BTS Outreach and the Investment in Infrastructure and Jobs Act
The Investment in Infrastructure and Jobs Act (IIJA), 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.
Section 25003 (see below) of the law assigns the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) the specific task of reaching out to planning and infrastructure decision-making officials in all levels to determine the data analysis tools needed to assist decision-makers.
As we develop the outreach strategy to fulfill that responsibility, we encourage planners, decision-makers, and others to submit ideas, comments, and suggestions for new data analysis tools and for our outreach efforts via our webform.
Investment in Infrastructure and Jobs Act of 2021
SEC. 25003. FEDERAL SUPPORT FOR LOCAL DECISIONMAKING.
(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 decisionmaking officials in units of local government and other units of government, including a geographically diverse group of individuals from—
- political subdivisions of States;
- metropolitan planning organizations;
- regional transportation planning organizations; and
- federally recognized Indian Tribes.
(b) WORK PLAN.—
- 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.
- 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); H. R. 3684—411
(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).
- (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).