"This annual study is one more reminder of what Americans already know: Congestion is taking a major toll on our communities, our nation's economy and our personal lives.
"Because of congestion, we are wasting fuel, we are wasting dollars, and we are wasting time. High gas prices only worsen this crisis.
"The TTI report shows that public transportation services in America's most congested cities saved travelers 1.1 billion hours in travel time. The study found that the average annual delay per traveler has climbed from 16 hours in 1982 to 47 hours in 2003. Without public transportation, travel delays would have increased by 27 percent to 60 hours per traveler.
"Congress can do something about traffic gridlock by ending the legislative gridlock. We call on Congress to increase investment in public transportation and highways by reauthorizing the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century that is now before the Senate. The act expired in September 2003 and Congress has passed six extensions with the current one ending on May 31.
"Communities around the country have acted to reduce congestion and increase transportation options. Last November, over 80 percent of transportation initiatives were approved by voters from small towns to large urban areas. Congress is long overdue to do its part to meet the mobility needs of our citizens.
"Most Americans still do not have access to adequate public transportation despite the benefits it provides. It is estimated that only half of all American households live within walking distance to any public transit services. In small cities and rural areas, nearly two-thirds have few, if any options. In places with existing transit service, systems are having difficulty keeping pace with the strain created by record ridership, aging fleets and equipment, and demands for new services. The U.S Department of Transportation estimates that $20.6 billion in capital investment is needed each year to improve current transit facilities."
Click here to see the The 2005 Urban Mobility Report.