How to Solve a National Infrastructure Crisis
During a normal week, David Glazier's drivers cross the Memorial Bridge into and out of the nation's capital hundreds of times. But these aren't normal weeks.
Though you might not have heard, this Thursday marks an important event, Stand Up for Transportation Day.
Designed to place a spotlight on the country’s infrastructure, Stand Up for Transportation Day aims to draw our collective attention to the roads, bridges, and other facilities that serve as the foundation of commerce. Without well-maintained highways, there would be no trucking; without properly upgraded airports, there would be no air travel. Regardless of the business, industry relies on infrastructure as a competitive advantage in an increasingly globalized economy.
Yet most people don’t even give infrastructure a second thought until it fails. It’s only after a bridge collapses or a highway suffers severe weather damage that pressure mounts to replace and upgrade the roads and transportation systems that are so vitally important to our everyday lives.
It just so happens that infrastructure is a topic we like to cover on Free Enterprise, albeit with a twist on the usual narrative. For example, over the past year we’ve jumped headfirst into a number of topical stories, creating an infographic that showed just how important infrastructure is to our everyday lives and profiling Bridj, a Boston-based startup seeking to upend transportation as we know it.
Through our partnership with 1776, we’ve also highlighted a number of infrastructure-focused startups from around the world competing to be the winner of this year’s Challenge Cup. Some of the participants we’ve profiled from the competition include Tagaddod, an Egypt-based business that won the Energy category at the Amman Challenge Cup. The company, whose name means “renewable energy” in Arabic, turns used cooking oil into biodiesel.
Headquartered on the other side of the globe, EverCharge is another Challenge Cup startup we’ve covered on Free Enterprise. The San Francisco company aims to help electric vehicle owners who live and work in buildings that don’t have charging stations. The company provides an integrated solution for this rapidly growing group of people, offering charging services, insurance, maintenance, and even billing services.
We’ve also profiled our fair share of straight-up transportation stories. Among our favorites was our story on HNTB Corporation, a New York-based infrastructure firm that has pioneered accelerated bridge construction, which—as its name suggests—is substantially quicker than traditional technologies, enabling crews to fully replace bridges in as little as two days.
As these stories clearly demonstrate, no matter what you do, or where you live, infrastructure is critically important to your everyday life. So go forth and celebrate Stand Up For Transportation Day. Trust us, you won’t regret it.