It is hard to overstate America’s reliance on a safe and efficient freight network. This network is the circulation system that fuels our economy health and helps secure our Nation, and the Obama Administration has consistently emphasized the importance of improving our infrastructure.
That is exactly what brought me to Quincy, IL, earlier this month. With $12 billion in goods transported to global markets each year through Quincy by road, rail, or river, this community is a domestic and international economic hub.
Because our population will grow by 70 million during the next 30 years --and to support that population our freight volume will have to increase by 45 percent-- community leaders in Quincy are working with DOT's Build America Transportation Investment Center (BATIC) to develop a port that can support the region’s expected freight growth...
Last Friday afternoon, our GROW AMERICA Express bus tour pulled into Washington, DC's, Union Station after a 1,100-mile journey through five states. We had gone on the road four days earlier for one reason: to encourage Congress to act on a long-term transportation bill.
In Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and DC, I saw great examples of the kind of investment in transportation infrastructure that can help communities grow, help businesses compete, and help people get more safely and reliably to jobs and other opportunities.
We also visited places where strong projects that would achieve those same goals were stuck perpetually on the launch pad.
Many thanks to everyone who turned out to welcome us back to DC!
When you're making the case for stable investment in American passenger rail, it helps to have with you the nation's greatest champion for passenger rail --Vice President Joe Biden.
The Vice President and I have been traveling up the East Coast this week as part of the GROW AMERICA Express to focus America’s attention on our infrastructure, and to remind the American people that we are at a crucial crossroads. And as we consider our options for moving forward, Vice President Biden knows well that passenger rail is an important piece of the transportation puzzle...
Owen Steel in Columbia, SC, is a great success story. For nearly 80 years, every time a city has made a choice about their future –and decided to build a bridge or an office building or a hospital– Owen Steel has rolled out steel fabrications to help build those structures. This company has produced some of the largest steel towers in the US and has had a hand in some of our greatest infrastructure. For example, 1,500 tons of Owen steel holds up the St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island.
But a few miles away, where I-26 and I-20 meet, we saw a highway where a massive infrastructure project ought to be--but isn't. Known locally as “Malfunction Junction,” this intersection poses a constant bottleneck to motorists and truck drivers.
Reworking “Malfunction Junction” is one of South Carolina’s top transportation improvement projects; it would reduce the traffic jams that slow freight movement and frustrate thousands of drivers each day. Unfortunately, that solution is years away from starting for a pretty simple reason: inadequate funding...
It's a great privilege to have Vice President Biden join me on the GROW AMERICA Express today and tomorrow. Together, we'll try to focus America’s attention on our infrastructure and remind the American people that the future is a choice.
And few communities understand that better than our first stop this morning, the Port of Charleston, South Carolina. Because Charleston has already decided what future they want to have when it comes to transportation...
This afternoon, Secretary Foxx closed out Day One of the GROW AMERICA Express bus tour with a visit to Savannah, Georgia's Brampton Road Connector project. When completed, the Connector will speed the movement of freight into and out of the Port of Savannah via both rail and road. But, as of right now, the project is still in search of funding.
Last year, the port moved record tonnage and --recognizing the increasing demands of the future-- the ports leaders are hard at work expanding its operations.
Unfortunately, without upgrades in nearby transportation infrastructure, the Port's efforts to move more cargo in and out will only confront bottlenecks in the surrounding freight network...
When I took an eight-state bus trip last year from Ohio to Texas, it was great to see that the folks I talked with were able to connect the dots between the federal government’s role and what’s happening in their own home towns. They understood how gridlock in Washington, DC, was creating gridlock on Main Street in their communities. They understood that the infrastructure deficit I spoke about was affecting their lives and the lives of their neighbors.
But as we know from the thousands of questions that poured in for yesterday’s #StuckInTraffic Twitter Town Hall, that infrastructure deficit hasn’t gone away, and it's not going to go away...unless we do something.
So I'm going on the road again next week to highlight the importance of investing in America’s infrastructure, and to encourage Congress to act on a long-term transportation bill. Our four-day GROW AMERICA Express bus tour will begin Tuesday in Tallahassee and visit five states –Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia– ending at Union Station here in the District of Columbia...
Earlier this week, I was in the Bay Area for a download on the latest in transportation innovation, including a ride in Google's self-driving car. And yesterday, I was back in Washington, DC, at the 18th Annual FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference with leaders from government, science, and business.
But from autonomous vehicles to commercial space travel, my message was the same: In our 30-year draft framework –Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices– we’re incredibly bullish about new technology and new business models, and their ability to revolutionize how we travel and how we move freight.
And --yes-- that includes the big thinkers and innovators from a community that once sounded like science fiction: commercial space transportation...
For more information on Licensed Launches, visit www.faa.gov
If you were tuned into the Talks At Google channel on YouTube or read Mashable yesterday, then you know that --as promised last month—Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has launched "Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices," DOT's 30-year outlook on the future of transportation:
"For too long, our national dialogue about transportation has been focused on recreating the past. Instead, we need to focus on the trends that are shaping our future. In Washington, in state capitals and in city halls, it is time to sound the alarm bell: the future is calling."
Our side of this framework is a frank assessment of the lay of the land in American transportation and some of the likely challenges we'll face in the future. It's well-sourced from government and industry data, and it's a useful starting point for a discussion of where we might find ourselves in 2045 and what we can do to shape those outcomes. As Secretary Foxx said, "There's a difference between having choices and making choices."
It is not, as the Secretary has said repeatedly, a blueprint for the future handed down from above. Instead, it's an invitation to a conversation, and that invitation is for you...
The FY 2016 Budget that President Obama proposed today shows what we can do if we invest in America's future and commit to an economy that rewards hard work, generates rising incomes, and allows everyone to share in the prosperity of a growing America.
This proposal lays out a strategy to strengthen our middle class and help America's hard-working families get ahead in a time of relentless economic and technological change.
The President’s Budget provides a total of $94.7 billion in 2016 for the Department of Transportation to make the critical investments we need in infrastructure to promote long-term economic growth, enhance safety and efficiency, and support jobs for the 21st century. It also improves the way federal dollars are spent...