget proposal is about building stronger communities."

The budget proposals announced today are part of the Administration's Livable Communities Initiative that integrates the commitments of more than a dozen Federal agencies. The initiative also supplements the various programs that make up the Administration's Community Empowerment Agenda, which is designed to encourage reinvestment in existing communities and provide greater opportunity for their residents.

As part of last year's livability budget, the Administration requested an additional $1.3 billion in appropriations. Of this, Congress enacted more than $600 million, primarily for transportation.


Under full funding grant agreements, federal funding for these transit projects would be provided in the coming years as construction goes forward. Historically, the substantial majority of full funding grant agreements have received a contribution of between 33 and 80 percent of their total cost from the federal government. A determination of the federal commitment is subject to negotiation between the U.S. Department of Transportation and the sponsors of the project. The full funding grants agreements would assist the following:

A full funding grant agreement is the federal government's commitment to support a transit project over the course of several fiscal years, contingent upon the availability of funds.