It is hereby declared to be national policy that special effort should be made to promote commuter modes of transportation which conserve energy, reduce pollution, and reduce traffic congestion. The Secretary is directed to assist both public and private employers and employees who wish to establish carpooling and vanpooling programs where they are needed and desired, and to assist local and State governments, and their instrumentalities, in encouraging such modes by removing legal and regulatory barriers to such programs, supporting existing carpooling and vanpooling programs, and providing technical assistance, for the purpose of increasing participation in such modes.
The Secretary of Transportation is authorized to make grants and loans to States, counties, municipalities, metropolitan planning organizations, and other units of local and regional government consistent with the policy of subsection (d) of this section. Such grants and loans shall be awarded in a manner which emphasizes energy conservation, although the Secretary may use other factors as he deems appropriate. The Federal share of the costs of any project approved under this subsection shall not exceed 75 per centum. No grant awarded under this subsection may be used for the purchase or lease of vehicles.
There is hereby authorized to be appropriated, out of the Highway Trust Fund, not to exceed $1,000,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1979, $1,000,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1980, and $1,000,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1981, for expenditures incurred by the Secretary of Transportation in carrying out the provisions of subsection (d) of this section, and $3,000,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1979, and $9,000,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1980, for the purpose of carrying out the program described in subsection (e) of this section.
The Secretary of Transportation shall not approve any project under subsection (d) or (e) of this section or under section 146 of title 23
, United States Code; which will have an adverse effect on any mass transportation system.
The Secretary of Transportation is directed to study the administrative effectiveness of carpooling and vanpooling programs within the Department of Transportation, including programs of the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, and the Office of the Secretary. Such study shall be completed no later than September 30, 1979. Upon completion of such study, the Secretary shall propose a plan to centralize or modify such programs to make delivery of services and grants more efficient, more cost-effective, and to avoid duplication of effort. Such plan shall list statutory changes needed to implement such a plan, which shall be sent to Congress no later than March 30, 1980.”