The US Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, will launch a four-day bus tour next week (February 17-20), when will hit the road to highlight the importance of investing in America’s infrastructure, and to encourage Congress to act on a long-term transportation bill. With the Highway Trust Fund nearing insolvency and federal funding for transportation projects set to expire at the end of May unless Congress acts, Foxx is keen to highlight that transportation schemes across the country will be put at risk, while other major initiatives will be delayed because of a lack of assurance of federal budgets. The ‘GROW AMERICA Express’ will visit communities that have created jobs and new opportunities by investing in transportation, as well as communities with mobility projects that are waiting on much needed funding. As he travels through Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, Foxx will make the case for the Obama Administration’s plan, the GROW AMERICA Act, a six-year transportation proposal that would put the USA to work on repairing and modernizing the country’s roads, bridges, railways, ports, and transit systems.
Foxx’s bus tour will include visits to universities, manufacturers, bridges, freight facilities, and highway projects in an effort to raise awareness of the USA’s infrastructure deficit. He will meet with students, business leaders, transportation stakeholders, and community residents, to discuss the projects that work, projects that are needed, and to ask them to commit to standing up for a future with a transportation system that is second-to-none. “Congress continues to pass short-term measures with flat funding that falls short of meeting our country’s needs,” said Foxx. “I am once again taking my message directly to the American people, because they know that Band-Aid funding measures don’t build bridges; they don’t create jobs; and they don’t help us compete in the 21st Century. We need to put our country back to work with a long-term funding plan.”
Within the last week, Foxx has taken his proactive approach to future transportation policy to the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI), where he presided over a roundtable discussion on the US Department of Transportation’s newly released 30-year framework for the future; ‘Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices’. Speaking at the event, Foxx explained, “This is not an action plan. It is a catalyst for public conversation about mobility issues and how we can best solve them. Lately, I hear a lot of people talking about the past; how we used to run our transportation systems. But in the past, people looked to the future. That’s how we built the trans-continental railway, how we created the federal highway system, and how we innovated the air traffic control system that’s used around the world.”