One of the goals of the National Transportation Infrastructure Day will be to convey a consistent, simple, and clear message in every community where events are conducted. The following is an example of talking points that might be used for the day but also at all other events leading up to it:
Talking Points for Stand Up for Transportation Day
- Public transit and highway grants funded from the Highway Trust Fund cannot be made without an authorization bill. Congress needs to pass a new surface transportation authorization before MAP 21 expires on May 31!
- Congress needs to pass new legislation to authorize the continuation of those programs beyond May, 2015.
- Show how public transportation spurs growth in your community, using Where Public Transportation Goes, Community Grows message.
- Outline how your community will be at risk if there is no federal funding, i.e., service reductions, layoffs, stoppage of projects, etc.
- Emphasize the uncertainty in planning projects that comes with no long-term infrastructure funding commitment.
- Emphasize that real, long-term job creation in public transportation comes with predictable funding, so that agencies and businesses can do better long-term growth planning.
- The economic benefit that comes with infrastructure investment is indisputable. For every $1 invested, there is $4 in economic benefits.
- Most people believe that we need to maintain and improve the transportation systems that serve the nation in so many ways. Costs associated with our public transportation systems include:
- An $86 billion one-time cost to bring the nation’s existing transit infrastructure into a state of good repair;
- The annual cost of maintaining the existing system and doing normal replacement of aging buses, rail cars, and facilities;
- The cost of expanding public transportation facilities in growing communities;
- The costs of maintaining our aging roads and bridges;
- Public transportation provides much needed mobility in large metropolitan regions, medium and small cities, and rural communities.
- While passenger fares, combined with state and local funding, pay for more than 80% of the $61 billion in public transit expenditures each year, federal spending is a critical part of paying for capital and operating expenses at public transportation systems nationally.
- We strongly urge the U.S. Congress, to enact a new multi-year authorization bill that provides dedicated funding for the Highway Trust Fund, to pay for the current federal transit program and the growth of that program for transit and highway infrastructure needs.
- We also support federal legislation for the creation of an integrated network of intercity passenger rail services, with dedicated revenues, other than those currently supporting the Highway Trust Fund, for such a program.