WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama spent his Labor Day pushing a new US$50 billion vision for revamping America’s crumbling transportation infrastructure. The President has called for a push to build or repair 150,000 miles of roads, 4,000 miles of railway, and 150 miles of runway, along with an update to the air traffic control systems.
AAA’s President & CEO Bob Darbelnet released the following statement in response to this action:
“AAA supports President Obama’s effort to focus on transportation investment as a positive way to further accelerate economic recovery and enhance our nation’s global competitiveness. The backlog of transportation needs and the benefits of transportation investment have been clearly demonstrated in recent years.
“It is encouraging that after a year of surface transportation program extensions, the administration has begun to articulate its vision of a comprehensive multi-year approach. We look forward to reviewing the details of this proposal and working with both the President and Congress to enact robust, reformed transportation legislation.
“Over the past two years through our “Making America Stronger” campaign, AAA has been educating the public about the need for greater investment and significant reforms in the federal transportation program to ensure greater accountability and measurable improvements to the system. With over 37,000 lives lost on our roadways each year, it is time for both political parties to come together in a bipartisan fashion and act in the interests of all Americans.
“We recognize that these reforms and innovations will not be cheap. There is no “free money” with which to fulfill our nation’s infrastructure needs. Creating a new infrastructure bank alone will not do the trick. That’s why AAA has not taken any funding options off the table – including an increase in the federal gasoline tax – in order to pay for a reformed federal program. Keeping the surface transportation program user-funded is especially important in the face of expected future federal deficit pressures.”