Jul 01, 2015 - 1:15pm

Why You're Stuck in Traffic and What It's Costing You

We all know what it’s like to be in traffic… but what is it costing you and your business? Janet Kavinoky discusses the impact of our failing infrastructure – from vehicle repairs to shipping delays – and the opportunities that come from increased investment (read: job creation and HUGE savings in the shape of reduced fuel consumption, road maintenance, etc.). Bonus question: How does a transportation policy expert meet her husband? Join us to find out.

HOST:

Tina Johnson-Marcel, Senior Director, Digital Content, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

GUEST:

Janet Kavinoky, Executive Director, Transportation & Infrastructure and Vice President, Americans for Transportation Mobility Coalition, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

00:12 Tina Johnson-Marcel: Since most businesses are still a few years off from doing all of their transactions by drone, it's probably safe to say that for most business owners, our nation's infrastructure is critical to your supply chain. Whether you're picking up materials from the hardware store, or shipping goods with a national carrier, traffic jams and pot holes are costing your business money, lots of it. Deficiencies in America's surface transportation system cost households and businesses more than $130 billion, including $32 billion in travel time delays. There have been some recent debates in Congress over funding our nation's infrastructure. To help make sense of these debates and the implications, I've invited Janet Kavinoky to be our guest on the show. Janet is an expert in transportation policy, funding, and finance with the US Chamber of Commerce. Thanks for being here today, Janet.

Janet Kavinoky: Thanks for having me, Tina.

Johnson-Marcel: Great. Let's start with some context. How important is a strong infrastructure to job growth, business growth, and GDP?

Janet Kavinoky: The US Chamber took a look at the connection between a well-performing infrastructure, something that is efficient, reliable, predictable, has enough capacity for future growth, and where roads and rails and runways exist where they need to be today, and what we found is there's a really strong correlation between GDP, our domestic growth, and transportation. We also know there's a really strong correlation between where infrastructure's strong, and where foreign companies choose to invest in the United States. But on a more personal level, I recently testified at the Senate Banking committee about public transportation, and we talked about Salt Lake City, which really attributes drawing companies like Adobe, Goldman Sachs, companies from across the spectrum, EA, to Salt Lake City because people can come there and have a high quality of life, but they can get around. They've got a major airport, they have public transportation, they have the roads they need. So it's a critical part of local and regional economic development, but it's also as central to us projecting our economic power in the global economy...

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