“A new 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard released today shows the urgent need for investment in public transportation and our road network. The report showed that traffic congestion caused drivers to waste more than 3 billion gallons of fuel and kept travelers stuck in their cars for nearly 7 billion extra hours. That is 42 hours per rush-hour commuter. The total nationwide price tag: $160 billion, or $960 per commuter.
Public transportation is effective in saving hundreds of millions of hours of delay and hundreds of millions of gallons of fuel. In fact without public transportation, our current congested roadways would surely be gridlock. In earlier data from the 2013 Urban Mobility Report, it showed that travelers would have suffered an additional 865 million hours of delay and consumed 450 million more gallons of fuel.
While we face the expiration of federal funding for the nation’s transportation infrastructure expiring on October 29, Americans recognize the urgent need to invest in public transportation for the many benefits it provides, which include economic benefits as well as relief from roadway congestion. According to a recent survey conducted by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the Mineta Transportation Institute, 75 percent of Americans support using tax dollars to improve public transportation, and close to 70 percent agree that Congress should increase the level of investment in public transportation infrastructure.
Americans realize our infrastructure needs must be addressed with long-term solutions. While other nations significantly invest in their transportation infrastructure, America now ranks 28th in infrastructure investment and continues to fall behind our global competitors. While we continue to sit in traffic, one has to ask, is this really the best America can do?
We urge lawmakers to pass a long-term revenue source this year that increases investment to support our nation’s transportation infrastructure. We must meet the demands of our population growth and our economic expansion. A mix of strategies including increased investment in public transportation is crucial to addressing our clogged and congested roadways.”
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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.