It was very exciting to be in Charlotte, NC, yesterday to announce nearly $25 million in funding for the initial section of the Charlotte Streetcar project. But I’m also excited for the other cities across the country that could benefit from similar transportation investments proposed in the American Jobs Act.
The first 1.5-mile phase of the 10-mile streetcar line was funded by the Federal Transit Administration’s Urban Circulator Grant Program. We made $280 million in grants available for America’s cities to make their neighborhoods safer, healthier, more vibrant – and more connected. In this case, we’re connecting a number of important local destinations like the Charlotte Transportation Center, Presbyterian Hospital, and Central Piedmont Community College.
Whether it's to their friends and family or to shopping, work, or school, we’re making it easier for the people of Charlotte to get where they need to go.
Charlotte’s streetcars aren’t just a way to help people avoid the pain of the gas pump and the hassles of traffic and parking – they’re a path to economic recovery. Building the streetcars will require the efforts of capable construction professionals who are ready to work. And after they’re built, the areas around the stations will become walkable, livable community hubs with thriving businesses and services.
Transit is a proven way to boost growth and development.
And we can create even more jobs across America – if Congress passes the American Jobs Act, which includes a $50 billion immediate investment in construction jobs rebuilding America’s roadways, railways, transit systems, and airports.
President Obama believes that the best way to put America back to work is to invest in building and innovation to stay economically competitive.
And look, there’s a need for it. We've got growing population centers that need more transit options. We’ve got private companies with the equipment and the manpower to do the building. And we’ve got more than 1 million unemployed construction workers looking for jobs.
There’s work to be done and American workers ready to do it.
Labor and business are already on board with the American Jobs Act – now it’s up to Congress to get on board, too.