Support continues to be voiced for a proposal by President Obama, announced Monday, to invest $50 billion in U.S. infrastructure needs, including rail. Late Tuesday American Public Transportation Association President William Millar issued a statement saying, “On behalf of the more than 1,500 members of the American Public Transportation Association, I applaud President Obama for putting transportation infrastructure investment, including public transportation and high speed rail, on the national agenda [Monday] in his speech in Milwaukee.
“I commend the president’s vision of a world class infrastructure system and his call to enact a new, six-year transit and highway authorization bill which expands public transit systems, dedicates significant new funds to the New Starts program, and commits to building on the previously announced investments in high speed and intercity passenger rail,” Millar said.
“The proposed upfront investment of $50 billion will jumpstart job creation and is a good first step toward addressing our country’s high unemployment. For every $1 billion invested in U.S. public transportation, 36,000 jobs are supported and created. Also, the introduction of high speed rail is creating a new industry of jobs for America’s workers.
“This authorization legislation can’t happen fast enough. It will put Americans back to work to build and maintain our country’s woefully underfunded transportation infrastructure,” said Millar.
As well, David A. Raymond, president and CEO of the American Council of Engineering Companies, voiced support for the proposal, calling it “critically needed.” But, Raymond said, the proposal “should be coupled with a renewed effort to pass surface transportation, aviation, and water infrastructure bills currently stalled in Congress.” ACEC is the business association of the nation’s engineering industry, claiming to represent more than 5,500 member firms nationwide.
The support offered by APTA and ACEC followed similar sentiments issued by others earlier Tuesday, including the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the American Society of Civil Engineers, Amtrak, Building America's Future, and the Transportation Equity Network.