As President Obama has said time and time again, a modern transportation network is essential if we want to out-build and out-compete the rest of the world. After all, the investments we make today don't just improve how we move people and goods--they lay the groundwork for our long-term economic success.
Yesterday, I announced $1.58 billion in funding for 27 major transit projects across the country--from New York City, Orlando, and Denver to Dallas, Seattle, Honolulu, and many more. It's part of the Federal Transit Administration's New Starts program, which provides federal support for major capital construction projects like subways, light rail, streetcars, and bus rapid transit.
These transit investments will improve public transportation access for millions of Americans--all while reducing our dependence on foreign oil, curbing air pollution, and easing pain at the gas pump.
In Denver, the Eagle Commuter Rail project will add more than 30 miles to Denver's transit system and connect the downtown area with Denver International Airport to the east and the communities of Adams, Arvada, and Wheat Ridge to the west. This project is expected to create 5,400 jobs during peak construction and is just one part of FasTracks, a multi-billion dollar, multi-year transit expansion program that will help Denver compete economically for decades to come.
And in Minnesota, the 11-mile Central Corridor light rail project will connect the state's two largest cities--Minneapolis and St. Paul--by light rail for the first time. This new line, which is scheduled to open in 2014, will carry 40,000 riders each day and include 18 new stations and 31 new rail cars.
These are just a few of the 27 projects that will give people more transportation options, create jobs, and spur economic development in communities nationwide.