February 16, 2009
Biden: Invest Now in Transportation Infrastructure
Vice President Joe Biden and other dignitaries—emphasizing the critical importance public transit holds in America—recently spoke about the need to invest in public transportation infrastructure at the Maryland Transit Administration’s MARC commuter rail station in Laurel, MD.
Biden noted that the economic stimulus package will work to create and save three to four million jobs, 70,000 of which are in Maryland—but, he added, “only if and when we pass the bill.”
The vice president said that 400,000 jobs will be created over the next two years nationwide if America invests in improving and upgrading the nation’s infrastructure, including public transportation systems as well as highways, bridges, and ports.
Also during the event, Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) noted that the Laurel station was built in 1884 by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and is the busiest on MARC’s Camden Line. He stressed the urgency of Congress taking “bold federal action” on a bill “targeted to the investments America needs to compete internationally…Maryland will put the money to work immediately.”
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said the infrastructure bill would support investments that would help more than two million Maryland residents. “If Congress truly wants an end to the recession, it will make these investments today,” he stated.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood called for establishing “a foundation for sustained economic growth.”
The event in Laurel was just one stop of many that President Barack Obama and Biden are making to drive home the critical need for infrastructure investment as a core element of jumpstarting the nation’s economy.
For example, on Feb. 11, Obama traveled to the Fairfax County Parkway – just outside Washington, DC – with Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, his choice to head the Democratic National Committee. The trip underscored how highway, bridge, public transit, and other public works projects could quickly create many jobs. The previous day, during a town hall meeting in Fort Myers, FL, Obama made a case for high-speed rail and public transportation, saying the days of sprawl are over and adding: “Everyone recognizes that’s not a good way to design communities.”
Also on Feb. 11, LaHood met with more than 40 leaders of state DOTs from across the country in preparation for final passage of the economic recovery bill.