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Roundup: May 24, 2016

Funding Opportunities

The FASTLANE Grant program of the United States Department of Transportation has received 212 grant applications totaling nearly $9.8 billion.

National Issues

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged last week to wrap up work on a transportation appropriations measure. The measure also included $1.1 billion in funding to help combat the spread of the Zika virus. In the meantime, the House unveiled a $52.8 billion draft transportation appropriations measure, a boost over what the House has provided. The House measure also seeks to address a growing discussion over trucking hours of service. The issues over appropriations language dealing with trucking hours of service – this time, both safety and industry advocates are frustrated with the process. Both sides of the issue simply want Congress to remove itself from the role of defining how many hours truckers can drive a week.

On a related note, truck drivers are also the subject of a growing labor dispute over full time / contract labor circumstances.

It appears that Uber and Lyft plan to test self-driving taxis within the year

State Issues

Governor Nathan Deal announced last week that April revenues were up a total of 3.3% over the previous year – total revenues were $2.07 billion, or an increase of $63.6 million. The revenue generated as a result of House Bill 170 was $79.6 billion.

In a presentation several weeks ago, Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport General Manager Miguel Southwell agreed with one of GTA’s long-time policy goals: making HJAIA one of the top five cargo airports in the country. HJAIA is currently 10th.

A couple of weeks ago, GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurray told the Gwinnett Daily Postthat expansion of the I-85 HOT Lane would begin this summer.

According to a report released recently by the American Society of Civil Engineers, American families will lose an average of $3,400 annually as a result of poor infrastructure around the country.

The Hill follows up with a commentary on how politics are holding up improving America’s infrastructure.

Mayor Kasim Reed has terminated the contract of Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport General Manager Miguel Southwell.

Georgia and South Carolina are beginning to spend money on the construction of the $5 billion Jasper Ocean Terminal.

GTA Board Member Perimeter Community Improvement Districts has partnered with the cities of Dunwoody and Sandy Springs to conduct a new congestion mitigation study around Perimeter Mall.

Surprise, surprise…Gulfstream has set another record. Last week, the new Gulfstream G650 set a new Sydney to Los Angeles record of 12 hours and 40 minutes.

Upcoming Events

Webinar: Georgia Transportation 101
Wednesday, June 22
12:00-1:00 pm

Save the Date: 2016 Georgia Transportation Summit
November 30, 2016
Athens, Georgia

Meet the Experts:

Rhonda Briggins, J.D.

Rhonda Briggins, J.D. is currently the Senior Director of External Affairs for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). She oversees Community Relations and Government Affairs (federal, state and local) for the Authority. Over the last two years, she has worked with the Georgia General Assembly to pass major transportation legislations for MARTA totaling over $ 2.9 billion dollars in transit funding.

Her expertise and understanding of politics and political trends make her sought out as a leader within the transportation industry. She has developed and conducted numerous workshops for elected officials, corporate offices, non-profit organizations, businesses and schools. To date, she has taught and trained thousands in the areas of political strategy, communications, public involvement fundraising, and base building.

She has dedicates her life to public service through her role as a community advocate, political strategist and servant leader. She serves on various boards of directors such as the Bridge Crossing Jubilee, Vote Run Lead, DeKalb Workforce Development, and DeKalb Housing Authority Advisory Committee. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and she is the Regional Social Action Coordinator for the Southern Region which includes Alabama, Bahamas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee.  She also a member of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and is the Georgia Legislative Chair. She is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions.

She has a Juris Doctor from Jones School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Law and Society from Georgia State University. She resides in Tucker, Georgia with her son, Kai.

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