Rail

Coalition calls on next President, Congress to fix transportation

Posted on October 22, 2008

A coalition of policymakers, community and business leaders, activists and citizens issued a list of recommendations for the next President and Congress that calls for investment in public transportation and restoration of infrastructure.

The Transportation for America campaign (T4), which includes the North Carolina Public Interest Research Group (NCPIRG), unveiled, “Build for America: A Five-Point Plan to Get Our Economy Moving.”

“Americans are running on empty, with falling home values, rising gas prices and a lagging economy,” said Shelley Poticha, co-chair of T4 and president and CEO of Reconnecting America. “We’re here to say that we can start building a way out of this mess with a wise investment strategy.”

Build for America calls for investment in public transportation; high-speed and intercity rail; neighborhoods that are less car-dependent, more walkable and more affordable; and restoring the thousands of roads and bridges in failing condition across the United States, such as the Yadkin Bridge in eastern North Carolina.

Specifically, Transportation for America and its supporters are asking the next President and Congress to work together to:

1. Build to compete with China and Europe, by modernizing and expanding U.S. rail and transit networks to reduce oil dependence and connect the metro regions that are the engines of the modern economy.

2. Invest for a clean, green recovery through cleaner vehicles and new fuels, as well as the cleanest forms of transportation – modern public transit, walking and biking – and for energy-efficient, sustainable development.

3. Fix what's broken before building new roads and restore our crumbling highways, bridges and transit systems. 

4. Stop wasteful spending and re-evaluate projects currently in the pipeline to eliminate those with little economic return that could deepen our oil dependence.

5. Save Americans money by providing more travel and housing options that are affordable and efficient, while helping people to avoid high gas costs and traffic congestion. Save taxpayer dollars by asking the private developers who reap real estate rewards from new rail stations and transit lines to contribute toward that service.

“This is a bold agenda, but tough times call for bold action,” said Ashley Chase, Public Interest Advocate for NCPIRG. “By reaching across the aisle to implement better transportation investments in our cities and communities and across our states, we’ll help meet the unprecedented demand for quality public transportation choices, maintain our current system and create jobs that put Americans back to work.”

For more information or to download the complete Build for America booklet, please visit BuildforAmerica.Org.

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