Thoughts on the State of the Union and Transportation Infrastructure

January 26, 2011

ACE is on the Executive Committee of Transportation for America (T4A) and participates in T4A’s Equity Caucus. The Equity Caucus released this statement about President Obama’s State of the Union address:

We applaud President Obama's State of the Union call for smart, targeted transportation investments that connect all Americans to opportunity.

The infrastructure Americans build, operate, and repair today will create jobs now and lay the foundation for a competitive and prosperous tomorrow. But our inadequate, outdated, and underfunded transportation systems are keeping too many struggling Americans—young and old, rural and urban—from fully connecting and contributing to the national economy.

Millions of Americans rely exclusively on public transit, walking, or biking to get to work, to the doctor’s office, to school, and to the grocery store. Nearly 20 percent of African American households, 14 percent of Latino households, and 13 percent of Asian households live without a car. Fifteen percent of Native Americans must travel more than 100 miles to access basic services.
Smarter transportation investments can unleash the under-realized economic power of communities across America.

We look forward to working with President Obama and Congress to move forward a surface transportation authorization in 2011 with investments that:
•,Create affordable and flexible transportation options for everyone, regardless of income, race, age, disability, or background;
•,Create, protect, and ensure fair access to quality jobs, training, and contracting opportunities in the transportation industry;
•,Promote healthy, safe, and inclusive communities with housing opportunities for families of all incomes; and
•,Encourage fair and transparent investment of public dollars invested in transportation.

The American people want these changes, too. A recent Transportation for America poll revealed that more than two-thirds say they "would like more transportation options."

By investing in transportation projects, America can get people back to work now, lay a strong foundation for future economic growth, and expand opportunity for millions of people. But we must target our investments equitably to the people and places that need them the most.

Americans are ready to get back to work building our future.