Washington, D.C. – In response to President Obama’s recently announced transportation infrastructure plan to expand and renew roads, railways and runways across the nation, transportation experts with the Bipartisan Policy Center’s National Transportation Policy Project released the following statement:
“We welcome President Obama’s call for renewed and thoughtful transportation investment. The President’s announcement provides the opportunity to put Americans back to work while beginning the process of fundamentally reforming the way the federal government invests in transportation,” said Emil Frankel, Director of Transportation Policy at the BPC. “We hope that these new resources can be used to develop strategic, mode-neutral transportation plans and programs that optimize performance across the entire system.”
“Given our nation’s current fiscal state, NTPP believes it is more important than ever that we invest transportation dollars wisely, efficiently, and in a way that supports long-term economic recovery while holding funding recipients accountable for results,” said JayEtta Hecker, Director of Transportation Advocacy at the BPC. “Any investment to modernize and repair the nation’s transportation system must extend beyond short-term ‘shovel-ready’ projects to create sustained job growth and should be targeted towards programs that generate economic, environmental, energy and safety benefits. We are supportive of the Administration’s efforts to invest in transportation without adding to the deficit. We believe these investments can be made fiscally sustainable by funding transportation primarily from user-based revenues.”
“We commend the President’s focus on system preservation and investments of national significance. NTPP specifically recommends that both new and existing transportation grantees be held accountable for demonstrating progress against specific metrics in the areas of economic growth, metropolitan accessibility, national connectivity, environmental protection and energy security, and safety,” said Joshua Schank, Director of Transportation Research at the BPC. “We look forward to helping President Obama, Secretary LaHood, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Congress with this new effort.”
NTPP has been advocating for a U.S. transportation program with clear metrics and incentives for the achievement of national goals since June 2009. In its most recent report, Transitioning to a Performance-Based Federal Surface Transportation Policy, NTPP recommends several steps that can be taken immediately, together with the President’s call for investment, to reform federal surface transportation policy. To learn more about NTPP, please visit www.bipartisanpolicy.org.
Ashley Clark, Press Secretary