Transportation

Mica_header_Transport3

Mica Stopping Tolls on I-4

In the last Federal Highway Bill, Congressman Mica successfully passed language to ban tolls on existing free interstate lanes across the nation. It is unfair to motorists, particularly in our area with so many toll roads, to impose an additional charge after paying federal gas tax dollars to support the system. Free lanes on the interstate must remain toll free or we will end up with a maze of toll booths across what was intended to be free access.

Mica’s Efforts to Improve Transportation

Congressman Mica has focused on efforts to improve the infrastructure both in Central Florida and nationally.  Although leaving the Transportation Committee Chairmanship at the end of 2012, Mica continues to serve as a senior member on that panel and intend to provide leadership in setting sound national infrastructure policy.
In Central Florida, a significant number of development projects along SunRail’s route have created jobs and spiked economic activity with its successful launch.  Now, it is important that future links of the passenger rail system be expanded to serve other parts of the community and that our bus system is properly integrated so that residents can access lines in the currently limited corridor of service.  Mica strongly advocated the importance of SunRail Phase II’s inclusion in the 2015 Presidential Budget proposal, an important step to making this extension eligible for federal support, and it was included.
Additionally, Rep. Mica has discussed with local transportation leaders the possibility of using in the Central Florida SunRail system, six DMUs (diesel multiple units) that are property of the State of Florida and have been in service over the past decade in the South Florida Tri-Rail System.
The Congressman’s request is that consideration be given to using those cost effective and energy efficient self-propelled commuter rail passenger units as part of expanded SunRail service in Central Florida.  These DMUs will complete their decade of service and contract with Tri-Rail this December and could be made available to provide extended and special event service in our region prior to the opening of SunRail Phase II.
After using the DMUs over the next two years, these vehicles could be transferred to the Orange Blossom Express route, servicing Apopka, Tavares and Eustis, and other regional passenger rail lines as service is warranted, in that or other corridors.
Another initiative championed by Congressman Mica has been the expansion of the Orlando International Airport (OIA).  On July 11th, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced approval of OIA’s request for approval of an economic development plan to construct the new intermodal center and people mover connection to the new facility and future airport expansion.  This approval will allow the airport to generate over $396 million, which will be paid through passenger revenues collected for this project that finances future airport expansion.
Because many Central Floridians do not access SunRail or the interstate, an initiative Mica has undertaken involves adapting high-technology solutions to help manage congested traffic.  To move this project forward, the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is undertaking a comprehensive review of current practices by looking at adopting the latest traffic management systems available.  Many of our major arterial highways, including 436, 434, 50, 441 and other heavily traveled local routes, could see dramatic traffic improvements with better signalization and high-tech systems to improve traffic flow.
Congressman Mica’s accomplishments as leader of the Transportation Committee are a matter of record and include the successful passage some of the most significant measures adopted in the 112th Congress. Some of these include enacting a major highway and surface transportation bill, passing a long-stalled FAA bill that will now move America’s aviation industry forward, adoption of an important Coast Guard reauthorization, codifying significant pipeline safety legislation and passing a record number of other legislative initiatives. These measures continue to improve our nation’s infrastructure and competiveness, while expanding employment opportunities in the future. Mica and the Transportation Committee passed a total of 55 bills under the Committee’s jurisdiction in the House in the 112th Congress; of which 30 measures were signed into law. Please continue reading for a more comprehensive list of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s achievements during Congressman Mica’s leadership of that panel.