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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Outreach: Federal Support for Local Decision-Making

Tuesday, March 1, 2022
"Blue steel bridge scaffolding"

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) (Public Law No: 117-58), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), signed into law on November 15, 2021, is a $1.2 trillion investment in our nation’s infrastructure intended to rebuild America’s roads, bridges and rails, upgrade and expand public transit, modernize the nation’s ports and airports, improve safety, address the climate crisis, advance environmental justice, and invest in communities that have too often been left behind. It intends to drive job creation and grow the economy sustainably and equitably.

Under Section 25003, "Federal support for local decision-making," the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) is taking charge to ensure local decision-makers have the data and tools they need to make infrastructure investments. BTS is developing a work plan for reviewing, updating, and developing the data assets needed to assist local communities with making infrastructure investment decisions. BTS will host several listening sessions giving local decision-makers the opportunity to share their experience and needs for infrastructure data and data analysis tools. 

Questions? Please see below and reach out to the BTS Outreach Team at BTSOutreach@dot.gov.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • What is the anticipated timeline for Section 25003?
    Not later than one year after the date of enactment of Public Law No: 117-58, based on the outreach performed to planning and infrastructure decision-making officials in units of local government and other units of government, BTS shall submit to the Secretary a work plan for reviewing and updating existing data analysis tools and developing any additional data analysis tools needed to assist local communities with making infrastructure investment decisions. 
    • November 2021 | H.R.3684 signed into law as Public Law No: 117-58
    • Spring 2022 | Listening sessions with local decision-makers
    • November 2022 | Work plan submitted to U.S. Transportation Secretary
    • 2023| Subject to the availability of appropriations, develop identified data analysis tools and purchase datasets
       
  • What information is BTS seeking? 
    BTS will host listening sessions with local decision-makers to learn the data and data analysis tools that currently or could assist with: 
    • improving maintenance of existing assets; 
    • rebuilding infrastructure to a state of good repair; 
    • creating economic development through infrastructure development; 
    • establishing freight plans and infrastructure that connects the community to supply chain; 
    • increasing options for communities that lack access to affordable transportation to improve access to jobs, affordable housing, schools, medical services, foods and other essential community services; 
    • reducing congestion;
    • improving community resilience to extreme weather events; and
    • other topics.
       
  • How will input be used?
    Based on the listening session outreach, BTS will develop a work plan for reviewing and updating existing data analysis tools and for developing any additional data or data analysis tools needed to assist local communities with making infrastructure investment decisions. BTS will seek feedback from decision-makers beyond the listening sessions and throughout the work plan development.

  • What is the purpose of the work plan? 
    Subject to the availability of appropriations, BTS and the U.S. Transportation Secretary shall develop data analysis tools and purchase datasets as prioritized in the work plan.
     
  • How can I stay involved and updated on the effort? 
    BTS will share updates on this page. If interested in participating a listening session or have questions, please reach out to the BTS Outreach Team at BTSOutreach@dot.gov.
     
  • Where can I find more information on the legislation?
    For more information on the Investments in Infrastructure And Jobs Act, please see the Law Text and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law at USDOT page. For details on Section 25003 Federal Support for Local Decision-Making, please see below.

 

Public Law No: 117-58 Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act

SEC. 25003. FEDERAL SUPPORT FOR LOCAL DECISION-MAKING.

(a) LOCAL OUTREACH

To determine the data analysis tools needed to assist local communities in making infrastructure decisions, the Director of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics shall perform outreach to planning and infrastructure decision-making officials in units of local government and other units of government, including a geographically diverse group of individuals from—

  1. States;
  2. political subdivisions of States;
  3. cities;
  4. metropolitan planning organizations;
  5. regional transportation planning organizations; and
  6. federally recognized Indian Tribes.

(b) WORK PLAN

  1. IN GENERAL.  Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, based on the outreach performed under subsection (a), the Director of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics shall submit to the Secretary a work plan for reviewing and updating existing data analysis tools and developing any additional data analysis tools needed to assist local communities with making infrastructure investment decisions.
  2. CONTENTS.  Based on the needs identified pursuant to the outreach performed under subsection (a), the work plan submitted under paragraph (1) shall include—
    (A) a description of the data analysis tools identified that would benefit infrastructure decision-making by local governments and address the goals described in subsection (c);
    (B) a review of the datasets that local governments need to effectively use the data analysis tools described in subparagraph (A);
    (C) an identification of existing or proposed data analysis tools that use publicly available data;
    (D) the estimated cost of obtaining each dataset described in subparagraph (B);
    (E) the estimated cost to develop the data analysis tools described in subparagraph (A);
    (F) a prioritization for the development of data analysis tools described in subparagraph (A); and
    (G) a determination as to whether it would be appropriate for the Federal Government to develop the data analysis tools described in subparagraph (A).

(c) GOALS

  1. IN GENERAL.  A data analysis tool created pursuant to the work plan submitted under subsection (b)(1) shall be developed to help inform local communities in making infrastructure investments.
  2. SPECIFIC ISSUES.  A data analysis tool created pursuant to the work plan submitted under subsection (b)(1) shall be intended to help units of local government and other units of government address 1 or more of the following:
    (A) Improving maintenance of existing assets.
    (B) Rebuilding infrastructure to a state of good repair.
    (C) Creating economic development through infrastructure development.
    (D) Establishing freight plans and infrastructure that connects the community to supply chains.
    (E) Increasing options for communities that lack access to affordable transportation to improve access to jobs, affordable housing, schools, medical services, foods and other essential community services.
    (F) Reducing congestion.
    (G) Improving community resilience to extreme weather events.
    (H) Any other subject, as the Director determines to be necessary.

(d) IMPLEMENTATION

Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary shall develop data analysis tools and purchase datasets as prioritized in the work plan.

(e) COORDINATION

The Director of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics may utilize existing working groups or advisory committees to perform the local outreach required under subsection (a).