U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters unveiled the Bush Administration’s new plan to refocus, reform and renew the national approach to highway and transit systems in the U.S.
The Secretary said the plan sets a course for reforming the nation’s transportation programs by outlining a renewed federal focus on maintaining and improving the Interstate highway system, instead of diverting funds for wasteful pet projects and programs clearly not federal priority areas, such as restoring lighthouses.
Addressing urban congestion and giving greater flexibility to state and local leaders to invest in their most-needed transit and highway priorities is another key focus of the reform plan, said Secretary Peters. Local leaders will have greater freedom and significantly more resources to fund new subways, bus routes or highways as they choose, based on the needs of local commuters instead of the dictates of Washington.
“Our plan will make it easier to pay for and build roads and transit systems. It will deliver fewer traffic tie ups, better transit services and a stronger economy. It will make our roads safer and give Americans new confidence that the money they invest in transportation will actually deliver results,” Secretary Peters said.
The Secretary said the plan lays out the Administrations’ framework for completely overhauling the way U.S. transportation decisions and investments are made, and is intended to spur local, state and federal debate about how best to incorporate the new reforms into surface transportation legislation slated to be considered by Congress in 2009. She will personally brief members of Congress on the contents of the plan this week.
A copy of the reform plan is available at www.fightgridlocknow.gov.