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Rail News: Passenger Rail
Nation's traffic congestion shows need for transportation infrastructure investment, APTA leader says
A new report on the increasing amount of time commuters spend in their cars demonstrates the "urgent need" for federal investment in public transportation and the nation's roads, the American Public Transportation Association's (APTA) top executive said yesterday.
APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Melaniphy said the new 2015 "Urban Mobility Scorecard" released yesterday by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute shows that traffic congestion caused drivers to be “stuck in their cars” for an extra 42 hours per commuter.
The report shows that investment in public transportation would help alleviate traffic congestion, save fuel and reduce commuting time, Melaniphy said in a prepared statement. He called on Congress to pass long-term surface transportation legislation that would fund improvements to public transit and roadways.
He also noted that a recent survey conducted by APTA and the Mineta Transportation Institute found that 75 percent of Americans surveyed supported using tax dollars to improve public transportation. Close to 70 percent said they agreed that Congress should increase federal funding of public transportation infrastructure.
"While other nations significantly invest in their transportation infrastructure, America now ranks 28th in infrastructure investment and continues to fall behind our global competitors," Melaniphy said. "While we continue to sit in traffic, one has to ask, is this really the best America can do?"
Increased investment and a combination of other strategies "is crucial to addressing our clogged and congested roadways," Melaniphy said.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.