For two years and counting, Transportation for America has been among the Department of Transportation’s closest partners and allies. They’ve helped us spread our message – reminding people that transportation projects are about creating jobs today and investing in tomorrow. And they’ve helped inform our policymaking – from our high-speed rail initiative, to our TIGER program, to our work building livable communities.
This afternoon, I’m meeting with Transportation for America to talk about President Obama’s vision for the future of our roadways, railways, runways, and transit systems. I’m going to remind them – as I often remind readers of the Fast Lane – that at the same time as we’re cutting government spending, we’re also laying a new foundation for economic opportunity, development, and competitiveness. And that’s why we’re working with Republicans and Democrats in Congress on a new, long-term transportation law.
As I’ve said before, this is one transportation project that America cannot do without.
By 2050, the United States will be home to 100 million additional people. That's the equivalent of another California, Texas, New York, and Florida combined. If we settle for the status quo, our families and neighbors will fight paralyzing congestion and our next generation of entrepreneurs will find access to markets completely clogged.
More people also means more demand for gas. And that will keep upward pressure on the prices that Americans pay at the pump. Already, families across the country are feeling the pinch of $4-a-gallon gas, and they are looking for ways to escape that difficult bind. They want ways to get to work and school without breaking the bank.
That means we have a lot of work to do –here at the US Department of Transportation, at the state departments of transportation, at metropolitan and regional planning organizations, and among contractors, suppliers, engineers, and other workers.
So, my message for Transportation for America – and all our friends in the advocacy community – is simple: We’re counting on your help. We need you to keep spreading the word about why this all matters. We need you to keep pushing to make the president’s bold vision into a reality. And when we do, the future will be America’s to win.