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Report

[Excepts of the Senate Report, H.R. 106-309.  Omissions are indicated by ellipses: "* * * * *"]
[From Thomas, a service of the U.S. Congress through its Library.  Check for accuracy before
citing or quoting.]

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                                 Calendar No. 596                            

                            106 th Congress                             
                                2d Session

                                    SENATE

                             Report                                 
                                106-309                                 
                                                                        
 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS
BILL, 2001                                   

                  June  14, 2000.--Ordered to be printed                 

     Mr. Shelby, from the Committee on Appropriations, submitted the following                             
   
                                  REPORT                                 

                          [To accompany S. 2720]                         

      The Committee on Appropriations reports the bill (S. 2720) making    
   appropriations for the Department of Transportation and related agencies
   for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2001, and for other purposes,  
   reports favorably thereon and recommends that the bill do pass.         

   * * * * *

                                                 GSA RENTAL PAYMENTS                                                
                                       [Dollars and square feet in thousands]                                       

   * * * * *

Bureau of Transportation Statistics
  Fiscal year 1999 actual
    Funding            750
    Square feet       20
  Fiscal year 2000 estimate
    Funding            729
    Square feet       26     
  Fiscal year 2001 President's budget
    Funding            930
    Square feet       32     

   * * * * *

CHANGES IN FISCAL YEAR 2000 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
APPROPRIATIONS   [In thousands of dollars]

   * * * * *                            
                                               
Bureau of Transportation Statistics\2\      
  Public Law 106-69 DOT Appropriations Act
    Appropriations and obligation limitation          [31,000]
    GP 319 TASC          [-182]
    GP 338 Motor carrier
    GP 365 Transfer to EPA
  Public Law 106-113
    Sec. 225 transit
    Sec. 301 0.38 percent cut
  Public Law 106 79 Sec. 8131 Transfer from DOD
  Public Law 106 31 Sec. 3029 Ellsworth settlement
  Net appropriation and obligation limitation          [30,818]


\2\BTS funding included within Federal-aid highways.

   * * * * *                   

                               FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION                     
                            SUMMARY OF FISCAL YEAR 2001 PROGRAM                   

      * * * * *

       National personal transportation survey .--The Committee            
   recommendation does not provide the request for a national personal     
   transportation survey under this heading. The Committee has included    
   funding for this activity within the Bureau of Transportation Statistics
   appropriation.

   * * * * *

                  LIMITATION ON TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH                  


          Limitation, 2000\1\.................
          Budget estimate, 2001\1\............
          Committee recommendation\1\........($437,250,000)
                  \1\Resources available in fiscal year 2000 and requested in    
         fiscal year 2001 are assumed within the Federal-aid highways obligation 
         limitation.                                                             

      The limitation controls spending for the transportation research and 
   technology programs of the FHWA. This limitation includes the           
   intelligent transportation systems, surface transportation research,    
   technology deployment, training and education, and university           
   transportation research. The Committee recommendation provides an       
   obligation limitation for transportation research of $437,250,000 for   
   the following programs:                                                 

          Surface transportation research          $98,000,000
          Technology deployment program          45,000,000
          Training and education          18,000,000
          Bureau of transportation statistics          31,000,000
          ITS standards, research, operational tests, and development     100,000,000
          ITS deployment          118,000,000
          University transportation research          27,250,000
                     Subtotal          437,250,000

   * * * * *

[Under Surface Transportation Research / Highway Research and Development]

       Policy Research .--The Committee recommends $4,600,000 for policy   
   research. Additional funds to complete the NPTS should be obtained from 
   the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Because of budgetary           
   constraints, the Committee has deleted funds for research cooperation   
   with various international organizations and requests to be consulted   
   before future international agreements are consummated that are likely  
   to require financial support.

   * * * * *
       Highway Operations and Asset Management .--The Committee recommends 
   $5,200,000 for highway operations and asset management. Funds provided  
   under this category support a variety of research projects seeking to   
   improve highway operations, including work to improve the manual of     
   uniform traffic control devices, work zone operations, technologies that
   facilitate operational responses to changes in weather conditions, and  
   freight management operations. Of the $600,000 provided for asset       
   management, the Committee has not included any funds for statistical    
   analysis of the National Quality Initiative. Such analysis shall be     
   performed by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Of the funds      
   provided, up to $800,000 is to support the innovative infrastructure    
   financing best practices research ongoing at the University of Southern 
   California and up to $1,000,000 is for the road life research program at
   New Mexico Highway 44.

   * * * * *

                       BUREAU OF TRANSPORTATION STATISTICS                   
                       (limitation on obligations)                       

          Appropriations, 2000\1\                ($31,000,000)
          Budget estimate, 2001                   (31,000,000)
          Committee recommendation         (31,000,000)
                  \1\Excludes reduction of $182,000 for TASC pursuant to section 
         319 of Public Law 106-69.                                               

      The Bureau of Transportation Statistics [BTS] was established in     
   section 6006 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act    
   [ISTEA], to compile, analyze, and make accessible information on the    
   Nation's transportation systems, collect information on intermodal      
   transportation, and enhance the quality and effectiveness of the        
   statistical programs of the Department of Transportation. For fiscal    
   year 2001, the Committee recommends a funding level of $31,000,000.     
      BTS offices include the Director, Statistical Programs and Services, 
   Transportation Studies, and the Office of Airline Information [OAI]. In 
   addition, effective January 1, 1996, the responsibility to collect motor
   carrier financial data was transferred to the BTS after the sunset of   
   the Interstate Commerce Commission.                                     
      The Office of Airline Information collects and compiles financial and
   traffic (passenger and cargo) data. This information provides the       
   Government with uniform and comprehensive economic and market data on   
   individual airline operations. This program includes a small field      
   office located in Anchorage, AK, which provides consumers and the       
   Government with airline data related to essential air service and the   
   intra-Alaskan mail rate program. The statistical aviation data compiled 
   by OAI includes: airline passenger traffic statistics, ontime           
   performance data by carrier, financial performance and certification    
   data, fuel purchase and consumption, and other business and consumer    
   directed statistics. These statistics are vitally important to the      
   Federal Government and the aviation industry. In some cases, it is      
   statutorily required that these statistics be used by the Federal       
   Aviation Administration and the Office of the Secretary of              
   Transportation in allocation of trust funds, aviation bilateral         
   negotiations, and other Federal transportation policy decisionmaking.   
       National Quality Initiative .--Of the funds provided, $600,000 is   
   for statistical analysis of the National Quality Initiative.            
       National Passenger Transportation Survey (NPTS) .--Of the funds     
   provided to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, up to $5,000,000   
   may be used for the NPTS.       
                                        
   * * * * *
                                OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL                       

   * * * * *

       Audit of Flight Delays .--Last year, the Committee requested the    
   Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (OIG) to review
   the causes of flight delays to help the Department, the air carriers,   
   and the Congress better understand, address, and communicate the nature,
   causes, and, ultimately, potential mitigating actions to improve        
   utilization of system capacity, the consumer's understanding of delays, 
   and to better focus the FAA's, air carriers', and the Congress'         
   investments in all aspects of the aviation system. The audit, released  
   in June 2000, sheds a great deal of light on some of the troubling      
   aspects of the current delay reporting systems, the lack of commonality 
   between reporting parameters, the shortcomings of current information on
   the causes of delays.                                                   
      Although the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reporting focus     
   (beginning and end points of a flight) and the FAA Operations Network   
   (OPSNET) reporting focus (aircraft delayed for more than 15 minutes     
   after coming under FAA's control) differ, both reporting regimes record 
   increasing flight delays and increasing duration of those delays.       
      The OIG audit found that most delays took place on the ground in the 
   form of longer taxi-out and taxi-in times and that the incidence of     
   taxi-out time of 2 hours or more increased substantially. The OIG found 
   that much of that increase in delays is masked within the increase in   
   the air carriers' flight schedule times--and estimated that these masked
   delays added almost 130 million minutes of travel time for passengers.  
   In addition, the OIG found that the rate of flight cancellations was    
   increasing. Significantly, the OIG found that causal data for delays    
   varied between the BTS and OPSNET systems, with neither system or the   
   carriers' data providing a comprehensive picture of the cause of delays 
   and cancellations. The OIG identified six key factors influencing the   
   number of delays and cancellations. The Committee anticipates engaging  
   in a dialogue with the FAA, the OIG, and the carriers to foster         
   increased attention to the causes of delays and envisions a follow-on   
   effort to address the recommendations made in the OIG audit.            

   * * * * *
       Sec. 322. Includes with modification provision allowing the Bureau  
   of Transportation Statistics to credit the Federal-aid highway account  
   with proceeds from the sale of data products. The administration had    
   requested that this provision be made permanent law.

     * * * * *