In their 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure released today, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the U.S. public transportation infrastructure a “D” grade for the nation’s lack of investment. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) notes that this grade should provide a sense of urgency for our nation to focus on increased investment in public transportation. The rating is virtually unchanged from four years ago, which was the last time ASCE examined the state of America’s infrastructure. The report titled ‘Failure to Act, the Impact of Current Infrastructure Investment on America’s Economic Future’ also provided success stories of the positive impact of investment in public transit.
“I want to commend ASCE for highlighting the need for urgent investment in our nation’s public transportation infrastructure in their report,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. “The report shows that there are devastating consequences to our economy and to our mobility when we do not make investing in America’s infrastructure a priority.”
The “Failure to Act” report emphasizes that the American economy lost $90 billion in 2010 due to the lack of investment in public transportation. The report also shows that even though public transit ridership increased by 9.1 percent over the past decade, there are still 45 percent of Americans who lack access to public transit in their communities.
ASCE also highlighted examples of how public transportation can perform for America when key investments are made. The report noted Denver’s Eagle public-private partnership (P3) project. This was a first-of-its-kind agreement to design/build/finance/operate/maintain a $2.1 billion expansion of Denver’s public transit network. As the report notes, the Eagle P3 project will enable the Denver region to attract more residents and jobs. The report also discusses Los Angeles’ America Fast Forwardproject where investment in over $20 billion in new federal lending power will create 160,000 highway and public transit construction-related jobs and save an estimated 10.3 million gallons of gasoline annually.
“How many more reports do we need to tell us that we must make investing in America’s infrastructure a priority,” said Melaniphy. Our country must get serious about investing in infrastructure including public transportation. APTA strongly supports ASCE’s message that our country must act now to invest in the nation’s infrastructure. This is an investment in our economic future and essential for our mobility.”
Click here to watch an ASCE video of how investment in public transit impacts America.
Getting America to Work (GATW) is a broad coalition of commuters, business groups, officials and transportation agencies that support vital investments in public transit. For more information, visit www.GettingAmericaToWork.org.