Paper Example on Legislative History of Transportation

Published: 2021-07-21
780 words
3 pages
7 min to read
Wesleyan University
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Transport systems are made up of infrastructures support and enhance mobility. Transport systems consist of systems or structures that improve mobility and provide support. The structures enable progress in the socio-economic aspects of people and various institutions (Muller, 2004). The analysis puts into view the background on current transportation systems and regulations in addition to a specific agenda on legislative history in transportation.

The transportation system in the U.S. can be viewed as multifaceted as it involves a variety of transport networks (Thompson, 2008). The establishment of mass transportation began in the 1630s in the United States and was marked with the use of horse cart and chartered ferry services; mainly in Boston. At the beginning of the 1800s, modern stagecoaches began to be used in Chicago, Boston, and New York in addition to other large cities in the U.S. By the 19th century, cable was drawn, and rail-based systems had been established in various cities. Also, private railroads had control of the suburban passenger services, intercity passenger trains, and the short-haul. At the onset of the 20th century, urban subways began cropping up in addition to buses that were motor-powered. The end of the Second World War resulted in the development of various powerful factors regarding transportation (Thompson, 2008). The rate of urbanization was gradually increasing by which when the increase is viewed to have shifted from 64% to 80% between the 1950s and currently. Another powerful factor was the development of a major program regarding highway especially since most people could access gasoline after the war. Another factor was the increase in transportation networks. Thompson (2008) states, , the advent of a major federal airport and airway building program in parallel with the introduction of highly efficient jet aircraft (the Boeing 707 followed by the 727 and later models) had the effect of shifting most long haul intercity passenger transport to airlines from rail and bus. The increase in personal income is also attributed to the progress from only using an individual automobile to air transport (Thompson, 2008). The current transportation system in the U.S. include; roads, airports, transit systems, tramways, ferries seaports and express ways (Rodrigue, 2016).

The regulation of transport systems in the U.S. is made by several government agencies. They include; the National Transportation Safety Board, the DOTs National Highway Safety Administration that ensures safety in the highways, Federal Aviation Administration that ensures safety of the aviation, the National Transportation Safety Board which is a private agency that deals with major accidents and so forth (US Department of Transportation, 2017). It can be perceived that each transport network has a governing body responsible for its operations and safety.

A specific agenda concerning the legislative history is the Safe Routes to School initiatives that operated from 2005 to 2012 (National Partnership, 2017). It was a standalone school program by the federal government that gave out more than a billion dollars funds to support the improvements of infrastructure and programming in all states. The view was to provide a safer environment for children when they are walking or cycling from home to school and from school to home (National Partnership, 2017). In 2012, the Congress enacted the MAP-21 bill on transport that made it necessary to make changes in the funds associated with walking, cycling and establishing safe routes for children when they head to school. The program was then put together with other programs associated with walking and cycling to establish the Transportation Alternatives Program (National Partnership, 2017). According to National Partnership (2017), This funding stream was locked in for five additional years--with some changes--when Congress passed a new transportation law, the FAST Act, in December 2015.

As stated earlier, the analysis puts into view the background on current transportation systems and regulations in addition to a specific agenda on legislative history in transportation. Transportation systems have undergone major developments, and possibly more advancements will occur in future due to the rapid technological advancements. The highlighted agenda in the analysis is the Safe Routes to School initiatives that operated from 2005 to 2012 which has proven to be useful from its inception.


Muller, P. O. (2004). Transportation and urban form-stages in the spatial evolution of the American metropolis. New York: Routledge.

National Partnership. (2017). Legislative History | Safe Routes to School National Partnership. Retrieved 11 September 2017, from, J. P., Comtois, C., & Slack, B. (2016). The geography of transport systems. New York: Taylor & Francis.

Thompson, S.L., (2008). Public Transportation in the U.S.: History and Current Status. Chevy Chase: Thompson Galenson and Associates.

US Department of Transportation. (2017). Transportation Safety Regulation in the United States Government. US Department of Transportation. Retrieved 11 September 2017, from

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