To help meet increasing transportation demands, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) created three programs to invest federal funds in national and regional transportation infrastructure. This report provides: (1) an overview of the goals, funding status, and types of projects and activities funded by the three programs; (2) advantages and challenges identified by program stakeholders; and (3) potential program enhancements. The auditor reviewed pertinent federal laws and rules; examined plans for selected projects; conducted site visits; and interviewed officials, stakeholders, and experts. Includes recommendations. Charts and tables.
The U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) financial condition and outlook are deteriorating because revenues are not sufficient to cover its expenses and financial obligations. These challenges continue to threaten USPS's financial viability. USPS also faces cost pressures from maintaining a national network of processing, retail, and delivery operations. This testimony discusses: (1) updated information on USPS's financial condition and outlook; and (2) actions needed to modernize and restructure USPS. Charts and tables. This is a print on demand edition of an important, hard-to-find publication.
The U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) financial condition and outlook deteriorated significantly during FY 2009. USPS was not able to cut costs fast enough to offset declining mail volume and revenues resulting from the economic recession and changes in the use of mail, such as electronic bill payment. The USPS needs to restructure to improve its financial viability. Declines in mail volume and revenue, large financial losses, increasing debt, and financial obligations will continue to challenge USPS. This testimony provides: (1) info. on USPS's financial condition and forecast; and (2) the need for USPS restructuring. In addition, questions and issues are included for Congress to consider regarding USPS's proposal to reduce delivery from 6 to 5 days.
USPS's financial condition has deteriorated. Mail volume declined by a record 9.5 billion pieces (4.5%) in FY 2008, leading to a loss of $2.8 billion -- the second largest since 1971. This was largely due to declines in the economy, esp. in the financial and housing sectors, as well as shifts in transactions, messages, and advertising from mail to electronic alternatives. Declining mail volume flattened revenues despite rate increases, while USPS's cost-cutting efforts were insufficient to offset the impact of declining mail volume and rising costs in fuel and cost-of-living allowances for postal employees. This testimony focuses on: (1) USPS's financial condition and outlook; and (2) options for USPS to remain financially viable in the short and long term. Illus.
The recession accelerated declines in mail volume in FY 2008 and flattened revenues despite postal rate increases. That year, mail volume fell by 9.5 billion pieces, or 4.5%, and resulted in a net loss of $2.8 billion. USPS's financial condition has continued to deteriorate in the first 5 months of FY 2009, with accelerating declines in mail volume and financial losses. This testimony updates that info. and focuses on: (1) how USPS's financial viability is challenged given current economic conditions and whether USPS can cover its expenses and financial obligations; (2) USPS's opportunities to rightsize its retail and mail processing networks; and (3) what options and trade-offs need to be considered to address mail volume and revenue declines. Illus.
Through the statewide transportation planning process, states decide how to spend fed. transportation funds -- almost $46 billion in FY 2009. Draft legislation to reauthorize federal surface transportation legislation would, among other things, revise planning requirements to recognize states' use of rural planning org. (RPO) and require performance measurement. This report examined: (1) states' planning activities and RPOs' satisfaction that rural needs are considered; (2) states' planning challenges; (3) the U.S. Dept. of Transportation's approach to overseeing statewide planning; and (4) states' use of performance measurement and opportunities to make statewide planning more performance based. Tables. This is a print on demand report.