March 1, 2010
Visit the classifieds to find numerous job opportunities, including executive director of a state transit association and transit system assistant general managers!
House Panel Reviews ARRA’s First Year
The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held a hearing Feb. 23 to review the success of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in funding transportation projects to support and create jobs in the year since its passage.
Committee Chairman James L. Oberstar (D-MN) noted that ARRA has made possible 10,348 transportation projects around the nation. “These projects have created or sustained nearly 300,000 direct, on-project jobs. Total employment from these highway, transit, and wastewater infrastructure projects, which includes direct, indirect, and induced jobs, reaches over 938,000,” he said.
In turn, he continued, these jobs contributed to the nation’s tax rolls—amounting to $310 million in payroll taxes paid and $254 million in unemployment compensation saved.
“Those are real accomplishments,” Oberstar said, because they “translate into lives restored, home mortgages being paid, kids being sent to school ... health insurance being restored. But we need to go on from there.”
Oberstar stressed that the Senate must expedite its passage of a jobs bill, and Congress must approve a long-term surface transportation authorization bill to ensure that these jobs remain in place.
The chairman noted that ARRA has enabled public transportation to move its infrastructure closer to a state of good repair. According to the Federal Transit Administration, ARRA has enabled the purchase and rehabilitation of 10,561 public transit vehicles, 613 railcars or locomotives, and rehabilitation of 2,325 passenger and 202 maintenance facilities.
Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari was among those testifying at the hearing. “These projects represent more than just infrastructure improvements; these projects are helping communities throughout the nation,” he said, citing the public transportation vehicle purchases made possible by ARRA. “These purchases support domestic manufacturing jobs right here in America,” he said.
Porcari added: “The high-speed rail capability is one of the most exciting portions of the Recovery Act for us. That $8 billion provided to the Federal Railroad Administration is a substantial down payment on a large high-speed rail corridor network across the country.”