Investing in Transportation Infrastructure

May 11, 2017

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Investing in Transportation Infrastructure

We all know that economic recovery can’t come soon enough.  We have seen that throwing money at the problem, in the form of stimulus money, just doesn’t have a long-term effect.  In order to create jobs and stimulate economic activity, economists know that investing in a flexible and durable transportation and communication infrastructure plan a good place to start.  It is considered an effective use of government spending by most, including the President.

Restructuring the country’s transportation systems will benefit the US in multiple ways.  Shipping will be cheaper for businesses.  We can create a more reliable way to transport goods from business to business and into and out of the country.  Smaller businesses will be able to participate in exporting their goods and services.  The current system is highly inefficient and cannot be sustained long-term.

Communication systems and advanced technology infrastructure investment is also needed.  Modern transportation systems need to be able to seamlessly communicate with each other, reducing cost and improving shipping time and capacity.  New power grids and modern broadband communications can provide industries the tools necessary to expand globally and create jobs and income that are sustainable.

Many freight industry groups have been pushing for a new bill on surface spending before current programs expire at the end of this year.  Obama’s proposal was originally to spend $ 50 billion to give road construction, airport runways, and railway construction a good start.  However, it has now turned into an effort to fund a long-term solution that will benefit the country for many generations to come instead of a quick fix for today’s problems.

A White House Briefing Paper about the investment said, “If we are to enjoy the benefits that come from a world-class transportation system, Congress must enact a long-term reauthorization that expands and reforms our infrastructure investments and returns the transportation trust fund to solvency.”

The plans are in line with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s wishes.  According to Committee Chairman James Oberstar, they believe that the restoration of the transportation system will increase energy efficiency and relieve the “road and rail congestion that is crippling our economy”.

The plan focuses on rebuilding roadways and runways, as well as building and maintaining high-speed passenger railways.  Debates are still underway as to how the program will be funded.  The proposed improvements when implemented should help to stimulate economic growth in the US.  Not only will railways, airlines, and truck freight companies benefit, but the broad plan stands to create many sustainable jobs and income for small businesses, ocean freight and ocean shipping companies, as well as stimulate exporting and manufacturing in the US.

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