While millions of Americans were making their morning commute on public transportation today, I was meeting with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing to talk about the future of transit in the greater Detroit area.
I was happy to tell Governor Snyder and Mayor Bing that 16 Michigan transit projects were awarded a total of $46.7 million as part of the $928.5 million in total Federal Transit Administration Alternatives Analysis, Bus Livability, and State of Good Repair grants announced today for transit projects across the country.
“This is a significant investment in Michigan's future,” said Governor Snyder. “A modern transportation system is key to a stronger economy and enhanced quality of life in our state."
All told, these federal funds will go to more than 300 public transportation projects in urban, suburban, and rural areas, where they will help create jobs and make it easier for people to get where they're going.
The City of Detroit Department of Transportation will receive $6 million to replace buses that are beyond their useful lives. In Seattle, the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority will replace old buses with hybrids, providing safer, cleaner service to riders. In Pennsylvania, SEPTA will repair a century-old bus facility to ensure that it lasts well into the next 100 years.
The competition for these grants was steep; communities across the country submitted more than 800 project applications requesting nearly $5 billion for the transit upgrades they know they need.
It doesn’t have to be this way. As soon as Congress passes the American Jobs Act, we can put thousands of Americans across the country to work building a competitive, 21st century transportation network to move a competitive, 21st century economy.
Look, the reliability of America's transportation does not take care of itself. Our bus lines, railways and roadways require maintenance and improvements to keep America moving safely and efficiently. The American Jobs Act will hire American workers to upgrade 150,000 miles of road, replace 4,000 miles of track, and restore 150 miles of runways to reduce travel time and delays and improve safety nationwide.
The clock on much of our infrastructure is ticking. And, while Congress debates whether the President or his party should be allowed to pass any legislation at all, roads and bridges crumble----just look at the Sherman Minton Bridge over the Ohio River between Indiana and Kentucky--crumble.
At the same time, thousands of unemployed Americans are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work, but Congress continues to play a partisan game at their expense. The time is now. The opportunity is now. Lets pass this bill and put Americans to work.