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ladders of opportunity

Want 21st Century Transportation?

If you're interested in transportation, one of the more exciting conferences that's come down the pike lately is this week's Transforming Access, Mobility, and Delivery in Cities forum in New York City. This meeting seeks to turn research on 21st century urban transportation into action that can make a practical difference for the people living in our cities.

I couldn't be happier to join a group of committed people who are putting their shoulders into the door of opportunity and holding it open just a little wider so more people can step through. Because 'access' means opportunity, and increasing accesss and connecting more people to more opportunity is exactly what we're trying to do at DOT...

Photo of Secretary Foxx at Transforming Access conference; courtesy Don Chen

U.S. Department of Transportation Celebrates Groundbreaking of Los Angeles Regional Connector, Improving Transit Efficiency

LA also awarded $1.7 million Ladders of Opportunity grant to enhance bus facilities

LOS ANGELES – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today participated in the groundbreaking of the Los Angeles Regional Connector, a key light rail transit segment connecting three existing transit lines in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.

Transit grants will fill gaps, connect millions to opportunity

This morning, in Detroit, I went back to school. I was in Detroit to announce a $25 million grant to purchase 50 new buses as part of an effort to bring safer, more reliable transit. 
 
This grant is a part of a $100-million-dollar announcement from the Federal Transit Administration that includes 23 other, similar recipients across America. And it’s part of a larger effort DOT is making to open up the door of opportunity to more Americans, wherever they live, whatever their background, whatever their economic circumstances. 
 
For me, this announcement was more than business as usual. And instead of addressing a group of city officials –probably in suits and perhaps with a bus as our backdrop— I made the announcement at Cass Technical High School to an audience of students.

Photo of passengers boarding Detroit bus

Why on earth would I share this news there? Why would a group of young students care about new city buses?
 
Because the young men and women at Cass Tech are doing more than just filling seats; they’re preparing. They are the hope of Detroit and of Michigan and of America. 

Creating Ladders of Opportunity in Rural America

I started day four of my “Invest in America, Commit to the Future” bus tour by participating in a roundtable discussion with Congressman Bennie Thompson and local officials at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi.  It was a great opportunity to hear firsthand about the challenges facing the region and the need to create ladders of opportunity to connect folks to jobs, schools, and a better quality of life.

Photo of Secretary Foxx speaking at the roundtable meeting at Tougaloo College

President's 2015 Budget Request charts course to Rebuild America

At the Department of Transportation, we’ve been talking for months –if not years– about America’s infrastructure deficit. If you've been reading this blog, then you’ve heard me talk about 100,000 bridges old enough for Medicare, billions of dollars in backlogged transit projects, and the growing costs of waiting as cities and states put their transportation plans on hold. And you've seen our highway trust fund ticker and know how close we are to running out of money altogether.  

But a week ago, that all changed. Because last Wednesday, President Obama laid out his vision for a four year, $302-billion-dollar transportation plan to modernize this country’s infrastructure and put us on the path to solving this problem...

Graphic from D.O.T.'s 2015 Budget Highlights document

The road to opportunity: DOT and the State of the Union

Last night, I had the privilege of sitting in the well of the House of Representatives and listening to President Obama deliver his State of the Union address to the nation.

Video Capture of Secretary Foxx congratulating President Obama after the State of the Union address

Depending on the channel you were watching, you may have even seen me applauding when the President struck the theme of opportunity–and applauding extra hard when he later talked about the opportunities created by transportation. The road to opportunity can take many forms as the President told us; it can be quality pre-school for young children, or it can be access to health care for those with pre-conditions.

But, as President Obama also reminded us last night, sometimes the road to opportunity can literally be a road. Or, for that matter, it can be a transit system that connects a community to new jobs or a port that helps businesses sell to more markets. All of these types of transportation can be what the President calls “ladders of opportunity,” ways for all Americans to connect to a better quality of life.

Transportation Investment and Economic Mobility

With the U.S. population projected to grow by 90 million people over the next 30 years, and strong evidence that access to affordable transportation plays a significant role in social and economic mobility, we must face this challenge head on. Even in a difficult fiscal and political climate.

But, let's remember one of the key lessons in American history: challenging times can present opportunities to find new allies, a fresh vision, and creative, new approaches to long-standing problems . I am proud to say that this Department is pressing forward in a number of exciting and transformative policy areas. And yesterday, at the launch of Transportation For America's (T4A) new alliance to help revitalize our nation's investment in transportation, I highlighted one of my favorites --Ladders of Opportunity. 

As a former mayor, Transportation Secretary Foxx is especially focused on transportation investments and policies that connect people safely to jobs, education, and health care; that grow local economies and the U.S. economy; and that improve quality of life.

Transportation for America logo

Transportation challenges, economic opportunities

When people ask me about my priorities as Transportation Secretary, I always say that safety must come first at DOT.

But we must do more than ensure safety and maintain our current infrastructure.  With the U.S. population expected to grow by 100 million in the next 30 years, we must also make sure our transportation system is prepared to meet that growing demand.  It will be a big challenge, but it also represents a powerful opportunity. 

Photo of Secretary Foxx greeting a passenger on the Loyola Streetcar line