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Shut-down Crisis Reveals Desperate Need for Long-term Overhal of our Nation's Transportation Program


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                  
MARCH 1, 2010
Cosabeth Bullock, 202-478-6128
Ben Grossman-Cohen, 202-478-6185

With jobs, the economy our quality of life in the balance,
Congress must act now on authorization
WASHINGTON D.C. – As the national transportation program faces fiscal uncertainty today following Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R-KY) refusal to extend legislation to fund transportation and other national programs on Friday, James Corless, campaign director of Transportation 4 America, released the following statement:
“The problem is not simply that one Senator was able to thwart a crucial, timely vote. That lone Senator was able to shut down our nation’s transportation program only because Congress has left this essential underpinning of our economy on life-support for far too long. The highway trust fund we created to build the interstates in the 1950s simply is not up to the job of building and maintaining the system we need for the 21st century. This is not a backburner issue, even if Congress has been treating it as one.
“While we lurch, from extension to extension, with our transportation program teetering on the brink of insolvency, the rest of the world is not standing still. China is building a $500 billion rail network. Canada, whose hockey team just beat us for the gold medal, is beating us in building efficient urban transportation networks, even as our public transportation systems are being forced to slash service in the face of Congressional inaction.
“American jobs – millions of them -- are relying on the authorization of our transportation program. Americans everywhere depend on an efficient, safe and accessible network of roads and transit systems to get to work each day. If we are going to right this economy permanently, Congress must quickly address our nation’s outdated transportation program and ensure stable funding levels for public transportation, including operating assistance for struggling systems, for the repair and maintenance of our highways and bridges, and a robust investment in projects that will make  our communities sustainable for the long haul.”

Transportation 4 America is a broad coalition of housing, environmental, equal opportunity, public health, urban planning, transportation and other organizations focused on creating a 21st century national transportation program. The coalition’s goal is to build a modernized infrastructure and healthy communities where people can live, work and play by aligning national, state, and local transportation policies with an array of issues like economic opportunity, climate change, energy security, health, housing and community development.


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