Washington, D.C.—Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton didn’t agree on much, but they were both strong supporters of transportation investment to create jobs and grow the American economy.
The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced the launch of a radio and television ad campaign featuring these presidential icons. The two groups aim to elevate transportation investment into the ongoing congressional debate about the federal budget and future investment priorities. They are calling on Congress to pass a well-funded, multi-year highway and public transportation bill this year. The surface transportation authorization legislation expired on September 30, 2009, and has been extended until September 2011.
In signing the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982, President Reagan said, “The state of our transportation system affects our commerce, our economy and our future. . .Common sense tells us that it will cost a lot less to keep the system we have in good repair than to let it disintegrate and have to start over from scratch. . .Clearly this program is an investment in tomorrow that we must make today.”
In signing the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century in 1998, President Clinton said, “Modernizing and building our roads, bridges and transit systems. . .connecting millions of Americans to the economic mainstream, ushering in two decades of unparalleled growth.”
“Presidents Reagan and Clinton remind us that transportation is a bipartisan issue,” said William Millar, president of the American Public Transportation Association. “We urge Congress and the Administration to set aside their differences and work together to pass a well-funded, multi-year, multimodal bill that will create jobs and build our economy. It’s a win-win for Congress, for the Administration and most importantly for the American people.”
“Presidents Reagan and Clinton knew, as did the nation’s Founding Fathers, that transportation infrastructure investment is a core function of the federal government,” ARTBA President & CEO Pete Ruane said. “It’s time for Congress and the President to embrace this responsibility. Transportation makes America work.”
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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products. More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.