Transportation Performance Index: Call to Action

Sunday, August 5, 2012 - 8:00pm

Prosperity and job growth emanate from the private sector. The government’s role is to establish an environment for the private sector to do what it does best. When it comes to the nation’s transportation system, the federal government plays a significant role in policy and funding. This Transportation Performance Index demonstrates and documents the urgent need for serious policy reforms and additional investments to improve performance.

When Congress and the administration take vacations from their responsibilities by extending laws instead of doing the tough work of finding solutions, the performance of the transportation system suffers. It’s time for them to get back to work and take on the three big questions: How to invest? How much? From what sources?

The first order of business is for Congress and the administration to act on the following:

  • Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) reauthorization 
  • Water Resources Development Act
  • Freight Rail Infrastructure Capacity Expansion Act

Congress and the administration must also act on the infrastructure-related aspects of Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization including aircraft and air traffic control equipage. Together, these actions must create a clear plan for comprehensive improvement and investment in all aspects of the transportation system in the national interest. There must be a framework for state and local government and private sector decision making that supports economic growth through better system performance. And there has to be enough funding and financing to get the job done; this, of course, means taking on the difficult task of finding revenue, even in tough times, and finding new ways to encourage private investment.

The benefits are clear: Investment not only supports jobs in the near term, but improved transportation performance boosts economic growth and U.S. competitiveness over the long term.
 

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