Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), today called for swift authorization of a new transportation bill that would ease highway congestion, invest in public transportation, reduce energy consumption, improve the environment, support economic growth and improve the overall livability of our communities. Senator Cardin pressed for renewal of a comprehensive transportation bill today at an EPW hearing entitled “Transportation's Role in Improving our Economy and Job Creation.”
“Making America’s transportation infrastructure more seamless and efficient will both figuratively and literally drive our nation’s economy forward,” said Senator Cardin. “While fixing our roads can ease traffic congestion and put people to work, only a comprehensive transportation bill that also significantly invests in public transportation will ensure sustained economic growth and keep America competitive in an increasingly globalized economy.
“Public transportation systems take thousands of cars off congested highways, remove pollutants out of the air we breathe, and move people efficiently into and out of our most important commercial centers. By expanding the availability of public transportation, we reduce our dependency on foreign oil, which helps bolster our economy, increase our national security and protect our environment. I urge my fellow lawmakers to study Maryland’s comprehensive transportation plan, which invests in new mass transit projects to facilitate further economic growth.”
The authorization of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) of 2005 expired September 30, 2009. Critical federal funding for our nation’s surface transportation systems has been sustained through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as well as a series of continuing resolutions that have extended funds over varying time periods at Fiscal Year 2010 levels. A full authorization of a new surface transportation bill is essential to getting new surface transportation projects in the pipeline as well as advancing important new transportation policy reforms to improve the efficiency of our nation’s transportation network and livability of our communities.