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Peters unveils new highway, transit plan

ATLANTA, July 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. interstate system, congestion and transit are key points to a "better approach" to transportation matters, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said.

"Without a doubt, our federal approach to transportation is broken," Peters said in a speech at Atlanta. "And no amount of tweaking, adjusting or adding new layers on top will make things better. It is time for a new, a different and a better approach."

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Peters said the plan would reform the nation's transportation programs renewing federal focus on maintaining and improving the interstate highway system, addressing urban congestion and providing flexibility to local governments to invest what they determine are their greatest transit and highway priorities.

The reform plan would reduce more than 102 federal transportation programs into eight comprehensive, inter-modal programs, she said.

Peters said the plan outlines the Bush administration's concept for overhauling how U.S. transportation decisions and investments are made.

"While I understand that this plan represents a significant departure from the status quo, I hope that Congress will shed partisan labels and come together to consider a piece of legislation that will keep our transportation system viable well into the next decade," she said.

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