Broad Coalition Urges Congress to Take Swift Action on Transportation Investment
Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM), the transportation coalition that includes APTA, sent a letter to Congress on January 21 urging swift action on crucial investments in transportation.
The ATM letter notes that Congress' passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has supported and created more than 250,000 direct jobs and more than 760,000 jobs overall.
"The fact is that these investments provided a needed lifeline for the transportation construction industry and their suppliers, and we thank those members who supported these critical efforts," the letter states. "Transportation investment has been—and the ATM firmly believes should remain—a bipartisan issue because transportation investments improve the quality of life, safety, and economic competitiveness of all Americans."
ATM's membership runs the full gamut of the transportation sector and is organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It includes engineering associations, organized labor, contractors, building suppliers, distributors, and others.
The coalition's "Getting America Back to Work" web page offers highlights of ARRA investments and testimonials on the economic boon that ARRA has meant for communities around the nation.
Building America's Future Event Emphasizes Need for More Infrastructure Funding
At a news conference hosted by Building America's Future on January 20, a group including current and former members of Congress and other elected officials gathered on Capitol Hill to advocate for a national infrastructure bank.
The group included Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. They discussed the need for greater investment in the nation's infrastructure, including public transportation, and the role an infrastructure bank might play.
LaHood Announces Second Recommissioned Ferry to Provide Haiti Relief
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that the Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration is retrofitting a retired passenger and cargo ferry for carrying relief supplies to Haiti. The Alakai, a catamaran, served as a ferry in Hawaii but is currently berthed in Norfolk.
"This ship will help our relief workers on the ground by allowing quick movements of people in and out of Haiti from various staging points," LaHood said in a statement.
The Alakai will join five other Merchant Marine vessels in the relief effort, including another former Hawaiian ferry, the Huakai.
Save the Date
There is still time to register for the first-ever APTA/UIC High-Speed Rail Practicums next month in Washington, Chicago, and Los Angeles, featuring secretaries of transportation from Wisconsin, North Carolina, Ohio, and Florida.
In the Media
FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff wrote an opinion piece featured in The St. Paul Pioneer Press, in response to an earlier editorial from the newspaper's staff.
APTA President William Millar discussed the job-creation potential of high-speed rail in an interview with Environment and Energy TV.
The Wall Street Journal reported on the status of a high-speed rail link between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.