As President Obama made clear in his State of the Union Address, if America hopes to win the future, we must out-build and out-innovate the rest of the world in order to grow our economy and create jobs. Investing in a modern transportation network is a perfect example of how we can equip future generations to compete in a global economy.
One part of the President's plan is to promote more efficient, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly public transportation opportunities. The Administration’s 2012 budget proposal recommends 28 important transit construction projects across the United States that will improve transit service for millions of Americans.
And once these projects are under construction, they’ll generate hundreds of thousands of jobs in cities and towns across the country.
Construction on the Sound Transit University of Washington station
Adding transit opportunities is an all-around win for our nation. Even as these new transit lines increase our mobility--giving millions of people more options for getting to jobs, doctors, grocery stores, and other essential services--they also help reduce our energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Improved transit access also supports economic development. For example, one of the new projects, extending rail service through Silicon Valley in San Jose, California, will help innovative, high-tech companies attract and retain a talented workforce.
In some cases, new construction allows communities to extend transit lines that have already proven to be engines of economic growth. The President's plan will help the cities of Portland and Milwaukie, Oregon, extend a successful light rail line into new markets along the South Waterfront and beyond.
And for some Americans, transit is the only way to get around, so any improvement in transit services means improved access to work and community colleges. When we help bring bus rapid transit service to the hard-working families along Division Avenue in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we'll make it easier for this transit-dependent community to get to jobs and hospitals they couldn't otherwise reach.
Now, the President also understands we have to start living within our means, and begin tightening our belts to reduce our debt. That’s why the President’s budget cuts wasteful spending and makes tough choices about some things we can’t afford, while keeping the investments we need to grow the economy and create jobs.
Transit provides crucial access to economic opportunities, goods and services for millions of Americans, and we are proud to play a supporting role in the President's strategy to "win the future."