There's been plenty of information lately on how much deficient transportation costs the U.S. whether in terms of lost lives, property damage, or congestion delays. There hasn't been enough discussion of the return on transportation investment. One group, FasterBetterSafer-Americans for Transportation Mobility, wants to change that.
FasterBetterSafer is sponsored by the US Chamber of Commerce, and today the Chamber is hosting the "Transportation is your business--Fly in." Over 100 business leaders from across the US are traveling to Washington, DC, to share their views on transportation policy with their Senators and Representatives.
These activists are asking Congress to include transportation reform in any reauthorization of transportation policy. They have 4 basic requests of their legislators:
- Explore all funding options--including raising user fees, encouraging private investment, and creating an infrastructure bank.
- Safeguard money collected from gas taxes and other fees for transportation-specific projects.
- Cut red tape associated with those projects.
- Address the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund immediately.
The point is simple: effective transportation improves economic growth--goods and services flow, productivity increases, American businesses maintain their competitiveness.
Plus, maintaining, improving, and expanding transportation infrastructure is itself a job creator; investing in transportation helps drive economic growth.
This has been the message of the President's stimulus program, but we now need motivated folks like the Americans for Transportation Mobility to carry this message into the surface transportation reauthorization process.
While we are all free to agree or disagree with FasterBetterSafer's agenda, we should all celebrate the access to our legislators the Constitution guarantees us.
Welcome to Washington; I hope your day is fruitful.