The State of Transportation
America’s transportation network is a vast system that connects people and places, moves goods and boosts our economy, and ensures our quality of life and safety. The country’s transportation system is comprised of roads, bridges, public transit, airports, ports, and interchanges affecting thousands of communities, multiple industries and job sectors.
“Today there are more than 4 million miles of road, 600,000 bridges, and 3,000 transit providers in the U.S. And yet, over the past 20 years, total federal, state, and local investment in transportation has fallen as a share of GDP – while population, congestion, and maintenance backlogs have increased,” according to “An Economic Analysis of Transportation Infrastructure Investment.”1
America has a new Congress, and a new president, Donald Trump, who have communicated a focus on transportation infrastructure and funding. The Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) Coalition is working collaboratively and continually to reinforce that a loss of assured revenue has led to a growing gap in transportation investment and a deteriorating system. Additionally, The State of Transportation Today in our nation requires that the local, state and federal components be understood and a range of solutions be explored.
On Dec. 4, 2015, President Barack Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (Pub. L. No. 114-94) – the first federal law in over a decade to provide long-term funding for surface-transportation infrastructure planning and investment, according to the Federal Highway Administration. The FAST Act authorizes $305 billion for fiscal years 2016-2020 in the form of funding and commitments toward highways, highway and motor vehicle safety, public transportation, motor carrier safety, hazardous materials safety, rail, and research, technology, and statistics programs. It also provides a dedicated source of federal dollars for freight projects.2
But the FAST Act will eventually expire. Therefore, new policy initiatives – and political courage that guarantees long-term funding – are needed if our country wants to remain economically vibrant, globally competitive and meet the needs of regional communities, from cities to rural towns.
The ATM’s website, fasterbettersafer.org, is a valuable resource that provides background, real stories about what is happening nationally, current information, resources and news. Content is also shared through multiple digital platforms to help focus on why transportation infrastructure and sound funding are critically important to our country and its citizens and businesses.