President Obama Announces Commitment to Rebuilding Nation’s Aging Transportation System
October 21, 2010 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
Following up on his Labor Day announcement calling for a $50 billion transportation and infrastructure investment, President Obama last week met with a group of governors and mayors to affirm his commitment to a bipartisan six-year plan for strengthening the nation's aging system of roads, railways, and airports.
The plan, which envisions a new national "infrastructure bank," includes rebuilding 150,000 miles of roads, constructing and maintaining 4,000 miles of railway, and restoring 150 miles of runways.
"By making these investments across the country, we won't just make our economy run better over the long haul – we'll create good, middle-class jobs right now," Obama said in a statement.
The group also discussed a new report by the Treasury Department and the Council of Economic Advisers that analyzes the need for, and economic impact of, strengthening the nation's infrastructure. In addition to creating well-paying jobs, the analysis shows that investing in modern mass transit systems could lead to significant savings for families and provide greater job mobility, especially for families that cannot afford the costs of automobile transportation. According to the Treasury Department's analysis, the average American family's transportation expenses are more than $8,600 a year, which is "one-third more than they spend on food."
Advocating for transportation policies that address the needs of all communities is a top priority for The Leadership Conference and its partners in the Transportation for America Equity Caucus. The Caucus concentrates on helping low-income families and people of color gain access to quality transportation options that are both reliable and affordable.