Roads, Bridges and Transit Systems - The Clock is Ticking
Time is running out for our nation’s highway and public transportation programs. Today begins the one year countdown to the expiration of the existing highway and transit law, SAFETEA-LU. Signed into law in 2005, SAFETEA-LU fails to address many of the challenges that our transportation system faces today.
- Safety: 42,642 people died on our nation’s highways in 2006, according to the Department of Transportation. Investments in road improvements and maintenance save lives.
- Congestion: In the country’s most congested areas, rush hour commuters spend the equivalent of almost eight work days stuck in traffic. Traffic congestion hurts air quality and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.
- A Drag on the Economy: A decaying surface transportation system costs the U.S. economy $78 billion annually in lost time and fuel.
The new Congress and the new administration must hit the ground running in 2009 and prepare to invest in America’s future with a new highway and transit bill. The nation needs reformed legislation that increases investment to improve and expand our highways, bridges and public transit systems that take us to work, take our children to school, and move goods to the shelves of our local shops.
- Economic Stability: Improving transportation systems generates commerce opportunities we cannot afford to miss – especially in the current economic climate. Each $1 billion in federal highway investment accompanied by the state match supports 34,779 jobs and every dollar invested in public transportation generates about $6 in economic returns.
- Environment, Energy, Efficiency and Safety: Effective planning will streamline transportation, saving time and money, and improving safety. (Source: Texas Transportation Institute)
We simply can't afford to let our transportation needs continue unattended. Congress must pass legislation by September 30, 2009, that increases and improves investment in America’s transportation systems that will carry our nation and its growing economy through the 21st Century.