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Urban Mass Transportation Act

The Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964 (PL 88-365) provided $375 million for large-scale urban public or private rail projects in the form of matching funds to cities and states. The Urban Mass Transit Administration[?] (now the Federal Transit Administration[?]) was created.

The Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1970 (PL 91-453) authorized an additional $12 billion of the same type of matching funds.

The laws, while the first major federal investments in urban transit have been criticized both for going too far (is transit a federal or local responsibility?) and not going far enough (the 50:50 match was much less than the 80:20 match provided for new highway construction). It is also thought that these capital funds distorted the priorities of transit agencies to building new capital projects (rails) rather than more cost effective projects that required less capital (but perhaps more operating) outlay (buses). Thus since the 1970s the United States has seen a large number of new rail starts while bus service continues to deteriorate.

See also: National Mass Transportation Assistance Act of 1974



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