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July 30, 2013

New app lets commuters email Congress about transportation woes

Building America’s Future (BAF) released a new mobile app called “I’m Stuck” that will allow delayed commuters around the country to directly and immediately email their U.S. Representative or Senator to share their frustration.

The messages to members of Congress will be titled “I’m Stuck” and will encourage the need for action for a long-term transportation and infrastructure plan. All of the BAF-generated messages will end with the tag line: “It’s important. It’s your decision. It’s past time.”

Every day, millions of Americans waste time, money and energy resources stuck in traffic, waiting for a bus running behind schedule, delayed on an airport tarmac or crammed into an overcrowded subway. According to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute Urban Mobility Report, the total financial cost of congestion on America’s roadways in 2011 was $121 billion. That translates to $818 per U.S. commuter.

The same report estimated that the fuel and pollution costs of congestion are substantial: 2.9 billion gallons of gasoline were wasted and an additional 380 pounds of carbon dioxide was emitted per auto commuter due to traffic congestion.

“Usually commuters think traffic is like weather- it is something that happens to them and they have no control over it. But that isn’t the case at all,” said Ed Rendell, co-chair of Building America’s Future. “The policies we put in place, or the lack of a coherent long-term infrastructure plan, directly impacts the daily experience of Americans trying to get around their communities. This app gives commuters and passengers a tool to voice their frustrations to Congress. It is called ‘I’m Stuck’ but the truth is America is stuck until Washington takes action.”

BAF believes that the nation’s transportation and infrastructure needs can be addressed, and Americans need to send a message to Congress that it is past time to act. The “I’m Stuck” app will allow users to immediately connect with their member of Congress to demand solutions to the infrastructure challenges that are keeping them from getting to their destination.

“We routinely hear from both sides of the aisle that they support fixing the problems that plague our roads, highways, bridges and tunnels but there usually isn’t the political will to step up and commit the funds that are necessary to solve these problems,” Rendell added. "‘I’m Stuck’ is going to bring elected officials closer to the people on the ground, experiencing the pain and frustration of outdated and overburdened transportation systems every day.”

BAF supports safe driving and is opposed to distracted driving. In creating this app, the organization made sure to remind users never to operate a mobile device while driving. After affirming that they are a passenger and not operating a vehicle, users will select how they are stuck — in traffic, on a tarmac, on a train, waiting for a bus or subway, etc. — from a menu of options. They can then either send a pre-generated message provided by BAF or tailor their own note to their U.S. Representative or Senator. Users are also encouraged to take photos of where they are stuck and share them on social media platforms.

The “I’m Stuck” app is available for free download in the app stores and on the BAF website. It will run on both Android and Apple devices.

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  • gerald cauthen[ July 30th, 2013 @ 12:03pm ]

    Step 1: put smart, experienced, conscientious people in charge of Transportation Agencies, as are evident in Europe, Japan and most other developed and developing countries. Get rid of cynical bureaucrats and the hacks. Step 2: in metropolitan areas, develop an efficient, effective, well-integrated network of public transit lines. Step 3: outlaw strikes by public employee unions of the type that shut down major public transit networks. Step 4: once effective non-automotive systems are reliably in place, gradually introduce incentives to encourage their increased use.

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