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As much as $24.5 billion is needed per year to improve the condition of transit-rail and bus systems, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) latest report on the conditions and performance of the nation's highways, bridges and transit systems.The "2013 Status of the Nation's Highways Bridges and Transit: Conditions and Performance" report confirms that more investment is needed to maintain and improve the nation's transportation infrastructure, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a press release."We have an infrastructure deficit in this country, and we need to create more jobs – improving our roads, bridges, and transit systems will provide help on both fronts," he said.Based on 2010 data, the report estimates all levels of government would need to spend between $123.7 billion and $145.9 billion annually to both maintain and improve the condition of roads and bridges alone. In 2010, federal, state and local governments combined spent $100.2 billion on that infrastructure, including $11.9 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars.The report also finds that the nation's state-of-good-repair and preventive maintenance backlog for transit is at an all-time high $86 billion, and is growing by $2.5 billion each year. An additional $8.2 billion over current spending levels from all levels of government is needed annually to reduce the backlog over the next 20 years, USDOT officials said.While some transit systems still are operating rail cars that are more than 30 years old, more than three-quarters of repair needs involve other facets of U.S. transit systems, such as rail stations, trestles and power substations, the report states. Meanwhile, state and local governments are shouldering more than half the cost of annual investments to preserve and grow the nation’s transit systems, the report adds.
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