Business, Labor and Transportation Groups Urge Presidential Candidates to Make Transportation a Priority
A broad national coalition of business, labor, and transportation groups – including the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA) – are challenging presidential and congressional candidates to make investments in highways, bridges, and public transportation a priority for their campaigns and for the nation’s future.
The call to action on the state of the nation’s transportation infrastructure was issued as part of the official launch of the Americans for Transportation Mobility Coalition’s FasterBetterSafer Campaign, which was announced yesterday at the National Press Club by U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue, Laborers International Union of North American President Terrence O’Sullivan and American Road & Transportation Builders Association President Pete Ruane.
FasterBetterSafer intends to demonstrate that an aging and overburdened transportation system imposes enormous costs on Americans’ safety and quality of life, the environment and the economy.
“Nationally, we have a transportation network that is literally crumbling underneath us,” said Mike Nystrom, vice president of government and public relations for the MITA and the local spokesperson for the FasterBetterSafer Campaign. “The lack of funding is making our roads and bridges increasingly unsafe. Michigan is no exception. By continuing to ignore basic maintenance and repairs, the state is burdening Michigan taxpayers with additional costs of $3 billion a year.”
Michigan has an annual funding shortfall of $700 million for its state transportation system and a shortfall of more than $2 billion for local roads. This funding pothole is due to massive cuts to the state’s road and bridge program because of declining gas tax revenues. This year alone the state’s road and bridge program dropped by $300 million, or 18 percent. As gas prices rise, consumers buy less gas, which results in less gas tax revenue for the state.
MITA represents a broad spectrum of highway construction companies and suppliers that help build a better Michigan infrastructure from the bottom up. They have been a leading voice for securing adequate transportation funding at the federal and state levels. For more information, visit www.mi-ita.com or www.drivemi.org .
About the FasterBetterSafer Campaign: The FasterBetterSafer Campaign is a nationwide effort by business, labor, and transportation organizations and concerned citizens to advocate for increased federal investment in the nation’s aging and overburdened transportation system. For more information about the FasterBetterSafer Campaign, please visit www.fasterbettersafer.org .