49 USC 5301 - Policies, findings, and purposes

(a) Development and Revitalization of Public Transportation Systems.— 
It is in the interest of the United States, including its economic interest, to foster the development and revitalization of public transportation systems that
(1) maximize the safe, secure, and efficient mobility of individuals;
(2) minimize environmental impacts; and
(3) minimize transportation-related fuel consumption and reliance on foreign oil.

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(b) General Findings.— 
Congress finds that
(1) more than two-thirds of the population of the United States is located in rapidly expanding urbanized areas that generally cross the boundary lines of local jurisdictions and often extend into at least 2 States;
(2) the welfare and vitality of urban areas, the satisfactory movement of people and goods within those areas, and the effectiveness of programs aided by the United States Government are jeopardized by deteriorating or inadequate urban transportation service and facilities, the intensification of traffic congestion, and the lack of coordinated, comprehensive, and continuing development planning;
(3) transportation is the lifeblood of an urbanized society, and the health and welfare of an urbanized society depend on providing efficient, economical, and convenient transportation in and between urban areas;
(4) for many years the public transportation industry capably and profitably satisfied the transportation needs of the urban areas of the United States but in the early 1970s continuing even minimal public transportation service in urban areas was threatened because maintaining that transportation service was financially burdensome;
(5) ending that transportation, or the continued increase in its cost to the user, is undesirable and may affect seriously and adversely the welfare of a substantial number of lower income individuals;
(6) some urban areas were developing preliminary plans for, or carrying out, projects in the early 1970s to revitalize their public transportation operations;
(7) significant public transportation improvements are necessary to achieve national goals for improved air quality, energy conservation, international competitiveness, and mobility for elderly individuals, individuals with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged individuals in urban and rural areas of the United States;
(8) financial assistance by the Government to develop efficient and coordinated public transportation systems is essential to solve the urban transportation problems referred to in clause (2) of this subsection; and
(9) immediate substantial assistance by the Government is needed to enable public transportation systems to continue providing vital transportation service.

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(c) Rapid Urbanization and Continuing Population Dispersal.— 
Rapid urbanization and continuing dispersal of the population and activities in urban areas have made the ability of all citizens to move quickly and at a reasonable cost an urgent problem of the Government.
(d) Elderly Individuals and Individuals With Disabilities.— 
It is the policy of the Government that elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities have the same right as other individuals to use public transportation service and facilities. Special efforts shall be made in planning and designing public transportation service and facilities to ensure that public transportation can be used by elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities. All programs of the Government assisting public transportation shall carry out this policy.
(e) Preserving the Environment.— 
It is the policy of the Government that special effort shall be made to preserve the natural beauty of the countryside, public park and recreation lands, wildlife and waterfowl refuges, and important historical and cultural assets when planning, designing, and carrying out a public transportation capital project with assistance from the Government.
(f) General Purposes.— 
The purposes of this chapter are
(1) to assist in developing improved public transportation equipment, facilities, techniques, and methods with the cooperation of both public transportation companies and private companies engaged in public transportation;
(2) to encourage the planning and establishment of areawide public transportation systems needed for economical and desirable urban development with the cooperation of both public transportation companies and private companies engaged in public transportation;
(3) to assist States and local governments and their authorities in financing areawide public transportation systems that are to be operated by public transportation companies or private companies engaged in public transportation as decided by local needs;
(4) to provide financial assistance to State and local governments and their authorities to help carry out national goals related to mobility for elderly individuals, individuals with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged individuals; and
(5) to establish a partnership that allows a community, with financial assistance from the Government, to satisfy its public transportation requirements.