For 2013, fiscal cliff measure ups federal transit benefitsBy
It garnered little coverage in the press during 2012, but for all of last year, the nation’s transit riders had been left stranded by Congress. A federal provision allowing for $230 a month in tax subsidies for transit riders had expired at the end of 2011, and when Congress failed to act early last year, the eligible amount slipped to $125. It was enough — barely — for New Yorkers to cover their monthly MetroCards, but those using the regional rail networks were left high and dry.
In passing the measure to avoid the fiscal cliff last night, Congress has upped the federal transit subsidy to $240 a month, Greater Greater Washington noted this morning. The measure is, unfortunately, temporary and will expire at the end of 2013 without further action. Still, it’s a welcome move.
“Even if House Republicans just went along somewhat reluctantly with a Senate deal yesterday,” David Alpert wrote at Greater Greater Washington, “in approving this extension, they were now able to give many American workers a tax cut along with helping our cities function more effectively and ending one small example of the many ways government ‘picks winners and losers’ among transportation modes.”