Mayoral Op-Ed: U.S. Needs to Play Catch-Up on Transportation
Rates of federal transportation spending have long been on a downward trajectory. This week's Amtrak fatalities, whatever their root cause, highlight a troubling fact: "Spending on infrastructure in the United States has sunk to 1.7 percent of gross domestic product, a 20-year low."
Cornett and de Blasio say a failure to invest puts America further and further behind. "The Department of Transportation estimates that by 2030, it will cost $84 billion to $105 billion a year just to keep the highway, bridge and transit systems in good repair, and up to $170 billion a year to improve conditions and performance. Meanwhile, the rest of the world races ahead. Europe spends 5 percent of G.D.P. on infrastructure, and China 9 percent."
The mayors, speaking on behalf of a bipartisan coalition of their peers, conclude by "calling on Congress to pass a six-year transportation authorization measure that significantly increases investments from the current level of $50 billion a year."