U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx called on Congress to pass the GROW AMERICA Act, the Administration’s four-year, $302 billion proposal to invest in the nation’s transportation network, during a visit to Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp., U.S.A.’s plant in Lincoln, Neb.
The GROW AMERICA Act would substantially increase funding for public transportation to boost work at plants like Kawasaki, while strengthening the existing Buy America laws to expand U.S. manufacturing opportunities across the entire domestic supply chain. Secretary Foxx was joined by Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler and Kawasaki leadership.
“Sadly, when Congress fails to act, they create economic uncertainty for the millions of Americans who depend on a reliable transportation network to get to work, school, or a doctor appointment, but also at the kitchen tables of Lincoln families who need to know where and when the next vehicle order will come from to make ends meet,” said Secretary Foxx.
The Kawasaki facility in Lincoln employs approximately 1,600 people across the campus, where a dedicated force of 439 Nebraskans are building the next generation of metro railcars for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) and New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Metro North Railroad.
Metro’s Series 7000 railcars will begin to replace the older Series 1000 railcars recommended for removal from service by the National Transportation Safety Board following the Ft. Totten Red Line Crash in June 2009. The Federal Transit Administration provided more than $100 million for the purchase of the replacement vehicles.
Kawasaki is also nearing completion of the final two dozen M8 railcars of a 366 vehicle order that will serve Metro-North Railroad from Grand Central Station along the New Haven Line in Connecticut.
The $302 billion, four-year transportation reauthorization proposal would provide increased and stable funding for the nation’s highways, bridges, transit and rail systems without contributing to the deficit. The proposed legislation also includes several critical program reforms to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of federal highway, rail and transit programs.
Overall, GROW AMERICA would increase average transit spending by nearly 70% annually by investing $72 billion over four years into transit systems and expand transportation options for all Americans.